Pacho Flores and Hernández-Silva return together to the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra for a program that includes the Concerto for corno da caccia, by J. B. G. Neruda, the Colombian premiere of Cantos y Revueltas by Pacho Flores himself, which both artists recorded for the Deutsche Grammophon label, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4. It will be on Friday, April 26. Previously, Pacho Flores will be the only protagonist in a concert in which he will appear as player and conductor of the Brass Ensemble of the Bogotá Philharmonic. The program will present, together with works by Copland and Dukas and arrangements of works by Gershwin, Sarasate, Piazzolla and Pacho Flores himself, the absolute premiere of Musas y Resuello, Symphonic movement for brass ensemble and percussion, a piece commissioned by the Bogotá Philharmonic to the Spanish-Venezuelan trumpeter. This concert will take place on Friday, April 17, after a week in which Pacho Flores will participate in various educational activities and a masterclasses.
Pacho Flores and Hernández-Silva have just recently presented Cantos y Revueltas together with the Orquesta de Extremadura, a concert that the Scherzo magazine collaborator Justo Romero defined as overwhelming, luminous and radiant: “The confluence of three Venezuelan talents such as conductor Manuel Hernández- Silva (…), trumpet player Pacho Flores (can someone play better?) and the virtuoso of the Venezuelan cuatro Leo Rondón (eighth notes and rhythm in vein) turned the tenth subscription program of the Extremadura Orchestra into a feast for the senses in which music was happiness and emotion. Overwhelming, yes, but, above all, joyous and brimming with art, inspiration, talent and fine quality.”
Both artists have a dense history of collaborations full of memorable evenings, such as the premiere of Cantos y Revueltas with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, whose live recording was later published as an album and led to further presentations with the orchestras of Malaga, Navarre, Murcia or the above mentioned Extremadura, but also the premieres of Danzas Latinas by Efraín Oscher (RFG) and Salseando by Roberto Sierra (OSRM), or the memorable version of the Concierto de otoño by Arturo Márquez (RFG). Still ahead are new premieres of works by composers such as Daniel Freiberg with the Arctic Philharmonic, Roberto Sierra with the Orchestra National de Bordeaux Aquitaine, and the Concerto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera with a Spanish orchestra to be soon announced.
Christian Vásquez opens the Tongyeong Festival in South Korea on March 26 with a program that includes Fanfare & Memorial (1979), by Korean composer Isang Yung, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, with Bomsori Kim as soloist, and Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47 by Dmitri Shostakovich. Two days later, on March 28, he will conduct again the Tongyeong Festival Orchestra in a program that includes the Asian premiere of Fazil Say’s Cello Concerto Never Give Up, with Camille Thomas as soloist, and the Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88 by Antonin Dvořâk. Christian Vásquez has recently conducted two great concerts with the Symphony Orchestra of the Principality of Asturias, and upon his return from Korea he will once again conduct the Stavanger Symphony in Norway.
Christian Vásquez is Musical Director of the Teresa Carreño Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, which he conducted on a remarkable European tour that took them to London, Lisbon, Toulouse, Munich, Stockholm and Istanbul. He was Principal Conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra from 2013 to 2019 and Principal Guest Conductor of the Het Gelders Orkest from 2015 to 2020, a position that he began with a Latin program on a tour around The Netherlands. Following his debut with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra in October 2009, one of his first appearances in Europe, Christian Vásquez was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the orchestra (2010-2013). He has worked with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Salzburg Camerata, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic or Singapore Symphony Orchestra. In North America he has conducted the National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa) and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, during his participation in their Young Artist Fellowship program.
He has conducted orchestras such as the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Sinfónica de Galicia, Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Beethoven Festival Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Radio Symphony Orchestra of Prague, Poznan Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Mexican National Symphony Orchestra, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Gran Canaria Philharmonic and the Estonian National Orchestra. His first operatic engagement in Europe was at the Norwegian Opera with Carmen.
