The US premiere of Concerto Venezolano, by Paquito D’Rivera, will take place next February 25 and 26 at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa and the San Diego Civic Theatre, respectively, and on March 2 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Springs, with trumpeter Pacho Flores and the San Diego Symphony conducted by Rafael Payare. After the premieres of Concerto Venezolano in Mexico (Orquesta de Minería under Carlos Miguel Prieto), the United Kingdom (Liverpool Philharmonic under Domingo Hindoyan) and Spain (Orquesta de Valencia under Hernández-Silva), this US premiere with the San Diego Symphony and Rafael Payare puts an end to the round of premieres by the orchestras that participated in the shared commission. During his stay in San Diego, Pacho Flores will also offer a chamber music recital with musicians from the orchestra.
The concerts of this project of shared commissions are specifically written for the extraordinary conditions of Pacho Flores and the varied instruments provided by the Valencian house STOMVI, which has developed new four-piston prototypes in new keys that greatly expand the tessitura and range of colors and timbres of this instrument, and, therefore, also the expressive possibilities it offers to the soloist. As an example, this is the list of instruments that would be needed to face the complete cycle of new concerts: Trumpets in B flat, C and D, cornets in F, B flat and E flat, soprano cornets in F, G and A, and, of course, a flugelhorn in B flat, which is, at the express request of Pacho, present in all of these new works.
Pacho Flores with Vicente Honorato, General Director of STOMVI
An important detail to highlight about this project is that these works remain permanently in Pacho’s repertoire. Márquez’s concert, for example, has had further premieres in Poland, Colombia, France, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic after the first premieres by the orchestras that participated in the initial commission, and has been programmed especially in the US (Louisiana, Colorado, Maine, Buffalo, Ohio), Spain (Galicia, Navarra, Cordoba) or Chile, with a total of more than 30 performances in just four years, and this in the midst of a global pandemic. The Concerto Venezolano will be soon performed in Spain by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (Prieto) and the Gran Canaria Philharmonic (Hernández-Silva), and in France by the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine with Hernández-Silva, as well as in future seasons in the US, Sweden and again in Spain.
D. Freiberg, A. Márquez, P. D’Rivera, P. Flores and C. M. Prieto during the recording of Mestizo for Deutsche Grammophon
The Concerto Venezolano was recorded the same week of its premiere in Mexico in 2019, together with that of Arturo Márquez and two other concerts by composers who also participate in this project —not the works belonging to the project but rather previous ones: Concierto Mestizo de Efraín Oscher, premiered a decade ago (Caracas, 2010) with Bolívar and Hindoyan, and Crónicas Latinoamericanas by Daniel Freiberg, which is really an adaptation for trumpets of a concert originally written for clarinet by Paquito D’Rivera and premiered by the WDR Funkhausorchester and Wayne Marshall. The trumpet version was premiered by the Het Gelders Orkest from the Netherlands, conducted by Christian Vásquez. The release of this album was delayed by the pandemic, but it will finally be presented in the summer of 2022 and will be the 6th in Pacho’s discography (the 5th for Deutsche Grammophon) after Cantar (2016), Entropía (2017), Fractales ( 2018) and Cantos y revueltas (2019). Pacho also appears as a guest soloist on several of Christian Lindberg’s recordings and acts as producer and conductor on the album Egregore, by trumpeter Fabio Brum for Naxos.
Paquito D’Rivera’s Concerto Venezolano will be premiered in the USA on March 28 and 29 with Pacho Flores, Rafael Payare and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra at the Jacob Music Center. This Venezuelan Concerto by Paquito D’Rivera, which is part of the project of shared commissions that Pacho Flores is promoting, had its first premiere in Mexico in September last year with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería under Carlos Miguel Prieto and will be part of Pacho’s next recording for Deutsche Grammophon.
This second premiere of Paquito D’Rivera’s Concerto Venezolano in San Diego is also the seventh within the project of shared commissions of new concerts for trumpet, after the four premieres of Concierto de Otoño by Arturo Márquez (Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México under Carlos Miguel Prieto; Tucson Symphony Orchestra under José Luis Gómez; Hyogo PAC Orchestra of Japan under Michiyoshi Inoue; and Oviedo Filarmonía under Lucas Macías), the first premiere of Danzas Latinas by Efraín Oscher (Real Filharmonía de Galicia under Manuel Hernández-Silva), and the first premiere of Salseando by Roberto Sierra (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under Domingo Hindoyan).
From L to R: Daniel Freiberg, Arturo Márquez, Paquito D’Rivera, Pacho Flores and Carlos Miguel Prieto
After this premiere of Concerto Venezolano in San Diego, a new premiere of Salseando (Orquestra Simfônica do Estado de São Paulo under Giancarlo Guerrero) and further premieres of these and other composers, such as Christian Lindberg and Daniel Freiberg, will soon take place in the 20/21 and 21/22 seasons in countries such as France, Spain, United Kingdom, Norway, USA or Turkey and will be announced in due course. The result of this project of shared commissions is that in a few years six new trumpet concerts dedicated to Pacho Flores will have been released throughout the world by orchestras from North and South America, Europe and Japan.
Pacho Flores with Vicente Honorato, STOMVI’s CEO, and some of the four valves instruments that Pacho uses in his concerts
These new concerts represent an expansion of the repertoire for solo trumpet unknown in the history of music. And another particularity of the concerts resulting from this project of commissions is that they are written for a wide variety of instruments of the trumpet family such as flugelhorns, cornets and trumpets, not only in different keys but with a special characteristic: they all have four valves and have been developed by Pacho Flores together with its manufacturer STOMVI. This means that, as well as the expansion of the repertoire that this project entails, technical advances in the instruments similar to the appearance of the valves in the 19th century are also being made.
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.