Pacho Flores makes his debut with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra under the baton of its Chief Conductor José Luis Gómez for the US premiere of Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño on January 25 and 27. This is the second premiere following that of last September by the National Orchestra of Mexico and itsChief Conductor, Carlos Miguel Prieto, and pending in Asia are premieres by the Orchestra of the Center of Performing Arts of Hyogo with Michiyoshi Inoue next May, and the European premiere, which will close the cycle next August with the Oviedo Filarmonía under its newChief Conductor Lucas Macías. This is what Maestro Márquez explains on his Concerto (video).
While this second premiere is still pending, other orchestras around the world have already scheduled the Concierto de Otoño to be performed twice during the 2019/20 in the USA, Colombia, where it will be premiered in South America, and three times in Spain before being premiered in France, the UK, Germany and Canada, meaning that in just two seasons, in addition to the four premieres resulting from the commission, it will have been the subject of more than two dozen performances, always, of course, by Pacho Flores.
This commission is part of an ambitious project of shared commissions launched by Pacho Flores himself in order to expand the repertoire of trumpet and orchestra and is the first of six commissions to composers Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín Oscher, Christian Lindberg and Daniel Freiberg, in which ten other orchestras from around the world are already involved for their premieres over the coming seasons. All the concerts resulting from this project will increase the discography of Pacho Flores on his exclusive label Deutsche Grammophon.
In parallel with this project Pacho Flores continues to receive dedications of new concerts and perform absolute premieres. Over the last year Pacho has premiered his own work, Cantos y revueltas (January 2018, Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Manuel Hernández-Silva); the concert Stunning Trumpet by Giancarlo Castro (February 2018, Ulster Orchestra, Rafael Payare); Preach pour trompette et orchestre by Alain Trudel (March 2018, Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, Alain Trudel); Double concerto for clarinet and trumpet (August 2018, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Markus Bosch, with Matthias Schorn) and Latin American Chronicles by Daniel Freiberg (January 2019, Het Gelders Orkest, Christian Vasquez); and the new Double Concierto for Trumpet and Trombone by Christian Lindberg (March 2019, Orchestra of the Spanish Radio and Television, Christian Lindberg, with Ximo Vicedo) and the Concierto for trumpet no. 1 by Arturo Sandoval (July 2019, Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra, Enrique Diemecke). (Translation: John Eastham)
Toward the end of the stunning virtuosic finale of Arturo Marquez’s Autumn Concerto, Venezuela-born trumpeter Pacho Flores took a breath to blurt out “Gracias Arturo!”. Moments later he turned toward Tucson Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Lauren Roth and blew a couple quick bursts that sounded like a kiss. We’re not positive, but it looked like Roth blushed.
As the audience of nearly 1,700 stood on its feet applauding and showering Flores with shouts of “Bravo”, TSO Music Director José Luis Gomez slipped backstage and returned with Marquez. It’s not often that an audience gets to meet the man behind the music, but Marquez made the trip from Mexico last weekend as part of the festivities surrounding the American premiere of his concerto.
Tucson is one of four orchestras around the world that co-commissioned Marquez to write the work for Flores, the internationally celebrated trumpet player. The premiere was the focal point of last weekend’s “Fresh Music, Copland and More” concerts that included a moving multimedia tribute to the orchestra on its 90th anniversary to a soundtrack of Copland’s “Our Town” suite and an invigorating performance of Bernstein’s beastly Overture to “Candide.”
Autumn Concerto represents Mexican classical music in all its wonderful colors and textures, from the opening percussion and trumpet mariachi rumble to the soulful nods to Mexican folk tunes and American jazz. Flores brought along four trumpets for the work, switching with each movement, and his articulation on each was so crisp that he stood out as a distinctive voice even when the strings soared and the percussion rumbled. In the blistering finale where Marquez puts the biggest spotlight on the soloist, Flores made the virtuosic acrobatics look like a casual stroll on a sunny afternoon. His fingers danced along the valves as he blew out warm, muscular notes all without taking a breath for several minutes. Heck, we were winded just watching him.
