The American premiere of Pacho Flores’ work Cantos y Revueltas. Fantasia Concertante for trumpets, Venezuelan cuatro and strings with the Bolívar Phil and cuatro player Héctor Molina under maestro Carlos Riazuelo will take place next June 30 at 11:00 am at the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center in Miami. Cantos y Revueltas was premiered on January 11, 2018 at the Auditorio de Galicia in Santiago de Compostela with the Royal Philharmonic of Galicia and two other Venezuelans —conductor Manuel Hernández-Silva and cuatro player Leo Rondón—, to great success from both audience and critics. This premiere was recorded in audio and video and will be the central piece of the next album by Pacho Flores, a double CD/DVD for Deutsche Grammophon that will be coming soon. However, this isn’t Pacho’s first composition, since other works such as Morocota or Labios Vermelhos were already part of his album ENTROPÍA.
Image of the premiere of Cantos y Revueltas, Flores, Rondón, Hernández-Silva and the RFG. Copyright: RFG
Pacho Flores is playing this week with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria, a program that includes Akban Bunka by Christian Lindberg —appearing in FRACTALES, his last album for DG so far— and Concierto Mestizo by Efraín Oscher. He will perform the same repertoire the following week at the 11º Conference of the Brazilian Association of Trumpeters in Campinas.
Flores will then return to Europe to perform Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto and Lindberg’s Akban Bunka with the Sinfonieorchester Basel led by Michal Nesterowicz. After this American premiere in Florida, Cantos y Revueltas will then head for the Southern Cone for another historical premiere in Argentina: the performance by the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra under Enrique Diemecke of Arturo Sandoval’s Trumpet Concerto No. 1 for the first time since its composition 25 years ago. It will take place on July 11 at Teatro Colón.
Pacho Flores faces the Asian premiere of Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de otoño with the Hyogo PAC Orchestra of Japan under Michiyoshi Inoue, that will take place on 24, 25 and 26 May. The concert was previously premiered by the National Orchestra of Mexico under Carlos Miguel Prieto (watch video) and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra under José Luis Gómez, with extraordinary success. The European premiere by the Oviedo Filarmonía and its new principal conductor Lucas Macías will close the round of premieres on 14 August. This concert has attracted the interest of many orchestras and has already been scheduled for the 19/20 and 20/21 seasons in the United States, Colombia, Spain, France, England, Canada and Australia, adding up to 30 performances only in its first three years. Some of them are the Opening Night Gala of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, with C. M. Prieto; Filarmónica de Bogotá (Colombian premiere), Christian Vásquez; Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Josep Caballé Doménech; Real Filharmonía de Galicia, with Manuel Hernández-Silva, together with the absolute premiere of Efraín Oscher’s new Trumpet concerto; Orchestre National de Lille (French premiere), Josep Vicent; Winnipeg Symphony (Canadian premiere), José Luis Gómez; Liverpool Philharmonic (UK premiere), Domingo Hindoyan, together with the Concierto Salseando by Roberto Sierra, UK premiere as well; Orquesta de Córdoba, Carlos Domínguez-Nieto, together with the absolute premiere of Concierto Mambí by Igmar Alderete; and some other orchestras to be announced.
The commission is part of an ambitious Project of Shared Commissions launched by Pacho Flores himself in order to enlarge the trumpet and orchestra repertoire. It is the first of six commissions to composers Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efrain Oscher, Christian Lindberg and Daniel Freiberg, involving orchestras from all around the world to premiere these works over the coming seasons. All the concerts resulting from this project will increase Pacho Flores’ discography on his label Deutsche Grammophon.
After its premiere in Liverpool, Salseando will later be premiered in Brazil and other two countries. The Concierto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera will also be premiered on 2 September 2019 in Mexico (orchestra and conductor to be announced soon), and afterwards in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom.
