Castel's heritage is steeped in Spanish history. He is a descendant
of a distinguished Sephardic family hailing back to 15th Century
Castille, Spain and spent his early childhood at the knee of his
grandfather the rabbi of Lisbon, Portugal, Abraham Castel, to
whom he credits his first musical inspiration. In the years that
followed, his interest and connection with all music Spanish and
Sephardic flowered and became one of his lifelong passions.
His knowledge and performances of Ladino music (the music of the
Spanish Jews), is well-known and respected throughout the world. In
addition to concerts and recitals of this music over the past 40
years, he has also recorded an album entitled "Sefarad" and
written the "Nico Castel Ladino Song Book" both published by
Tara Publications, Cedarhurst, New York. His love for Jewish secular
music extends to a vast knowledge of Yiddish songs as well. In
addition, he has spent a lifetime studying and performing cantorial
music and officiated as a Reform Cantor for over 27 years in several
Synagogues in New York.
passion for all music Spanish extends to vocal music of both
Iberia and Latin-America, including exotic excursions into Aztec,
Basque, Gallego, Catalan, Brazilian and Iberian Portuguese repertoire.
He has spent a lifetime collecting Hispanic music of all kinds
from all over the globe. His great love of this repertoire is
shared with singers, coaches, and all others interested through
his Spanish Vocal Repertoire Classes
which he offers to educational and music organizations and presents
privately in New York and on the West Coast. Nico is also the
author of the acclaimed Singer's Manual of Spanish Lyric
Diction. (Click here for ordering
Mr. Castel brings his vast knowledge and love for this repertoire
to his fascinating and highly informative class, Spanish Lyric
Diction and Spanish Vocal Repertoire offered in New York twice
a year by the New
York Opera Studio.