Pianist/Composer Orlando Otey


At the age of two Orlando Otey was placed at the piano by his mother. It was 1927 and she had always hoped to have a son who would become a concert pianist. This young pianist went on to give his first concert at the age of four at the Teatro Iris1 in his native Mexico City.

By the age of five he had toured Mexico and by seven he had toured Europe. He also began composing at an early age, and when he was just 14 he composed his first piano concerto, already having completed a list of other compositions.

In 1940 at the age of 15 while on tour in Mexico giving programs of his own compositions that included several mazurkas, nocturnes and etudes, Otey was heralded as The Chopin of Mexico by critics and the press.  Not only was his playing of Romantic music remarkable, his own works were taken by many to be compositions of Chopin, some critics quipping they were works that Chopin forgot to write.

Aside from performing throughout his teen years Otey became a faculty member at the University of Mexico School of Music by age 17. He thereafter came to the U.S. and pursued piano and composition studies at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1945.  Otey studied with Gian-Carlo Menotti and Vladimir Sokoloff.

In 1949 Otey was one of 3 pianists selected to compete in the Chopin Centennial Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland (see New York Times clipping here).

Tenochtitl n 1325

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Tenochtitl n 1325
Tenochtitl n was the capital of the Aztecs founded in 1325
that fell to the Spanish in 1521
and became what Mexico City is today.

The selections in this album were written and performed by
Mexican-Born U.S. Pianist/Composer Orlando Otey
 who became known as “The Chopin of Mexico” by the age of 15. 

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Here is one full play selection from this CD

Sonata "Tenochtitl n" 1948:
  IV. Presto Molto Brioso


The Chopin of Mexico Plays More Chopin
Volume 2

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This CD is the second in a series of Chopin recordings by Pianist/Composer Orlando Otey.  


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The Chopin of Mexico Plays More Chopin - Volume 2

Free Online Review - Please click on selections below:

Ballade in Fm op. 52

Polonaise in Ab op. 53

Etude in E op. 10 no. 3

Etude in C op. 10 no. 7

Etude in F op. 25 no. 3

Etude in Bm op. 25 no. 10

Etude in Ab op. 25 no. 1

Etude in Cm op. 25 no. 12

Etude in Fm op. 25 no. 2

Etude in F op. 10 no. 8

Etude in C#m op. 25 no. 7

Etude in G#m op. 25 no. 6

Etude in Gb op. 25 no. 9

Etude in Am op. 25 no. 11

Polonaise in A op. 40 no. 1

Waltz in Ab op. 69 no. 1

Waltz in Eb op. 18


The Chopin of Mexico Plays Chopin
Volume 1
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Just Plain Folks nominee

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The Chopin of Mexico Plays Chopin - Volume 1

Ionian Productions released this CD in September 2007
 and Otey's playing has received accolades, such as:

Orlando Otey's CD is a performance of beauty and sensitivity.
His playing is that of a true artist”

- Toshiya Eto, Master Violinist

 “...Otey has maintained a fluent technique as an octogenarian,
like Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein”

 - Andrew Quint, Philadelphia Music Makers Magazine, Sept 2008 Issue

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Here is one full play selection from this CD

Etude in C# minor op. 10 no. 4


The title of The Chopin of Mexico followed Otey in the Press for years.
Learn more about Orlando Otey by reading his bio:

1 - Teatro Iris was built upon the site of the majestic Mayorazgo de Villanueva Palace in 1912. The theatre is just a few blocks away from the Teatro L rico. The neo-classical fa ade matches the appearance of its neighbor, the old C mara de Diputados or House of Representatives. However, the interior is more aptly described as Art Noveau, in harmony with the belle poque of the early twentieth century in Mexico. In 1917, the successful Tabasco artist Esperanza Iris bought the venue. On her death, it passed into the hands of the city's municipal authorities.


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