José Cura debuted age 15 as a choral director and at 16 he began studies in composition. Born in Rosario on 5 December 1962, Cura’s musical talent matured quickly: at 19 he entered the Escuela Superior de Arte de la Universidad Nacional de Rosario to continue his musical education in the specialties of composing and conducting. The following year he became assistant conductor for the university choir. At 21, he won a grant for a one year course at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón, where he sang operas and oratorios in the school choir until 1988, while focusing
on enriching his composition and conducting aspirations through the first-hand experience granted by being part of the great Argentinean Coliseum. It was during those years that he first conducted Bach’s St. Matthews Passion.
In 1991 he moved to Europe and where he developed the career as a top tenor for which he became worldwide known. Conducting has been an intrinsic part of Cura’s performing platform; from the start of his international career he has mixed podium work with vocalism in a successful way. The progression from innate understanding to sculpting original interpretations has been steady over the decades, even as Cura’s career as an international tenor sensation tended to overshadow his work on the podium. Whether breathing with the singers in opera or concert, providing sensitive readings of delicate compositions or leading an orchestra in soaring symphonic grandeur, Cura never plays it safe. Formal recognition of his exceptional conducting abilities came in 2001, when Sinfonia Varsovia offered him a three-year assignment as principal guest conductor, a position previously held by the late Yehudi Menuhin. 2014 was marked by José Cura’s return to his activity as a composer: in November, the South Bohemian Opera premiered his Stabat Mater, written in 1989. In Easter 2015, after his return as Don José at La Scala, the world premiere of his Magnificat, written in 1988, took place at the Teatro Massimo di Catania.
From 2015 to 2018, José Cura was appointed “Artist in Residence” of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. As part of his commitments with the prestigious Czech ensemble he conducted the world
premiere of his triptych Ecce Homo, in March 2017 and in September 2017, the world premiere of Modus (the Kyrie of his Requiem Mass).
In February 2019, José Cura was appointed the first “Principal Guest Artist” —singer, composer and conductor— in the history of the Hungarian Radio Art Groups. Together with the Hungarian institution, he recently recorded the oratorio Ecce Homo, and on January 29th 2020, he conducted the world premiere of his Montezuma and the Red Priest “opera buffa ma non troppo”, at the
Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. The hiatus in his stage work that followed —imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic— gave José Cura the time to complete two pending composing projects: a Te Deum and a guitar concerto. His Te Deum, drafted in 2019 and orchestrated in 2020, will be premiered in September 2021 during the Enescu festival with the London Philharmonia, and his Concierto para un Resurgir, for guitar and orchestra, will also be premiered in September 2021, but in Saarbrücken, together with his Symphonic Suite based on Montezuma and the Red Priest.
José Cura’s Requiem Mass, dedicated to the victims of the 1982 South Atlantic war, will be premiered in Budapest, in May 2022, in occasion of the 40th anniversary of the armed conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom