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.
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 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.”
ONE: this is a brilliant program. Two brass concerti, featuring Venezuelan super-virtuoso Pacho Flores, and two popular Aaron Copland works, were bookended by sublime overtures by Mozart and Bernstein. ONE-A: a surprising common musical thread weaves its way through Mozart’s Overture to ‘The Abduction from the Seraglio’, the ‘Concerto for Corno da Caccia’, by J.B.G. Neruda (a contemporary of Bach and Mozart), and the first movement of the new Arturo Márquez ‘Concerto for Trumpet‘ – a sustained, repeated melodic syncopation. The TSO Music Director, José Luis Gomez, is a sly one!
Copyright: Steven Gendel
TWO: this performance by Pacho Flores was a soulful and energetic gift to this audience. His tone, articulations, and musicality are masterly, while his virtuosity is both easy and mesmerizing. TWO-A: the Marquéz Concerto, written specifically for Pacho, covers a vast array of styles, and utilizes a different type of “corno” instrument for each movement. The finale, a virtuosic masterpiece, was given a BLISTERING, ear-opening performance by Pacho Flores – worth the price of admission alone. Even the (infamously sleepy) Tucson classical concert crowd was wowed to ovation. TWO-B: Señor Flores has a decidedly humorous side to his stage presence. To whit: solo brass performances always contain the necessary act of emptying the spit valves on the instrument. In the Neruda concerto, Pacho, large in physical stature, went through this routine with his miniature horn, emptying one valve, then holding the instrument above head level, to blow the saliva out of the second valve. Every player must engage in this chore, yet repeatedly executed, directly in front of the audience under spotlight, almost became a comic relief act during the beautifully and generously performed concerto. When, at the the end of the Márquez concerto, and again after the accompanied encore, Pacho tooted a spoiler note towards his comrade in arms, José Luis, the complete picture of his honest, open, and lovable joviality was complete. Great musicianship and fun showmanship all around! As composer Marquéz, who was here for this premier, came to the stage, a heart-warming, congratulatory celebration ensued between these three latin musical stars. What a treat for both the audience the orchestra!
The second half opened — accompanied by the orchestra playing Copeland’s familiar ‘Our Town’ — with a splendid photographic presentation, projected above the Music Hall stage,of the history of the TSO, now in its 90th year, and other events and places in this city’s storied cultural history. A very moving experience for everyone in attendance. The second half feature, the ever-popular ‘Four Selections From Rodeo’ by Copeland, and especially Bernstein’s virtuoso circus for orchestra, A.K.A. ‘The Overture to Candide’, were given, on this night, top notch execution and interpretation. These closing pieces, again, as we have come to expect, showed off the beautiful marriage of this orchestra and its Music Director. This is a fine, fun, and talented ensemble, whose love for its conductor is expressed in how well they respond to his exuberant, expressive direction. It is obvious, watching and listening, that this immense positive energy overflows in both directions. This longish program, was yet satisfying every joyful step of the way. Bravi, tutti!
Friday night, 25 January 2019, Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Fresh Music, Copland and More’ Classic concert: