Odaline de la Martinez (born 31 October 1949) is a Cuban-American composer and conductor, currently residing in the UK. She is the artistic director of Lontano, a London-based contemporary music ensemble which she co-founded in 1976 with New Zealander flautist Ingrid Culliford, and was the first woman to conduct at the BBC Promenade Concerts (the Proms) in 1984. As well as frequent appearances as a guest conductor with leading orchestras throughout Great Britain, including all the BBC orchestras, she has conducted several leading ensembles around the world, including the ensemble 2e2m in Paris; the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; the Australian Youth Orchestra; the OFUNAM and the Camerata of the Americas in Mexico; and the Vancouver Chamber Orchestra. She is also known as a broadcaster for BBC Radio and Television and has recorded extensively for several labels.
Odaline de la Martinez was born in 1949 in Matanzas and grew up in Jovellanos, a cane-sugar manufacturing town in the same province. After the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961 her parents decided to send her and her sister to live with their aunt and uncle in the U.S.A. She studied at Tulane University, New Orleans, where she read both music and mathematics, graduating summa cum laude in 1972 and receiving several awards upon graduation - a Marshall Scholarship from the British government, and a Danforth and Watson Fellowships - which allowed her to continue her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied composition with Paul Patterson and piano with Else Cross and where she founded Lontano Ensemble in 1976 with Ingrid Culliford. With Lontano she conducted the premiere of Judith Weir's The Consolations of Scholarship at the University of Durham in 1985 (subsequently recording it with Linda Hirst in 1989).