Pacho Flores conducts the absolute premiere of Leo Rondón’s Concierto del mar for Venezuelan cuatro and orchestra, with the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, on Sunday, April 24. This is probably the first or one of the first concerts for Venezuelan cuatro and orchestra ever written. The cuatro, a descendent of the guitar, smaller in size and with four strings (hence its name, cuatro), is an instrument of Venezuelan and Colombian popular music, although there are some differences between one and the other. In recent years and thanks to a brilliant generation of performers, among whom Leo Rondón stands out, this instrument has been gaining presence in the orchestral music scene. Pacho Flores himself gave it an important presence in his work Cantos y Revueltas, fantasia concertante for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings, in which Rondón was in charge of the cuatro solo part, and which both recorded together for Deutsche Grammophon with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia under Manuel Hernández-Silva.
Leo Rondón has a long history of collaborations and has worked with ensembles such as Quatuor Debussy, Christina Pluhar’s L’Arpeggiata or the Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón, as well as with orchestras such as the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestre National de l’Ile de France, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, Valencia Orchestra, Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Extremadura Symphony Orchestra, Navarre Symphony Orchestra, Tunisia Symphony Orchestra or the Malaga Philharmonic, and he will soon make his debut with the Gran Canaria Philharmonic, with future commitments in Sweden and Norway. Naturally, he also keeps one foot in traditional music, collaborating with the Alexis Cárdenas quartet and other ensembles. Concierto del mar is his first symphonic work.
Pacho, for his part, has already some experience as a conductor and he is increasingly delving deeper into this facet. He has conducted the International Trumpet Guild Festival Orchestra in San Antonio, Texas; the Kammerensemble Konsonanz of Bremen in the recording of trumpeter Fabio Brum’s album EGREGORE for Naxos, in which he also acts as musical producer; or the Brass Ensemble of the Bogotá Philharmonic. Pacho is also an active composer. In addition to the aforementioned Cantos y Revueltas, other compositions include Musas y Resuello, for brass ensemble and percussion and premiered in Bogotá; Heterónimos, for trumpet and small orchestra, included in the album by Fabio Brum and which, together with Preludio y Fuga for strings, will have its absolute premiere at this concert in Murcia; or Albares, the new concerto for flugelhorn that will be premiered next April with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra under Christian Vásquez, in addition to other works recorded on his album ENTROPÍA such as Morocota,Labios vermelhos, etc.
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.
Soprano Berna Perles debuts at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in the role of Angustias de La Casa de Bernarda Alba by Miquel Ortega, conducted by the composer himself, together with Rubén Fernández-Aguirre and directed by Bárbara Lluch, which will be performed on the 10th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 18th, 20th and 22nd of November. She shares the limelight with Nancy Fabiola Herrera (Bernarda Alba), Carmen Romeu (Adela), Luis Cansino (Poncia), Carol García (Martirio), Marifé Nogales (Amelia), Belén Elvira (Magdalena), Milagros Martín (Maid) and the recent Premio Nacional de Teatro prizewiner Julieta Serrano as María Josefa.
The best of the night was Berna Perles, a delicate, lyrical and emotional Micaela, with an impeccable singing voice and great expressive sensitivity (Andrés Moreno, Diario de Sevilla)
The best voice of the night was the Micaela of the Malagueña Berna Perles: delicate, emotional, expressive and with clean projection (José Luis López, ABC de Sevilla)
Berna Perles was born in Malaga, where she obtained a Título Superior de Canto en el Conservatorio Superior de Música de Málaga con Matrícula de Honor y Premio Extraordinario Fin de Carrera – the highest awards. She studied a postgraduate course at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome and completed her training at the “Santa Cecilia” Opera Studio of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She then studied in Vienna with Glenys Linos, a disciple of Elvira Hidalgo. She has received master classes from Renata Scotto, Mirella Freni, Mariella Devia, Teresa Berganza, Monserrat Caballé, Isabel Rey and Carlos Álvarez.
Berna has been awarded prizes in numerous singing competitions (First Prize, “Muestra de Jóvenes Intérpretes de Málaga”, First Prize, “Juventudes Musicales de España”, First Prize “Nuevas Voces Ciudad de Sevilla”, First Prize “Concurso Internacional Mozart de Granada”, First Prize “Concurso Internacional de Canto de Logroño”) and finalist in many others (“Concurso Internacional de Canto de Toulouse”, “Concorso Lirico Internazionale Umberto Giordano“ “Concurso Internacional de Canto Manuel Ausensi”, “Concurso Internacional de Canto Villa de Colmenar Viejo”, “Concorso Lirico Internazionale di Portofino”). In 2016 she received the award for Best Musical Work of the Year in her hometown of Malaga.
His professional career has led him to perform, both in opera and zarzuela productions and in lyrical recitals, in theatres such as Teatro dell´opera (Rome), Auditorio Santa Cecilia (Rome), Konzerthaus (Vienna), Teatro Comunale (Bologna), Teatro Garibaldi (Lucera), Royal Opera (Versailles), Théâtre du Capitole (Toulouse), Opera de Massy, Le pin galant (Mérignac), Théâtre de Sète, Teatro Avenida (Buenos Aires), Le pin galant (Mérignac), Théâtre de Sète, Teatro Avenida (Buenos Aires).