Cantos y Revueltas will be presented by the Extremadura Symphony Orchestra with its original cast of soloists and conductor —Pacho Flores, Leo Rondón and Manuel Hernández-Silva— on March 11 and 12. After its premiere in Santiago, Vigo and A Coruña with the orchestra Real Filharmonía de Galicia, and the recording of the concerts that led to a double CD/DVD released by Pacho’s label, Deutsche Grammophon, Cantos y Revueltas has been performed, always with this trio of artists, in Murcia (Murcia Region Symphony), Andalusia (Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra), and Pamplona (Navarre Symphony Orchestra).
Cantos y Revueltas had its American premiere in Miami with the Bolívar Philharmonic Orchestra and cuatro soloist Héctor Molina under Carlos Riazuelo, and later in Mexico, with the Jalisco Philharmonic led by Jesús Medina and Héctor Molina again. After this presentation with the Extremadura Symphony Orchestra, Cantos y Revueltas will be performed again in Colombia, Mexico, Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as in other Spanish cities yet to be announced.
In parallel to Cantos y Revueltas, Pacho Flores continues with his project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts to distinguished composers such as Arturo Márquez, Paquito D’Rivera, Roberto Sierra, Christian Lindberg, Efraín Oscher and Daniel Freiberg. New premieres are scheduled both for the current as well as for next season, before starting a third phase of commissions that will be announced in due course. After these concerts with the Extremadura Symphony Orchestra, Pacho Flores and Manuel Hernández-Silva will meet once again in Colombia with the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra, an event that will include a new American presentation of Cantos y Revueltas as well as the premiere of one of Pacho’s latest works, a Divertimento for brass ensemble, showing the growing attention that Pacho Flores is paying to his composer facet, and which will soon bring new important news.
Perry So returns to Spain to conduct again the Navarre Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of the Principality of Asturias and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. In Navarre, he will also have the participation of the Orfeón Pamplonés in a program including works for choir and orchestra by Brahms and the rarely programmed Symphony in C by Paul Dukas. Immediately after Navarre, Perry will join the OSPA, an orchestra with which he has a long history of collaborations, where he will conduct Nikolai Luganski in Medtner’s Concerto No. 3 and Tchaikovsky’s Pathetic Symphony. He will finish his Spanish tour in Tenerife, where he will conduct Pablo Ferrández with Tchaikovsky’s Rococó Variationsand Borodin’s Symphony No. 2. Perry should be conducting these days the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and then what would be his second appearance with the San Francisco Symphony, but both commitments postponed due to the COVID19 restrictions.
Perry So has worked, among others, with the Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras, the Houston, Detroit, New Jersey, Israel and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras, the Chinese Philharmonic and the Residentie Orkest in The Hague. He has been a frequent guest at the Walt Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl as a Dudamel Conducting Fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He conducted the Hong Kong Philharmonic with Lang Lang in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China at the closing of his four-year term as Associate Conductor, and led a tour of the Zagreb Philharmonic in the Balkan Peninsula.
Perry So received the First Prize and the Special Prize at the 5th Prokofiev International Conducting Competition in St. Petersburg. His recording of the Barber and Korngold violin concertos with Alexander Gilman and the Cape Town Philharmonic received the Diapason D’Or in January 2012. He has done many recordings with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC Concert Orchestra. He is known for the enormous variety of repertoire that he conducts, including numerous world premieres on four continents. He has directed productions of Cosí fan tutte, The Magic Flute, The Turn of the Screw, Giulio Cesare, Gianni Schicchi, and Die Fledermaus. His commitment to young people has led him to work with the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Round Top Festival, the Manhattan School of Music, the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and the Yale School of Music. He has also been assistant to Edo de Waart, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Lorin Maazel and John Adams. Born in Hong Kong, he holds a Degree in Comparative Literature from Yale University.
