A Bit of History
Founded in 1932, its first president was the excellent Puerto Rican pianist Elisa Tavárez.
Pro Arte Musical, the oldest musical society in Puerto Rico, was founded in 1932 with renowned Puerto Rican pianist Elisa Tavárez as its first president. The society aims to promote musical culture on the island and establish lasting artistic ties between music lovers in Puerto Rico and other countries.
From the beginning, Pro Arte Musical has presented internationally renowned Puerto Rican artists including Jesús María Sanromá, Graciela Rivera, Justino Díaz, Elías López Sobá and Antonio Barasorda. During its first 25 years, it also featured world famous musicians such as Heifetz, Segovia, Rubinstein, Arrau, Schwarzkopf, Stern, Pitiagorsky, and Tibbet, dancers such as Alicia Markova and Maria Tallchief, and opera singers such as Zinka Milanov, Grace Moore, Jean Madeira, Leonard Warren, and Jan Kiepura.
In 1955, Maestro Pablo Casals, who had recently arrived on the island, founded the prestigious Casals Festival under the sponsorship of the Government of Puerto Rico. With the advent of such international musicians such as Casals, world renowned soloists, and an extraordinary orchestra sponsored by the government, Pro Arte Musical decided to step aside in 1960.
While eventually the Casals Festival limited its performances to the summer season, it did serve to spark interest in classical music and Pro Arte Musical was revived in 1976.
Today, Pro Arte Musical remains true to its motto “Tradition of Excellence,” not only presenting the best of today’s musical talent but also nurturing love of the arts among young people with the passionate pursuit of artistic, educational, and cultural outreach initiatives such as:
- Awards to outstanding graduates from the Music Departments of our accredited institutions
- Master classes and educational programs under our program Música Abierta.
- Entrance tickets to concerts for professors and for those with student Id’s
A Pro Arte membership ensures entrance to all the regular concerts of the season as well as the New Virtuosi concerts.