Photo of Odaline de la Martínez
Odaline de la Martínez (NC ’72)
Known internationally as one of the brightest personalities in classical music, Odaline de la Martínez, or Chachi as she is known professionally, has been pushing the industry forward for decades through her award-winning work as a composer, conductor, record producer, and event curator.
Martínez studied both music and mathematics at Newcomb College before going on to earn her Master of Music in Composition from the University of Surrey. She honed her craft through additional training from Dartington Summer School, the Accademia Chigiana di Musica in Sienna, Italy, and the Royal Academy of Music in London. Martínez’s affinity with opera was initiated in 1984 with the composition of Sister Aimee: An American Legend, which was premiered at Tulane University. In the same year, Martínez became the first woman to conduct a BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall.
Today, Martínez serves as the music director of the London Chamber Symphony and founder and music director of Lontano, a contemporary ensemble based in London. Her works have been showcased across some of the world’s most prestigious classical music venues, including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, St John’s Smith Square and the Royal College of Music. Martínez has also appeared as a guest conductor with the San Diego Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Australian Youth Orchestra, and Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, among others.
In 1983, Martínez was honored as the Outstanding Alumna by the Newcomb Alumnae Association. In 2023, Martínez was honored by Tulane University as a Tulane Trailblazer. As part of the Trailblazer honor, the Odaline de la Martínez Award will be awarded by the School of Liberal Arts’ Newcomb Department of Music to outstanding students in performance, composition or music scholarship in the Americas.