At the request of the Fundación Juan March, the Bretón Quartet will perform Conrado del Campo’s quartets No. 1 and 4 next Wednesday, 17 February. For the declamation of the text in Quartet No. 4, the poem A buen juez, mejor testigo by José Zorrilla, they will have the special collaboration of the actress Clara Sanchís. The Bretón Quartet is the Spanish quartet that has paid the most attention to Conrado del Campo in modern times, performing some of his quartets throughout the Spanish, French and German geography. Its commitment with the Spanish repertoire, and with Conrado del Campo in particular, has led some of the members of the Bretón Quartet to take care of the necessary transcriptions of the manuscripts so as to be able to perform them, in particular of quartets number 1 and 8. The work with No. 8 is a critical edition that resulted in an article written by cellist John Stokes and presented at the congress El Cuarteto de Cuerda en España de finales del s. XVIII a la actualidad, organized by the University of Granada.
This initiative involving the Bretón Quartet was developed by the Fundación March in collaboration with the CEDOA/SGAE, keeper of the Conrado del Campo fund, and the Spanish Society of Musicology. It entails, as above mentioned, the previous transcription and editing of the materials by a team of musicologists, and will result in the publication of all quartets composed by Conrado del Campo, thus remaining accessible to interpreters, since Conrado del Campo’s notation and, in some cases, the state of the materials, have often been a deterrent. This situation has led to one of the most important, if not the most important, legacy of a Spanish composer for string quartet being practically unknown not only to the general public but to the interpreters as well.
Upcoming engagements of the Breton Quartet include its participation as resident quartet in the Piano Competition “Premio Jaén”, in which they will accompany the semifinalists at the chamber repertoire; a concert in quintet together with the guitarist Miguel Trápaga at the Teatro Bulevar in Torrelodones; and a return to an important Spanish festival whose programme has not yet been announced. Its latest album is the one dedicated to Tomás Bretón’s Quartets No. 1 and 3, released by NAXOS last March.
Manuel Hernández-Silva returns to Pamplona to conduct Manon Lescaut, by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), in the Baluarte Lyrical Season with the collaboration of AGAO, Asociación Gayarre de Amigos de la Ópera. The performances will take place on February 5 and 7. Hernández-Silva will lead a first-rate cast with Ainhoa Arteta in the leading role of Manon Lescaut; Roberto Aronica as Renato des Grieux; José Antonio López, who plays Lescaut; Carlos Chausson as Geronte de Ravoir; and Pablo García-López in the role of Edmondo. The Navarra Symphony Orchestra, of which Hernández-Silva is Principal and Artistic Director, will be in the pit, and they will have the participation of the Lyric Choir of the Gayarre Friends of the Opera Association (AGAO).
A title much loved by Hernández-Silva, Manon Lescaut was Giacomo Puccini’s third opera and his first great success. Inspired by the homonymous novel by the Abbé Prévost, it is a very sensual and emotional work, faithful to the principles of verismo. It tells the tragic story of the courtesan Manon and the Chevalier Des Grieux. With the passionate and heartmoving music so characteristic of Puccini, the work has arias of undeniable beauty such as the famous ‘Sola, perduta, abbandonata’ and ‘Donna non vidi mai’.
Before this Manon Lescaut, Hernández-Silva had already conducted a concert version of Beethoven’s Fidelio at the opening of the OSN season, which he had previously done with great success at the Teatro Cervantes in Malaga in a production of the Teatro de la Maestranza with the stage direction of José Carlos Plaza and Berna Perles and César Gutiérrezin the main roles. Hernández-Silva also conducted Cosí fan tutte by Mozart in Málaga, as well as a still remembered production of Don Giovanni at the Gran Teatro de Córdoba, which he did later in a semi-staged version at the Quincena Musical in San Sebastián. Hernández-Silva recorded Haydn’s La vera costanza for the label Capriccio, with the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln and singers such as Paul Armin Edelmann, Chen Reiss, Reiner Trost, etc.