The Autumn Concerto was one of two that Flores performed with the orchestra, which in itself is a rarity. Usually a soloist joins the orchestra for one piece and then performs a short encore. Flores started his night with Neruda’s Trumpet Concerto for strings and trumpet, another first for the TSO which had never before programmed the piece. Call the Neruda a tantalizing appetizer for Flores’s main course, the Marquez. We got a glimpse of Flores’s virtuosity and his musicality especially in the lush solo finale. For an encore, Flores performed Invierno Porteño from Astor Piazzolla’s Estaciones Porteñas.
Gomez and the orchestra started the concert with a spirited performance of Mozart’s plain-out fun and flirty Overture to “The Abduction from the Seraglio.” Also on the program: Copland’s popular Four Dance Episodes from “Rodeo.”
On September the 7th and 9th, Pacho Flores will play the first of four premieres of Arturo Marquez‘s new Concierto de Otoñofor trumpet and orchestra, with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico and its Chief Conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico D. F. This premiere is the result of a shared commission between the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Hyogo PAC Orchestra (Japan) and the Oviedo Filarmonía (Spain).
The four premieres will take place as follows:
September, 7/9, 2018 – National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, conductor, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico DF
January, 25/27, 2019 – Tucson Symphony Orchestra, conductor, José Luis Gómez, Tucson Music Hall
May, 24/25/26, 2019 – Hyogo PAC Orchestra (Japan), conductor, Michiyoshi Inoue; Hyogo Performing Arts center
Arturo Márquez (Álamos, Sonora, 1950) is without discussion the most important Mexican composer alive. He wrote masterpieces such as Danzón nº2 (1994) or Conga del Fuego (2005), which gave him international relevance. He joins a distinguished lineage of Mexican composers like Silvestre Revueltas or Carlos Chávez, who based their music on the traditions and genres of Mexican popular music. Maestro Márquez was given the Prize of the Fine Arts by the Mexican Government in 2009.
The Concierto de Otoño (Autumn Concerto) is 16 minutes long and was composed between January – June of 2018. It has three movements: Son de luz, Balada de floripondios and Conga de Flores, and requires the use of four trumpets: trumpet in C in the first; flugelhorn and Hornet in F in the second; and trumpet in D in the third. Even before its first premiere, several orchestras have already shown interest in programming the piece once the four premieres would be done by each of the four commissioning orchestras.
Pacho Flores. Project of shared commissions
This premiere is the first of an ambitious project by Pacho Flores to create shared commissions spanning across several seasons that extend the repertoire of solo trumpet and orchestra. In addition to Arturo Márquez, four prominent composers such as Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín Oscher and Christian Lindberg, have joined Pacho in this project.
Left to right and top to bottom: Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín OScher and Christian Lindberg
Orchestras from all around the world (Puerto Rico, Brazil, Mexico, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain…) are joining this project, which, at its end, will have reunited twenty orchestras and thus, the same number of premieres. Besides leading this project, Pacho Flores is also premiering new trumpet concertos and beginning a career as a composer. Between his last and next premieres we can mention:
Pacho Flores: Cantos y revueltas (11/12/13 January 2018, Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Manuel Hernández-Silva)
Giancarlo Castro: Trumpet concerto(23 February 2018, Ulster Orchestra, Rafael Payare).
Alain Trudel: Preach, pour trompette et orchestre (14 March 2018, Orch. Symphonique de Laval, Alain Trudel)
Efraín Oscher: Apex, double concerto for clarinet and trumpet (29 August 2018, Matthias Schorn, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Marcus Bosch)
Daniel Freiberg: Latin American Chronicles Concerto (4/5/6 January 2019, Het Gelders Orkest, Christian Vásquez)
Christian Lindberg: Double concerto for trumpet and trombone (21/22 March 2019, Orquesta de RTVE, Christian Lindberg; Ximo Vicedo, trombone).