Born in Holguín, Cuba, Manuel Ochoa (1925-2006) was a conducting prodigy who made his professional debut at age 17. In the 1940s, he created and conducted Havana’s Sociedad Coral (Choral Society). In the following decade, he continued his studies in Europe while expanding his career in Cuba and Spain, serving as conductor with the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra and in Madrid with the Orquesta y Coro de la Radio Nacional de Espana (Spanish National Radio’s Orchestra and Chorus).
By the late-1960s an exile in Miami, Ochoa established the Society of Arts and Culture of the Americas and participated in other cultural activities. In 1989, he fulfilled his artistic vision when he founded the Miami Symphony Orchestra "as a cultural expression of Miami's multiethnic community."
With funding from the Knight Foundation in 2011, the University of Miami Libraries digitized a selection of photographs, programs, and music scores from the 1960s and 1970s found in the Manuel Ochoa Papers as part of a project documenting Cuban theater in Miami during those two decades.
A full description and listing of all materials in this collection are available in the Manuel Ochoa Papers Finding Aid.