Martínez Iturriaga Named Executive Director at Berklee Valencia

María Martínez Iturriaga is ready to direct, so to speak…

The Spanish educational leader has been appointed executive director of Berklee Valencia in Spain, Berklee College of Music’s first international campus.

María Martínez Iturriaga

Iturriaga, a native of Spain, has worked at Berklee since 2008, most recently as the associate executive director and dean of admissions at Berklee Valencia. Berklee vice president of global initiatives Guillermo Cisneros previously served as the Valencia campus executive director.

“María has shown a remarkable ability to work collaboratively across areas and divisions of the college while delivering strong outcomes,” Berklee President Roger Brown said in a release from the college.

Prior to Berklee, Iturriaga worked in New York with AEA Consulting, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and New York City Center, and as a music agent on international projects.

She received her MA in performing arts administration from New York University, and has an undergraduate business administration degree from Madrid’s Autonomous University. Iturriaga also graduated from the Madrid Royal Conservatory with a degree in piano performance.

Colón-Zayas Wins Lortel Award for “Between Riverside and Crazy”

Liza Colón-Zayas has a Crazy reason to celebrate…

The Puerto Rican actress, married to actor David Zayas, has won the Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for her role in Between Riverside and Crazy, which was named outstanding play.

Liza Colón-Zayas

The Lortels, now 30 years old, are underwritten by the Lucille Lortel Foundation and are named for the late owner of the former Theatre De Lys, now the Lucille Lortel, on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.

Along with the Village Voice Obie Awards, the Lortels are focused on plays that open in New York City outside the 40-theater Broadway district.

Meanwhile, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway-bound musical Hamilton, which is heading uptown for a summer opening after a sold-out run at the Public Theater, took home10 awards, including outstanding musical. The book, music and lyrics were written by the In The Heights creator.

The 35-year-old Puerto Rican composer, rapper, lyricist, and actor, a Tony Award, Grammy and Emmy winner, was named Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for his performance in Hamilton.

The awards in 18 categories, plus three special honors, were presented Sunday night at New York University’s Skirball Center during a ceremony hosted by Emmy nominated actors Anna Chlumsky and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Here’s a look at the winners:

Outstanding Play: Between Riverside and Crazy
Outstanding Musical: Hamilton
Outstanding Revival: Into the Woods
Outstanding Solo Show: Josephine and I
Outstanding Director: Thomas Kail, Hamilton
Outstanding Choreographer: Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play: Stephen McKinley Henderson, Between Riverside and Crazy
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play: Tonya Pinkins, Rasheeda Speaking
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical: Phillipa Soo, Hamilton
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play: Jacob Ming-Trent, Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play: Liza Colón-Zayas, Between Riverside and Crazy
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical: Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Outstanding Scenic Design: Jan Versweyveld, Scenes From a Marriage
Outstanding Costume Design: Paul Tazewell, Hamilton
Outstanding Lighting Design: Howell Binkley, Hamilton
Outstanding Sound Design: Nevin Steinberg, Hamilton

Special Awards:
Lifetime Achievement Award: Terrence McNally
Playwrights’ Sidewalk Inductee Jeanine Tesori
Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award: Nancy Nagel Gibbs



Swizz Beatz to Attend Harvard Business School

Swizz Beatz is headed to the Ivy League

The 35-year-old half-Puerto Rican hip-hop artist and record producer, born Kasseem Dean, has been accepted to Harvard Business School’s nine-week Owner/President Management Extension Program, the same one attended by AntonioL.A.Reid at the request of Clive Davis.

Swizz Beatz

Beatz, the husband of Alicia Keys,made the announcement by posting his acceptance email on his Instagram account earlier this week.

“This might be one of the happiest days of my life,” he posted on his social media account. “From BX to Harvard.”

Beatz has produced hit singles for the likes of Nas, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and Bono. He’s also a fashion and shoe designer, art collector and tireless brand promoter who spent the 2010-11 academic year as the first “producer-in-residence” at New York University‘s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.

The HBS program awards those who pass the curriculum a certification for the course, which is aimed at CEOs and heads of companies. The price tag is $33,000 per credit, with Beatz taking three credits for a cool 100 grand, beginning next month. He’ll live in Harvard housing.

“Admission is a selective process based on professional achievement and organizational responsibility. We look for professionals who have demonstrated business talent and leadership potential,” according to the school’s official site.

The program focuses on navigating the global economy, maximizing financial resources, aligning strategies and sales and other business skills.

Keys and son Egypt will join him in the dorm on weekends, according to Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman, who interviewed Swizz on the carpet at the The Amazing Spider-Man 2 premiere. His wife performed her soundtrack song with Kendrick Lamar at the post-premiere party.

Swizz, who never went to college, started his music career directly after graduating high school.