On November 21 at the Auditorio de Galicia, Pacho Flores and Manuel Hernández-Silva, together with the Royal Galician Philharmonia, will perform the absolute premiere of Danzas Latinas by Efraín Oscher, a new trumpet concert commissioned by the Royal Galician Philharmonia and dedicated to Pacho Flores. The same protagonists, Flores, Hernández-Silva and the RGP also with Leo Rondón, premiered at the same place in January 2018 Cantos y Revueltas, a ‘Fantasia concertante’ composed for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings, which will be presented these days in CD and DVD by Deutsche Grammophon, Pacho Flores’ label.
Danzas Latinas is a concert in five movements that, following its title, presents five corresponding dances of different origins: Bomba from Puerto Rico, an Argentinian Zamba, Samba brasileira, Bembé from Cuba and Milonga from Uruguay. For the performance of this concert Pacho will also use five different instruments: Soprano cornet in Eb (Bomba), Flugelhorn (Zamba), C Trumpet (Samba), D Trumpet (Bembé) and F cornet (Milonga). This work is part of the project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts by important composers such as Arturo Márquez, Paquito D’Rivera, Roberto Sierra, Christian Lindberg, Daniel Freiberg and Oscher himself, that was launched by Pacho Flores with the aim of expanding the solo trumpet and orchestra repertoire and involves orchestras from around the world such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Orquestra do Estado de São Paulo, Orquesta Nacional de México, Hyogo PAC in Japan, Royal Galician Philharmonia, Oviedo Filarmonia, Orchestra of Valencia, etc.
Efraín Oscher, Venezuelan flute player and composer of Uruguayan origins who currently lives in Bremen, knows very well what it means to compose for Pacho Flores’ trumpets, being the author of Concierto Mestizo, premiered in Caracas in 2010 by the Simón Bolívar Orchestra and Domingo Hindoyan -a work that Pacho has played more than thirty times all over the world-; of Barroqueana Venezolana nº 2, part of a series of four concerts in the style of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerts but from a Latin American point of view; or of Apex, double concert for clarinet and orchestra, premiered in August 2018 by Pacho together with clarinet player Matthias Schorn, the Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock and maestro Marcus Bosch.
Efraín Oscher on Danzas Latinas
Dances are generally associated with joy, happiness and merrymaking, just as dancing is synonymous with partying. The title Danzas Latinas instinctively evokes carnival scenes, couples dancing salsa, tango or merengue, but the reality is that dances and their respective dancing are an artistic medium to express a wide variety of feelings and emotions. In Latin America in particular, dances are present at all levels of society and associated with religious, political, romantic and intellectual aspects, thanks to the profound miscegenation that has taken place in the continent.
If we go back to the Baroque period we can find evidence of how dances, which have their roots in popular music, were developed by academic composers and taken to sublime levels, usually gathered in Suites. It is noticeable here that certain dances convey deep feelings, in contrast with those intended for the entertainment of the court: the sarabande or the pavane, for example, are used for funerary purposes.
Latin America has an enormous richness of dances. There is a great variety of folk dances that accompany the sumptuous and colorful dancing in processions, parades, parties, funerals as well as other dances intended for couples. Their ramifications according to the subject of their lyrics are incalculable and vary from the fiery political protest to the painful “resentment”, going through satire, romanticism and melancholy. A special mention must be made of the great influence that the music brought by the Africans during colonial times had in the development of dances throughout the continent.
Danzas Latinas for trumpet and orchestra was specially composed for Pacho Flores, who uses different instruments of the trumpet and cornet family, assigning a voice with a particular color to each of the pieces he plays. The work consists of five dances and each one of them is performed with a different instrument: Bomba de Puerto Rico with a cornet in Eb, Zamba de Argentina with the flugelhorn, Samba de Brasil with a C trumpet, Bembé de Cuba with a D trumpet and Milonga del Uruguay with an F cornet.
Bomba is one of the native rhythms of Puerto Rico whose origin dates back to colonial times and was created by slaves in sugarcane plantations. In its traditional form, this dance is characterized by the intricate conversation between the dancer, the drummer and the singer, which is reflected in the counterpoint of the first movement, Bomba de Puerto Rico. The chorus‑proclamation pattern can be heard towards the end, when the orchestra repeats a motif to which the soloist responds with an improvisation.
