When the world premiere of a concerto is announced nowadays, some people wince in case it is another of those technically brilliant pieces which turns out to be utterly boring. Thankfully, this was not the case with Giancarlo Castro’s Concerto, titled Stunning Trumpet, premiered in the Ulster Hall by the Ulster Orchestra and its music director Rafael Payare to stunning effect. This concerto was played with remarkable skill and gusto on not one, but four trumpets (though not at the same time) by soloist Pacho Flores.
He has deep roots in Latin America, and he and Payare played together in the well-known Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Venezuela. The music of Castro’s new Trumpet Concerto is deeply embedded in the Latin American, jazz and cinema tradition, and it is captivating from start to finish. The concerto is bursting with many different melodies and rhythms, and for most of the piece the Ulster Orchestra played like a Fifties Big Band swinging its way through a major jazz concert. One hopes that Stunning Trumpet will soon be on CD to enrich many a car journey. For good measure, the soloist underlined his range by playing Neruda’s delightful 18th century Trumpet Concerto, and ended in the Latin-American idiom with Piazzolla’s charming Winter in Buenos Aires.
The wide-ranging concert began with the wistful and dreamlike Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune, to mark the centenary of the death of Debussy, who also wrote the celebrated La Mer – even if he was unable to swim. The warmly-received concert ended with a riveting performance of the Hungarian Bela Bartok’s orchestral showpiece Concerto for Orchestra, a work of genius written in only eight weeks by the composer who was suffering from leukaemia and died tragically just two years later at the age of 64. Maestro Payare has been appointed as full-time music director of the San Diego Symphony from the autumn of 2019, so catch this world-class young conductor in Belfast while you can.
Between his next engagements stands out the large project of commissions of new trumpet concertos to prominent composer as Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín Oscher or Christian Lindberg, to be premieres for many orchestras all around the world. First of the commissions, to the Mexican composer Arturo Márquez, will have its premieres along the 2018/19 season in Mexico, the US, Japan and Spain. Besides this project, that season he will also premiere a new Double concerto for trumpet, trombone and orchestra by Christian Lindberg with a Spanish orchestra, where Christian will also appear as a conductor.
These new commissions will take part of new releases for Deutsche Grammophon. In addition, new engagements will bring him along the next months to Norway, Switzerland, Canada, the Netherlands, US, France, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and two new tours with the Arctic Philharmonic and the Israel NK Orchestra are already scheduled to bring him again to Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Spain, where it will finish with three concerts in Alicante, Valencia and Oviedo in November 2018.
Pacho Flores will star the New Year Concert in Salzburg playing Gershwin and Armstrong with the Philharmonie Salzburg under the baton of Elizabeth Fuchs. Concerts will be on next Monday the first of January, 2018 in double session of 15:00 and 19:00 hours.
Pacho Flores, trumpet
Pacho Flores is the most important thing to happen to the trumpet since Miles Davis (Álvaro Gallegos)
Francisco ‘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.
His solo performances include appearances with orchestras such as Turku Philharmonic, Arctic Philharmonic, Norrköping Symphony, Norddeutschen Philharmonie Rostock, Kiev Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Camerata, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, NHK Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic, Hyogo PAC Orchestra, Tucson Symphony, 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 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.
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. Francisco Pacho Flores is a Deutsche Grammophon exclusive artist with already two recordings, Cantar, with Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin and Christian Vásquez; and Entropía, Gold Medal of the Global Music Awards. Next will be with Arctic Philharmonic and Christian Lindberg.
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.
Recently returned from the tour that took him to five China cities, next November, 24 Pacho Flores begins a new tour in Israel with the Israel NK Orchestra under the baton of its Chief Conductor, Christian Lindberg, that will take him to the cities of Givat Brenner, Ein Hahoresh, Jordan Valley, Tel Aviv, Netanya, Neharya and Mizra, where finish on December, 2. The program, titled “Breathtaking Virtuosity”, includes the Concert for two trumpets by Vivaldi, that Pacho shares with the orchestra soloist Guy Sarig, and Akban Bunka by the own Lindberg.
But the cooperation between these two artists has a larger scope: Lindberg will conduct Pacho and the Arctic Philharmonic in the third recording of Pacho for Deutsche Grammophon. The recording will take place at the Stormen Konserthus, Norway, between April the 30 and May the 4, 2018. In November 2018 the same artists and orchestra will make a European Tour; and in 2019 Pacho will perform the absolute premiere of the new trumpet concerto that Lindberg is composing for him, with a Spanish orchestra and under own Lindberg conducting. Actually Lindberg tells that Pacho is the new star on the sky of brass.
Pacho Flores, commissions and premieres
Between the most relevant commitments of Pacho for the near future, it stands out the shared commissions of new trumpet concertos dedicated to him to premier all around the world along the next seasons. First of all, Arturo Marquez’s, will be premiered between September 2018 and August 2019 in Mexico, USA, Japan and Spain. Next are Roberto Sierra and Paquito D’Rivera whose premieres will take place between 2018 and 2020. All of the three new concertos will be recorded together with Efraín Oscher‘s Mestizo, a concert premiered in 2010 by Pacho and performed more than two dozens of times since then.
In the while Pacho will also premiere a work by himself, Cantos y Revueltas, inspired on work songs and traditional Venezuelan music, with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia under Manuel Hernández-Silva‘s baton the bext 11, 12 and 13 of January, 2018 in Santiago, Vigo and A Coruña; and a new concerto by Giancarlo Castro with the Ulster Orchestra and Rafael Payare on the 23 of Febrero, 2018.