José Carreras occupies a privileged position in the music world. Born in Barcelona, he studied music in his hometown. His professional career began in 1970 with performances of Nabucco and Lucrezia Borgia at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu. Early débuts followed at the world's most prestigious opera houses and festivals, including the Teatro alla Scala of Milan in 1975 (Un ballo in maschera), New York's Metropolitan Opera House in 1974 (Tosca), San Francisco Opera in 1973 (La bohème), the Vienna Staatsoper in 1974 (Rigoletto), London's Royal Opera House in 1974 (La traviata), Munich Opera in 1974 (Tosca), Chicago's Lyric Opera in 1976 (Un ballo in maschera) and the festivals of Salzburg in 1976 (Don Carlo), Aix en Provence in 1977 (Roberto Devereux), Edinburgh in 1982 (Verdi's Requiem) and Verona in 1984 (Carmen). José Carreras has collaborated with the most renowned conductors, including Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Chailly, Colin Davis, Giuseppe Sinopoli, James Levine, Carlo Maria Giulini, Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta, and with pre-eminent stage directors such as Franco Zeffirelli, Jean Pierre Ponelle, Giorgio Strehler, Luigi Comencini and Harold Prince. His repertoire includes over 60 operas that include Andrea Chenier, La bohème, Tosca, Werther, Don Carlo, Carmen, La forza del destino, I Pagliacci, L'Elisir d'amore and Un ballo in maschera. In addition to his operatic activities, José Carreras has given frequent recitals in the world's most famous halls. These include Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican and the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus of Vienna, the Berlin Philharmonie, Suntory Hall and the NHK Hall in Tokyo, the Grosses Festspielhaus of Salzburg, the Philharmonie and the Hercules Saal of Munich, the Palau de la Música of Barcelona, the Teatro Real of Madrid and the Accademia Santa Cecilia of Rome. His wide concert repertoire includes over 600 titles ranging from the baroque to contemporary music. José Carreras has performed the leading role in several operatic films for television, cinema and video, including La bohème, I Lombardi, Andrea Chenier, Turandot, Carmen, Verdi's Requiem, Don Carlo, La forza del destino, Steffelio, Fedora and Jerusalem. José Carreras also portrayed Julian Gayarre in the motion picture Romanza Final. In 1995 his video, A Life Story, was awarded an International Emmy Award. In 1990 in Rome, 1994 in Los Angeles and 1998 in Paris, with his colleagues Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras performed extraordinary concerts watched by audiences of over two billion people worldwide, which created an unprecedented impact in the world of opera. In 1992 he was engaged as Musical Director of the Olympic Games held in Barcelona. Among the numerous national and international prizes and distinctions that have been bestowed upon José Carreras are an Emmy Award, the Grand Prix du Disque, the Luigi Illica Prize, a Grammy Award, the Sir Lawrence Olivier Award for his performance of Stiffelio at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Kammersänger and Lifetime Honorary Member of the Vienna Staatsoper, Honorary Member of the London Royal Academy of Music, the Gold Medal of the New York Spanish Institute, the Gold Medal of the City of Vienna, the Gold Medal of Fine Arts from His Majesty the King of Spain, the Gold Medal of the City of Barcelona, the Gold Medal of the Generalitat of Catalunya, Prince of Asturias Award, Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Chevalier dans l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur de la République Française, Gran Croce di Cavaliere and Grande Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana, Grand Honour Award of the Austrian Republic, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and the Albert Schweitzer Music Award. Since 1988, in addition to his music activities, he has presided with total dedication and enthusiasm over the José Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation, established in Barcelona and with branches in the United States, Switzerland and Germany.