In parallel, Pacho Flores continues receiving new concert dedications and performing premieres. Only during 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, Orchester Symphonique de Laval, Alain Trudel); Double concerto for clarinet and trumpet (August 2018, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Markus Bosch); Latin American Chronicles by Daniel Freiberg (January 2019, Het Gelders Orkest, Christian Vásquez); and the new Double concert for trumpet and trombone by Christian Lindberg (March 2019, RTVE Orchestra, Ximo Vicedo and Christian Lindberg); and he plans to premiere the Trumpet Concerto No. 1 by Arturo Sandoval (July 2019, Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra, Enrique Diemecke).
Pacho Flores, Ximo Vicedo and the Orquesta Sinfónica RTVE will premiere Un Sueño Morisco, double concerto for trumpet, trombone and orchestra by Christian Lindberg, next 21 and 22 March at Teatro Monumental in Madrid. Pacho Flores and Christian Lindberg, who will also conduct on this occasion, have a long history of collaborations, being the most recent the recording of FRACTALES, Pacho Flores’ latest album for Deutsche Grammophon with the Arctic Philharmonic, with a European tour that went through Bodø and Tromsø in Norway, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and ended at the ADDA in Alicante. FRACTALES includes Lindberg’s concert Akban Bunka, among other works.
In Lindberg’s words about Un Sueño Morisco: “I took this opportunity to really challenge the soloists. Both the trumpet part and the trombone part are extremely virtuosic. When I saw the trombone part, I thought: ‘My God, this is even going to be hard for me to play!’ It takes a lot of practice. And the trumpet part… Of course Pacho can do anything, so I challenged him really well. But it’s also a piece that has the Spanish soul. I’ve always loved going to Spain to give concerts there, and I also have many memories from the time I was on holiday in Seville, Cordoba, Granada, when I visited the Alhambra. There is an exotic flavour in all these landscapes… And I think I included part of that in this piece.”
Christian Lindberg is one of the six composers engaged in the project of shared commissions that Pacho Flores is carrying out by commissioning new concerts for trumpet and orchestra. The premiere will take place in Stockholm in September 2021. As part of this project, Concierto de otoño by Arturo Márquez has already been premiered in Mexico (Orquesta Nacional, Carlos Miguel Prieto) and the US (Tucson Symphony, José Luis Gómez), it will continue in Japan next May (Hyogo Pac Orchestra, Michiyoshi Inoue) and finish in August with the European premiere by Oviedo Filarmonía under Lucas Macías. Next premiere tours include composers Paquito D’Rivera, Roberto Sierra, Efraín Oscher and Daniel Freiberg.
Pacho Flores will make his debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on 9 March under the direction of Holly Mathieson, performing some Latin American classics such as Piazzolla, Villalobos or Paquito D’Rivera. On the following day, he will have a meeting with members of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and perform as soloist in a concert led by Simon Emery; on 11 March he will take part in a workshop and concert with the Children’s Orchestra. These activities are part of In Harmony’s 10th Birthday celebrations, the RLPO social programme inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, where Pacho himself started. This first contact will also have its reflection in the 19/20 Season, as the RLPO is one of the orchestras engaged in the Project of Shared Commissions Pacho Flores is carrying out by commissioning a new trumpet concert to composer Roberto Sierra, together with other orchestras.
Pacho will afterwards continue with his busy schedule with the absolute premiere of Un Sueño Morisco, double concert for trumpet, trombone and orchestra by Christian Lindberg, together with trombonist Ximo Vicedo, the RTVE Orchestra and Lindberg himself as conductor; his return to the Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga; master classes and recitals in Tampere and Helsinki, including an absolute premiere of Tuomas Turriago; the Japan premiere of Concierto de Otoño by Arturo Márquez as part of the project of shared commissions, with the Hyogo PAC Orchestra and Michiyoshi Inoue; the season closing of the Stavanger Orchestra with Christian Vásquez; Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria with Dmitri Liss; Basel Symphonieorchester with Michał Nesterowicz; absolute premiere of Concierto n.º 1 by Arturo Sandoval with the orchestra of Teatro Colón and Enrique Diemecke; and the European premiere of Concierto de Otoño by Arturo Márquez with the Oviedo Filharmonía and Lucas Macías, which closes the series of commissioned premieres.
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.”