The US premiere of Concerto Venezolano, by Paquito D’Rivera, will take place next February 25 and 26 at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa and the San Diego Civic Theatre, respectively, and on March 2 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Springs, with trumpeter Pacho Flores and the San Diego Symphony conducted by Rafael Payare. After the premieres of Concerto Venezolano in Mexico (Orquesta de Minería under Carlos Miguel Prieto), the United Kingdom (Liverpool Philharmonic under Domingo Hindoyan) and Spain (Orquesta de Valencia under Hernández-Silva), this US premiere with the San Diego Symphony and Rafael Payare puts an end to the round of premieres by the orchestras that participated in the shared commission. During his stay in San Diego, Pacho Flores will also offer a chamber music recital with musicians from the orchestra.
The concerts of this project of shared commissions are specifically written for the extraordinary conditions of Pacho Flores and the varied instruments provided by the Valencian house STOMVI, which has developed new four-piston prototypes in new keys that greatly expand the tessitura and range of colors and timbres of this instrument, and, therefore, also the expressive possibilities it offers to the soloist. As an example, this is the list of instruments that would be needed to face the complete cycle of new concerts: Trumpets in B flat, C and D, cornets in F, B flat and E flat, soprano cornets in F, G and A, and, of course, a flugelhorn in B flat, which is, at the express request of Pacho, present in all of these new works.
Pacho Flores with Vicente Honorato, General Director of STOMVI
An important detail to highlight about this project is that these works remain permanently in Pacho’s repertoire. Márquez’s concert, for example, has had further premieres in Poland, Colombia, France, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic after the first premieres by the orchestras that participated in the initial commission, and has been programmed especially in the US (Louisiana, Colorado, Maine, Buffalo, Ohio), Spain (Galicia, Navarra, Cordoba) or Chile, with a total of more than 30 performances in just four years, and this in the midst of a global pandemic. The Concerto Venezolano will be soon performed in Spain by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (Prieto) and the Gran Canaria Philharmonic (Hernández-Silva), and in France by the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine with Hernández-Silva, as well as in future seasons in the US, Sweden and again in Spain.
D. Freiberg, A. Márquez, P. D’Rivera, P. Flores and C. M. Prieto during the recording of Mestizo for Deutsche Grammophon
The Concerto Venezolano was recorded the same week of its premiere in Mexico in 2019, together with that of Arturo Márquez and two other concerts by composers who also participate in this project —not the works belonging to the project but rather previous ones: Concierto Mestizo de Efraín Oscher, premiered a decade ago (Caracas, 2010) with Bolívar and Hindoyan, and Crónicas Latinoamericanas by Daniel Freiberg, which is really an adaptation for trumpets of a concert originally written for clarinet by Paquito D’Rivera and premiered by the WDR Funkhausorchester and Wayne Marshall. The trumpet version was premiered by the Het Gelders Orkest from the Netherlands, conducted by Christian Vásquez. The release of this album was delayed by the pandemic, but it will finally be presented in the summer of 2022 and will be the 6th in Pacho’s discography (the 5th for Deutsche Grammophon) after Cantar (2016), Entropía (2017), Fractales ( 2018) and Cantos y revueltas (2019). Pacho also appears as a guest soloist on several of Christian Lindberg’s recordings and acts as producer and conductor on the album Egregore, by trumpeter Fabio Brum for Naxos.
Marina Heredia returns to the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, conducted by José Trigueros, to perform once again the program they offered last December in Santiago, A Coruña and Ourense, which will now be presented at the Círculo de las Artes in Lugo next Wednesday 23 February, and at the Teatro Afundación in Pontevedra on Thursday, 24 February. The program includes a selection of Canciones Españolas Antiguas, compiled and harmonized by Federico García Lorca and orchestrated by the conductor himself, and the brief intervention of El corregidor y la molinera, by Manuel de Falla.