The gaucho is the protagonist of the second movement, Zamba de Argentina, whereas nostalgia is the predominant feeling. The immensity and loneliness of the pampas as well as the gaucho’s suffering expressed in the verses of Martín Fierro were the source of inspiration for this movement. The tempo of the Zamba is generally slow; it is an elegant dance for couples where both use a handkerchief. In this movement the beautiful sound of the four-piston flugelhorn, an instrument specially built for Pacho Flores with a wide and loud low range, can be fully appreciated.
One of the most internationally recognised Latin American musical genres is samba. Created in Brazil by African slaves, it is a syncopated rhythm accompanying a colorful dance that is the center of the biggest carnival celebrations in the world. Samba de Brasil, the third movement, offers the soloist not only the opportunity to show his technical skills but also his creativity by improvising on the harmonies.
The fourth movement, Bembé de Cuba, is a special tribute to Afro-Cuban music, which has had such an influence on the popular music of the Caribbean countries. The bembé encompasses ancestral African cultural elements that are still present in the Cuban culture nowadays, such as Santeria and the Yoruba language. The ostinato rhythm of bembé produces some sort of trance in the participants of Santeria rituals and this mystical element characterizes this movement. The improvisation on the choir‑proclamation pattern is also present in this dance, an expressive resource of which Pacho Flores knows how to take advantage.
Milonga de Uruguay closes the piece and provides the touch of humor that characterizes this native dance from Río de la Plata. A relative of tango and candombe, milonga shows the African influence in its rhythm, as well as the outgoing character of the Montevidean citizens in its playful melodies and virtuous passages. This movement offers a cheerful and festive ending, suitable for a work that travels with virtuosity through the emotions along the rich geography of Latin American dances.
Pacho Flores will make his debut with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic in two concerts with its principal conductor, Spanish Josep Caballé-Doménech. The concerts will take place on November 16 and 17 at the Pikes Peak Center with a program entitled “Free Spirit”, consisting of works by Gershwin and Ginastera, Concierto de Otoño by Arturo Márquez, the Aria de the Bachiana No. 5 by Villalobos, Morocota, a Venezuelan waltz by Pacho Flores himself, and Invierno, from the Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas by Astor Piazzolla.
Colorado Springs is already Pacho’s third visit to the US so far since the beginning of this intense season, which started with the premiere in Mexico of Concierto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera, with the Orquesta de Minería and Carlos Miguel Prieto, a historic evening during which Pacho played four trumpet concerts in the same program: Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño, which had been premiered a year earlier in the same country and with the same conductor but with the National Orchestra; the afore mentioned concert by D’Rivera; Crónicas Latinoamericanas by Daniel Freiberg; and Efraín Oscher’s Concierto Mestizo, a preamble of the album recorded with this same repertoire the following week.
Arturo Márquez, Paquito D’Rivera, Roberto Sierra, Christian Lindberg, Efraín Oscher and Daniel Freiberg
Pacho traveled afterwards to New Orleans to play with the Louisiana Philharmonic before visiting Poland to perform with the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, then to Switzerland to play with the Strasbourg Philharmonique and Kirill Karabits at the KKL in Lucerne, and then returned to the US to participate in the Latin American Festival of Fort Worth, Texas. After some master classes in Zurich, Pacho will travel to Bogota to perform with the Philharmonic Orchestra led by his friend, maestro Christian Vásquez, and from there he will head to Colorado Springs.
Pacho Flores and Paquito D’Rivera recording D’Rivera’s Concerto Venezolano
Pacho will after this return to the Royal Galician Philharmonia with Manuel Hernández-Silva for a double event, in which he will present Cantos y Revueltas, his fourth album for Deutsche Grammophon recorded live with this same orchestra and conductor, and also premiere Danzas Latinas, Efraín Oscher’s new concert dedicated to Pacho himself and which is part of the project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts that Pacho is promoting.
Arturo Sandoval. Foto: Ocesa
From there on await Brazil, France, Spain and the Liverpool Philharmonic for the premiere of Salseando by Roberto Sierra; Spain, a new visit to the United States, Mexico and the San Diego Symphony for a new premiere by Paquito D’Rivera; afterwards Tokyo, again Poland to perform with the National Radio Symphony of Poland and back to the US; then the ADDA orchestra in Spain to play Un Sueño Morisco, double concert for trumpet and trombone that Christian Lindberg wrote for Pacho and Ximo Vicedo, premiered this 2019 with the RTVE Orchestra; Argentina and Chile; a return to Spain for the European premiere of Arturo Sandoval’s Concert No. 1 with the Oquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and the absolute premiere of the ConciertoMambí by Igmar Alderete with the Orchestra of Cordoba; and from there to Canada before returning to Spain again for the European premiere of Concierto venezolano by D’Rivera with the Orchestra of Valencia under Vicent Alberola. Finally, Pacho will premiere next summer in Brazil Roberto Sierra’s Salseando, with the Orquetra Simfònica do Estado de São Paulo and Giancarlo Guerrero.
