It took years for Pablo Cohen, an associate professor of performance studies at Ithaca College’s School of Music, to complete his self-produced classical guitar album, “La Casa,” but his hard work paid off with a gold medal from the Global Music Awards.
Established in 2011, the Global Music Awards is a well-known international music competition celebrating independent musicians. Past winners include jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding, blues rock band Alabama Shakes and singer Sara Bareilles.
Cohen released “La Casa” in 2013, but waited until spring 2018 to submit it to the Global Music Awards. The album features a collection of piano music that he transcribed for classical guitar over the course of several years. The original compositions were written by composers from Cohen’s native Argentina and Brazil, where his wife is from. “It’s not a coincidence that it’s called ‘La Casa,’ because in a way it reflects the idea of family – my wife and my kids – and it was recorded in my home,” said Cohen.
Cohen was driving with his family on a road trip to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia when he found out he won a gold medal.
“I couldn’t scream or jump or do anything,” he said. “It felt like I was on a cloud. It really meant a lot.”
Colleagues from the School of Music’s sound recording technology program helped Cohen record the album. Recording services manager Brian Dozoretz, associate professor Alex Perialas and assistant professor Michael Caporizzo — who Cohen taught as a student — lent him equipment and helped him set up a home recording studio.
Cohen is currently planning a follow-up album that will build on the familial symbolism of “La Casa” by adding American music to represent his children, who were born in the United States.