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.