Profile:Antonio Martinez

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Antonio Martinez was born the youngest of four siblings on October 7, 1986 at Clara Maass Hospital in Belleville, New Jersey. He began his musical studies in 1999, right before eighth grade, after his mother heard Antonio playing a keyboard that was dormant for almost a decade.

Between 1999 and 2004, Antonio studied piano, violin and solfeo under Roberto Paz in his hometown of Kearny, New Jersey, where for those years, Antonio received awards from the National Piano Playing Auditions, held every June. After graduating from Seton Hall Preparatory School in 2004, Antonio spent a year teaching piano.

While at Seton Hall Preparatory, Antonio studied Music Theory I and II (AP), with Theresa Neglia as his teacher. In 2004, Antonio scored a five overall on the AP Music Theory Exam (5 for the oral portion, 4 for the singing portion) and received an award for Excellence in Music Studies, along with two other students.

Wanting to pursue musical studies, Antonio applied for three school during his senior year at Seton Hall Prep. Although accepted at Westminster Choir College, Antonio passed up on that chance to study closer to home at Montclair State University, but to no avail. Three failed auditions later, Antonio decided to take an alternate route and study history, with two minors in journalism and Russian Area Studies.

Although unable to study music in college, Antonio did try to salvage some musical studies early on. On May 4, 2005, Antonio participated in Teach-a-thon, where his topic was the Mighty Five. On October 31, 2005, Antonio presented a lecture on Russian music in the 20th century for a class project. The lecture was such a success, that by the end of the semester, the class voted unanimously as the best presentation.

While Antonio began college, he began to gain an interest in writing music. His first piece, which would be later called Anarchist Rhapsodies, was written in d minor, and would be transposed in the remaining eleven minor scales, with alterations on time signature. The concept of the Anarchist Rhapsodies was influenced by three composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, Anatoly Lyadov and Igor Stravinsky, and to a lesser extent Modest Mussorgsky and Frederic Chopin.

Antonio first came up with the idea after listening to the main theme of The Lord of the Rings. The melody was so simple, that it could be remembered easily.

After Anarchist Rhapsodies, Antonio has written eight rags, five piano pieces, and ten orchestral pieces, most whose titles come from European cities (i.e. Amsterdam, Moscow, Sochi, Berlin).