He has sung under the baton of John Axelrod, Andrea Marcon, Giarcarlo Andretta, Dominique Rouis, Martin Mázik, Lorenzo Mariani, Edmon Colomer, Santiago Serrate, Pablo González, Mario Menicagli or Manuel Hernández-Silva and under the stage direction of Lindsay Kemp, Emilio Sagi, William Orlandi or Riccardo Canessa. Berna has played, among others, the roles of First Lady and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Contessa and Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), Bastienne (Bastien und Bastienne), Donna Anna and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Gilda (Rigoletto), Anna Bolena (Anna Bolena), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Musetta y Mimì (La Bohème), Liù (Turandot), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Micaela (Carmen), Costanza (L’isola disabitata), Sandrina (Un avvertimento ai gelosi).
In zarzuela Berna has also played the roles of Ascensión (La del manojo de rosas), Carolina (Luisa Fernanda), Katiuska (Katiuska) and Marola (La tabernera del puerto). In the field of symphonic and oratorio, she has performed, among others, The Messiah (Handel), Stabat Mater (Pergolesi), Requiem (Fauré), Requiem (Mozart), Requiem (Verdi), Elijah (Mendelssohn), Ninth Symphony (Beethoven), Coronation Mass (Mozart), Miserere (Ocón) and Carmina Burana (Orff). Among her recent commitments are: Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte, Teatro Cervantes de Málaga), several recitals with the ROSS, OCG, RFG, OSN and OFM, and interesting debuts at the Teatro de la Zarzuela (Madrid) in La casa de Bernarda Alba by Miquel Ortega, at the Teatro Campoamor, Teatro del Liceu and Teatro Real. She has participated in the recording of a CD of duets, together with baritone Carlos Álvarez, on the DNRecords label. (Translation: John Eastham)
Trumpet player Pacho Flores and conductor Manuel Hernández-Silva will premiere Pacho Flores’ new composition, Cantos y revueltas, with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia in Santiago, Vigo and Coruña on next January the 11th, 12th and 13th, 2018. The piece, for solo trumpet, strings and ‘Venezuelan cuatro’, is based on folk tunes and work chants of the reach Venezuelan folklore. They will be supported by cuatro player Leo Rondón. Besides the premier, Pacho will also play Neruda’s Concerto for corno da caccia, and Villalobos’ Aria, from the Brazilian Bachiana nº 5.
After Santiago, Pacho will play again Efraín Oscher’s Concierto Mestizo and Christian Lindberg’s Akban Bunka, with the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alondra de la Parra. Pacho premiered the Concierto Mestizo in 2010 in Caracas with Domingo García Hindoyan and the Simón Bolívar Orchestra, and since then he played it more than 25 times all along the world, as in the opening concert of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra season on past October under Perry So. In February the 23rd, Pacho will play another world premiere, the new Trumpet Concerto by Giancarlo Castro, dedicated to him, with Rafael Payare and the Ulster Orchestra.
Deeply committed with the expansion of solo trumpet repertoire, Pacho is developing an ambitious project of shared commissions for new trumpet concertos to outstanding composer such as Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín Oscher and Christian Lindberg, to be premiered all around the world along the season 18/19 and following. First of these commissions, Arturo Márquez’s one, will be played eight times between October 2018 and August 2019 in Mexico, USA, Japan and Spain.
Spanish-Venezuelan Maestro Manuel Hernández-Silva has been designated Musical and Artistic Director of the Navarra Symphony Orchestra since season 2018/19. Contract will have a duration of three seasons and will begin on September the 1st of 2018. Hernández-Silva is a well known conductor in Navarra as he conducted the orchestra four times before, two of them on the past 2016/17 season: a series concert with music by Shostakovich; and Haendel’s Messiah to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the prestigious Pamplona Chamber Choir.
Hernández-Silva is current Musical and Artistic Director of the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra and held the same position formerly in Murcia Symphony Orchestra and Cordoba Orchestra, as well as Music Director of the Andalusia Youth Orchestra, all in Spain, and he was also Principal Guest Conductor of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra. Manuel studied at the Vienna Superior Conservatory, where he earned his degree with honours, under the direction of Reinchard Schwarz and Georg Mark. From then, his career has brought him to all Europe, North and Latin America and Asia. Resident in Spain since 2005, he is also guest often to the most important Spanish orchestras. Between his recent and next engagements, stand out his debuts with the Spanish National Orchestra and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, his return to the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and Medellin Philharmonic, or, back in Spain, the Royal Galicia Filharmonia or Extremadura Orchestra, as well as his debut in both theatres Cervantes in Malaga and Villamarta in Jerez conducting Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte.
Deeply committed with pedagogy, he has worked with the Spanish National Youth Orchestra, the Barcelona Youth Orchestra, the Orchestral Practice Workshop of the Baremboim-Said Foundation and, in a more straight way as he was its Musical Director, with the Andalusia Youth Orchestra. He is also often guest to lectures and master classes, and he uses to organise and teach courses of orchestra conducting.