Life and works

Reynaldo Fernández Pavon
Reynaldo Fernández Pavon

The relationship between art and literature in the works of music composer and writer Reynaldo Fernández Pavón began in 1962, during his studies of music and piano performance, at Cuba’s National School of Art (ENA). While in college, Reynaldo had the privilege of studying music composition with North American professor Frederick Smith.

In 1972 he enrolled in the Art History program at the University of Havana and earned his first Master’s Degree. A few years later, Reynaldo received the “13th of March” Music Award at the University of Havana, 1975.

In 1998, Reynaldo was awarded his second Master’s Degree, in music composition, by the Boyer College of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Reynaldo’s symphony works, and those for chamber orchestra, have been interpreted by prestigious ensembles, such as: the Symphony Orchestra of Matanzas, the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, the Havana Chamber Orchestra, The Brindis de Salas Chamber Orchestra, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Voronezh, Russia.

In 1982-1983 Reynaldo received the EGREM music award for “Best Musical Producer” for his discography work with Irakere, one of Cuba’s best-known Latin jazz bands (1980 Grammy winner); as well as with the Latin jazz quartet led by Grammy Award winning Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés.

Reynaldo has written music soundtracks for documentaries of the Cuban Institute of Art and Cinematographic Art (ICAIC) and for the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT).

As a writer, his first book of poems “Presagios” (“Predictions”), received the first runner-up award in the David Poetry Competition of the National Association of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC 1979), and in 1980 he won first prize in the same competition with the work “Cruzando Mares”(“Crossing Oceans”); published in 1981 by Unión Press.

Since then, Reynaldo has published other literary works and articles in various magazines and newspapers such as: Juventud Rebelde, Caimán Barbudo, the journal Casa de las Américas, Revolución y Cultura, the Gaceta de Cuba, and others.

In 1994 Reynaldo left his hometown to immigrate to the United States. In 1996 he composed music for the theater play “Cuentos Negros” (Black Tales) written by prestigious book author Lydia Cabrera; which was premiered in the Repertory Spanish Theater of New York. This performance was awarded Best Musical Production in 1997 by the Association of Latin American Critics (ACE) of New York.

Reynaldo is the author of the theater play “En el Parque” (In the Park), the novel “El Lirio del Prado” (The Lily of the Field) 2011, the poetry book “Los Versos de la Memoria” (The Verses of Memory) written in Spanish with English translation in 2016, the novel “El Repatriado” (The Repatriated) 2017, a collection of piano works “Piano Forte” 2018, a collection of essays, articles. and short stories “De la Literatura, las Artes y la Sociedad” (About Literature, the Arts and Society) 2019, and his recent poetry publication “Los últimos relatos” (The last stories), also written in Spanish with English translation in 2020.

Reynaldo Fernández Pavón is an active member of the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE). As a songwriter he has collaborated with many prestigious artists such as Pablo Milanés (Album “El Guerrero“), Francisco Céspedes (Album “Todavía“), Miguel Ángel Céspedes (Song“Te bastó que te amara”), Grammy Award winner Aymée Nuviola and Lourdes Nuviola (Album ” En la Intimidad“), Luis Téllez (Song “Pequeña Rosa”), Mirtha Medina (Song “Quiero más” music by Vicente Rojas, winner of the Adolfo Guzman Popularity Award, 1984), and La Charanga Habanera (song “Tú estás ahí”), among other well-known artists.

The CD “Piano Forte,  Cuban Master Works”,  published by Eniola Records, showcases a selection of Reynaldo’s works for classical solo piano.

From 2001 thru recent years, Reynaldo Fernández Pavón was an adjunct professor for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese languages at Temple University, and for Esperanza College of Eastern University in Pennsylvania, USA.

Currently, Reynaldo is retired as high school and college professor but dedicated to delight us with his music, and his literature.