Pacho Flores debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg next Friday, September the 27th, at the KKL of Lucerne, with the Concerto for trumpet and orchestra by Henri Tomasi, conducted by Kirill Karabits. Pacho has just arrived from Cracow, where he played works by Lindberg, Piazzolla and Arturo Márquez with the Beethoven Academy Orchestra conducted by Lee Reynolds; and after Lucerne Pacho is going to Fort Worth, Texas, to participate in the Latin American Music Festival, organised by the Texas Christian University, where Pacho will teach, play recitals, chamber music and concert con orchestra .
Pacho Flores is a first-prize winner of the Maurice André International Competition, the world’s most important trumpet contest, as well as the first prize at the International Competition Philip Jones and First Prize at the International Competition Citta di Porcia. Recently he was awarded with the Gold Medal by the Global Music Awards for ENTROPÍA, his last recording for Deutsche Grammophon with guitar player Jesús ‘Pingüino’ González. A product of the ground-breaking ‘El Sistema’, he is becoming increasingly recognized for his outstanding performing and recording activity that spans the solo, chamber, and orchestral media. Equally at home in the classical and folk styles, Pacho captivates audiences with his energetic delivery and colourful tone.
D. Freiberg, A. Márquez, P. D’Rivera, P. Flores and C. M. Prieto during the recording of Mestizo for Deutsche Grammophon
His solo performances include appearances with orchestras such as Turku Philharmonic, Arctic Philharmonic, Norrköping Symphony, Norddeutschen Philharmonie Rostock, Salzburger Philharmoniker, Kiev Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Camerata, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, NHK Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic, Kymi Sinfonietta, Het Gelders Orchestra, Tucson Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, , Orquesta de RTVE, Hyogo PAC Orchestra, Sinfónica Nacional de México, Sinfónica Nacional de Puerto Rico, Filarmónica de Málaga, Sinfónica de Baleares, Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Sinfónica de Bilbao, Sinfónica de Tenerife, Stavanger Orchestra, Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Orquesta del Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires, Oviedo Filarmonía or Simón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela. In recital, he has performed in venues such as the New York Carnegie Hall, the Paris Salle Pleyel and the Tokyo Opera City. Next engagements include the, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Basel Symphonieorchester, Orchestre National de Lille, Sinfónica de Navarra, San Diego Symphony, National Orchestra of the Polish Radio, Sinfónica do Estado de São Paulo or Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
Pacho Flores and Paquito D’Rivera recording D’Rivera’s Concerto Venezolano
A founding member of the Venezuelan Simón Bolívar Brass Quintet, he has toured with the quintet extensively in Europe, South America, the United States, and Japan. An experienced orchestral musician, Mr. Flores has played first trumpet in the Simón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela, the Saito Kinen Orchestra, and the Miami Symphony, under the direction of Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle, Seiji Ozawa, Giusseppe Sinopoli, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and Gustavo Dudamel, among others. A founding director of the Latin American Trumpet Academy in Caracas, he mentors a promising generation of budding musicians and is a frequent guest at conservatories in Finland, Spain, France, Japan, and Latin America, as permanent jury member in prestigious international competitions. Pacho Flores is an avid champion of new music and is bringing about important innovations to trumpet performance and fabrication. His repertoire includes commissions and premieres of works by composers such as Roger Boutry, Efraín Oscher, Giancarlo Castro, Santiago Báez, Juan Carlos Nuñez, Sergio Bernal, Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra or Paquito D’Rivera. His first album La trompeta Venezolana has been released by the label GUATACA Producciones.
A Stomvi artist, he performs with instruments tailored specially for him by this prestigious firm and actively participates in the development and innovation of their instruments. Pacho Flores is a Deutsche Grammophon exclusive artist with already three recordings, Cantar, with Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin and Christian Vásquez; Entropía, Gold Medal of the Global Music Awards 2017 and Melómano de Oro; and Fractales, with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra and Christian Lindberg, Gold Medal of the Global Music Awards 2019. Next releases are Cantos y Revueltas, with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia and Manuel Hernández-Silva, and Mestizo, with the Sinfónica de Minería and Carlos MIguel Prieto.
Pacho Flores will play four trumpet concertos in the same concert.