Marina Heredia is one of the most internationally requested cantaoras to perform El Amor Brujo by Manuel de Falla. She has worked, among others, with the San Francisco and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, both under Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, with whom she has also recorded it for Harmonia Mundo with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. In France he has sung it with the Rouen Opera and the Orchestre National de Lille, both times under Josep Vicent, and she has more recently performed it in Spain at the Úbeda International Music and Dance Festival with the RTVE Orchestra led by Manuel Hernández-Silva, with whom she had already participated in a superb production by La Fura dels Baus at the Granada Festival.
In two weeks she will sing it again with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Pablo Heras-Casado in two iconic German halls such as the Philharmonie and the Konzerthaus, and shortly afterwards with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música conducted by Stefan Blunier. In the 2022/23 season, Marina will be a resident artist in the subscription series of a German orchestra to be announced in due course. During this artistic residency, Marina will perform El Amor Brujo as well as the world premiere of a work commissioned by the orchestra and composed specifically for her by a Spanish composer. She will also offer a flamenco concert with her company and an informal chamber music concert with musicians from the orchestra, which will include fragments of her last album, CAPRICHO.
Perry So returns to the San Francisco Symphony on February 11 and 12 to conduct an original program in which all the works will be performed by the orchestra for the first time. This program of San Francisco Symphony premieres opens with with Bounce!!, by Texuu Kim. Pipa virtuoso Wu Man will then join the orchestra for the Concerto for Pipa with String Orchestra by Lou Harrison, which will be followed by Nim,by Younghi Pagh-Paan, and The Age of Birds, by Takashi Yoshimatsu. The program closes with Zhou Long’s lively The Rhyme of Taigu, celebrating the energy and spirit of Japanese Taiko drumming. This concert is a recovery of the one scheduled for February 12 and 13, 2021, which was canceled due to the pandemic that has overcome us for the past two years.
Perry So’s debut with the San Francisco Symphony also took place in the month of February 2020 (February is definitely Perry’s month in San Francisco). On that occasion, the event celebrated the Year of the Mouse with a Chinese New Year Concert in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Symphony’s signature heritage event, which bridges East and West traditions with the universal language of music. The annual event is an elegant and colorful celebration of the Lunar New Year, drawing upon vibrant Asian traditions, past and present. Conductor Perry So made his San Francisco Symphony debut leading the orchestra in a program with traditional folk music and works by Asian composers, including the U.S. premiere of Huang Ruo’s Folk Songs for Orchestra and Bright Sheng’s Red Silk Dance.
Perry So will soon return to Spain to conduct the Symphony Orchestra of the Principality of Asturias with pianist Nikolai Luganski, in a program that includes Medtner’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor “Ballade”, Op. 60, and Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61.
Christian Vásquez is at the Opéra National de Paris assisting Gustavo Dudamel in the eleven performances of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro that have been taking place at the Palais Garnier since last January 21. Immediately afterwards, Christian Vásquez will return to Spain to conduct the Navarre Symphony Orchestra in a program consisting of the Concierto-capriccio for harp and orchestra by Xavier Montsalvatge, featuring the Sevillian harpist Cristina Montes Mateo, and Brahms’s Symphony No. 3. Later this season he will return again to our country to conduct the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra and his good friend Pacho Flores, whom he will lead in the world premiere of the Concierto para fliscorno, by the trumpeter himself, and Danzas Latinas, by Efraín Oscher, as well as Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64.
Christian Vásquez was Music Director of the Teresa Carreño Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and the and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, as well as Principal Guest Conductor of the Het Gelders Orkest and the Gävle Symfoniorkester. He has worked with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Vienna Radio Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, State Symphony of Russia, Tokyo Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Sinfónica de Galicia, Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Warsaw Beethoven Festival, Turku Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Poznan Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orquesta Nacional de México, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Münchner Philharmoniker, Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Danish Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra or RTE National Symphony. Christian’s first opera engagement in Europe was at the Norwegian Opera with Carmen. In North America, he has conducted the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa) and Los Angeles Philharmonic, the latter during his participation in their Young Artist Fellowship Program.
Christian Vásquez began to study violin at the age of eight years in San Sebastián de los Reyes (Aragua State). In 2006 he started his studies in orchestra conducting under the direction of Jose Antonio Abreu and was appointed Musical Director of the Sinfónica Juvenil José Félix Ribas, at the Aragua State.