The Cantigas Awards for Outstanding Achievements in the Arts

Washington, DC, April 25, 2011

Cantigas, Washington, DC’s Premier Latino chorus celebrates two  extraordinary decades of delivering distinctive performances in concert halls across the region and internationally.  Georgina Núñez, spouse of OAS Secretary General Insulza, is Honorary Chair.  Highlights include: • First-ever Cantigas Awards ceremony, • online and silent auction:  www.biddingforgood.com/cantigas, • international cuisine, wines and Puerto Rican rums,  • a Cantigas performance, • dancing to a live salsa band, and • Latinos in the Arts Day proclamation (read by Roxana Olivas, Director, DC Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs.)  This unprecedented gala presents the first-ever Cantigas Awards to outstanding artists who exemplify the organization’s mission to unite communities and promote diversity through the transformative power of music. The  awards will be presented by Erica Ortiz, broadcast journalist and TV host: Cantigas Award for Talent and Lifetime Achievement:  Plácido Domingo, Opera Singer, Performer, Conductor and General Director of Washington National Opera  and Los Angeles Opera. (By presentation of acceptance.) Maestro Plácido Domingo is one of the most world-renowned, multifaceted artists of his time, recognized both as one  of the finest and most influential singing actors in the opera’s history, and as a well respected conductor.  Cantigas Award for Pioneer in the Arts and Culture:  Mr. Septime Webre, Artistic Director of the Washington Ballet. Webre has drastically transformed the Washington Ballet, bringing national and international recognition to the  performing company; giving new vitality to The Washington School of Ballet; and developing deep community  initiatives that include founding The Washington Ballet’s visionary DanceDC and TWB@THEARC which have  provided an introduction to the world of dance to over 10,000 disadvantaged youth in DC since their inception. Cantigas Award for Talent:  Dr. Alejandro Hernández- Valdez, pianist, conductor and composer; Director of Music at Westmoreland  Congregational United Church of Christ; and Associate Conductor and Pianist of the Choral Arts Society of  Washington.   The prolific Dr. Hernández Valdez is an accomplished concert and chamber pianist, a conductor, and a composer and  arranger who regularly works with renowned conductors, instrumentalists, singers, choruses, and orchestras.