Pacho Flores will premiere the Concierto Venezolano, by Paquito D’Rivera, with the Minería Symphony Orchestra and Carlos Miguel Prieto at the Palacio de Bellas Artes de México DF on September 1. This concert is the result of a commission shared between four orchestras that already has its first two premieres scheduled, because after Mexico it will be released in the US by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra with Rafael Payare. This commission is part of the large project of shared commissions that Pacho Flores is carrying on prominent composers such as Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Efraín Oscher, Christian Lindberg and Daniel Freiberg.
But the concert is not only news for the premiere of the Concierto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera as Pacho Flores will also play four trumpet concertos in the same session. The program begins with Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño, the first of the shared commission project concerts, which was recently premiered in Europe by the Oviedo Filarmonía and Lucas Macías, in the fourth commissioned orchestras engagement, and begin its public performance tour, precisely in Mexico with Carlos Miguel Prieto, the maestro who premiered it with the National Symphony exactly one year ago.
Paquito D’Rivera and Pacho Flores at the Stomvi factory working on the Concierto Venezolano
After Danzón nº 2 by Márquez, Pacho returns to the scene to play the premiere of the night, the Concierto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera. After the break he will play Crónicas Latinoamericanas, by Daniel Freiberg, which premiered last January with the Het Gelders Orchestra and Christian Vásquez and after the Huapango de Moncayo, Pacho will return to the stage to deliver the fourth concert of the night, the Concierto Mestizo by Efraín Oscher, that he has already played over 30 times throughout the world.
It is a physical feat of more than an hour of solo trumpet music that will shortly be released in a new Pacho Flores album for Deutsche Grammophon, his exclusive label, also accompanied the Minería Symphony Orchestra and Carlos Miguel Prieto; but beyond an athletic demonstration, it is an important step forward in Pacho’s effort to expand the repertoire of solo trumpet and orchestra. The shared commission project includes new milestones such as premieres of Efraín Oscher’s Danzas Latinoamericanas by the Galician Royal Philharmonic and Manuel Hernández-Silva in November; and Salseando, Roberto Sierra’s new trumpet concerto, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Domingo Hindoyan in January 2020. After the concert, Pacho, Prieto and Minería Orchestra will record these concertos for Deutsche Grammophon.
Pacho Flores will premiere Arturo Sandoval’s Concerto for Trumpet No. 1 with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra under maestro Enrique Diemecke on July 11 at Teatro Colón. This concert has a peculiar history: Sandoval himself recorded it with the London Symphony for RCA-Victor in 1994; however, due to some problems with the location of the materials, he never performed it live. Years later, after meeting Pacho Flores and recovering some fragments of notes and other various materials, he decided to give them to Pacho so that he could revise them —practically reconstruct the concert— and premiere it. This gesture shows the excellence of a living legend of the trumpet by ackknowledge the talent of a young artist, thus recalling the great Dizzi Gillespie when he gave young Sandoval a trumpet with the inscription “To my son”. Arturo Sandoval is also the author of a second concert for trumpet and orchestra that he and Rubén Simeó, another great Spanish trumpet player, usually perform around the world.
This Concerto No. 1 by Arturo Sandoval that Pacho now adds to his repertoire enlarges the impressive list of new concerts that Pacho himself is promoting through his project of shared commissions for trumpet concerts, which is causing the greatest increase of the soloist repertoire for this instrument in all its history. Composers such as Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Christian Lindberg, Daniel Freiberg and Efraín Oscher participate in this project, and others like Giancarlo Castro, Alain Trudel and Igmar Alderete are also composing new concerts dedicated to Pacho Flores.
After this, the European premiere of Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño will take place on August 14 at Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo, with the Oviedo Filarmonía and Lucas Macías. This will be the fourth and last premiere after Mexico, USA and Japan with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Mexico under Carlos Miguel Prieto, Tucson Symphony Orchestra under José Luis Gómez, and Hyogo PAC Orchestra led by Michiyoshi Inoue, the four orchestras that commissioned this work. Only two weeks later, on September 1, will follow the premiere in Mexico of Paquito D’Rivera’s Concierto Venezolano by the Orquesta de Minería, again under Carlos Miguel Prieto, who has a great presence in this project by also scheduling Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño at the Opening Gala of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, of which he is principal conductor. D’Rivera’s Concierto Venezolano already has a second scheduled premiere with the San Diego Symphony under Rafael Payare in March 2020. For his part, Manuel Hernández-Silva will conduct the premiere of the new trumpet concert by Efraín Oscher next November with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, and we will not have to wait long for the premiere of Roberto Sierra’s Salseando by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Domingo Hindoyan in January 2020.