On November 21 at the Auditorio de Galicia, Pacho Flores and Manuel Hernández-Silva, together with the Royal Galician Philharmonia, will perform the absolute premiere of Danzas Latinas by Efraín Oscher, a new trumpet concert commissioned by the Royal Galician Philharmonia and dedicated to Pacho Flores. The same protagonists, Flores, Hernández-Silva and the RGP also with Leo Rondón, premiered at the same place in January 2018 Cantos y Revueltas, a ‘Fantasia concertante’ composed for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings, which will be presented these days in CD and DVD by Deutsche Grammophon, Pacho Flores’ label.
Danzas Latinas is a concert in five movements that, following its title, presents five corresponding dances of different origins: Bomba from Puerto Rico, an Argentinian Zamba, Samba brasileira, Bembé from Cuba and Milonga from Uruguay. For the performance of this concert Pacho will also use five different instruments: Soprano cornet in Eb (Bomba), Flugelhorn (Zamba), C Trumpet (Samba), D Trumpet (Bembé) and F cornet (Milonga). This work is part of the project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts by important composers such as Arturo Márquez, Paquito D’Rivera, Roberto Sierra, Christian Lindberg, Daniel Freiberg and Oscher himself, that was launched by Pacho Flores with the aim of expanding the solo trumpet and orchestra repertoire and involves orchestras from around the world such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Orquestra do Estado de São Paulo, Orquesta Nacional de México, Hyogo PAC in Japan, Royal Galician Philharmonia, Oviedo Filarmonia, Orchestra of Valencia, etc.
Premiere of Cantos y Revueltas. Flores, Hernández-Silva, Rondón and the RFG. Copyright: RFG
Efraín Oscher, Venezuelan flute player and composer of Uruguayan origins who currently lives in Bremen, knows very well what it means to compose for Pacho Flores’ trumpets, being the author of Concierto Mestizo, premiered in Caracas in 2010 by the Simón Bolívar Orchestra and Domingo Hindoyan -a work that Pacho has played more than thirty times all over the world-; of Barroqueana Venezolana nº 2, part of a series of four concerts in the style of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerts but from a Latin American point of view; or of Apex, double concert for clarinet and orchestra, premiered in August 2018 by Pacho together with clarinet player Matthias Schorn, the Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock and maestro Marcus Bosch.
Efraín Oscher on Danzas Latinas
Dances are generally associated with joy, happiness and merrymaking, just as dancing is synonymous with partying. The title Danzas Latinas instinctively evokes carnival scenes, couples dancing salsa, tango or merengue, but the reality is that dances and their respective dancing are an artistic medium to express a wide variety of feelings and emotions. In Latin America in particular, dances are present at all levels of society and associated with religious, political, romantic and intellectual aspects, thanks to the profound miscegenation that has taken place in the continent.
If we go back to the Baroque period we can find evidence of how dances, which have their roots in popular music, were developed by academic composers and taken to sublime levels, usually gathered in Suites. It is noticeable here that certain dances convey deep feelings, in contrast with those intended for the entertainment of the court: the sarabande or the pavane, for example, are used for funerary purposes.
Latin America has an enormous richness of dances. There is a great variety of folk dances that accompany the sumptuous and colorful dancing in processions, parades, parties, funerals as well as other dances intended for couples. Their ramifications according to the subject of their lyrics are incalculable and vary from the fiery political protest to the painful “resentment”, going through satire, romanticism and melancholy. A special mention must be made of the great influence that the music brought by the Africans during colonial times had in the development of dances throughout the continent.
Danzas Latinas for trumpet and orchestra was specially composed for Pacho Flores, who uses different instruments of the trumpet and cornet family, assigning a voice with a particular color to each of the pieces he plays. The work consists of five dances and each one of them is performed with a different instrument: Bomba de Puerto Rico with a cornet in Eb, Zamba de Argentina with the flugelhorn, Samba de Brasil with a C trumpet, Bembé de Cuba with a D trumpet and Milonga del Uruguay with an F cornet.
Bomba is one of the native rhythms of Puerto Rico whose origin dates back to colonial times and was created by slaves in sugarcane plantations. In its traditional form, this dance is characterized by the intricate conversation between the dancer, the drummer and the singer, which is reflected in the counterpoint of the first movement, Bomba de Puerto Rico. The chorus‑proclamation pattern can be heard towards the end, when the orchestra repeats a motif to which the soloist responds with an improvisation.
The gaucho is the protagonist of the second movement, Zamba de Argentina, whereas nostalgia is the predominant feeling. The immensity and loneliness of the pampas as well as the gaucho’s suffering expressed in the verses of Martín Fierro were the source of inspiration for this movement. The tempo of the Zamba is generally slow; it is an elegant dance for couples where both use a handkerchief. In this movement the beautiful sound of the four-piston flugelhorn, an instrument specially built for Pacho Flores with a wide and loud low range, can be fully appreciated.
One of the most internationally recognised Latin American musical genres is samba. Created in Brazil by African slaves, it is a syncopated rhythm accompanying a colorful dance that is the center of the biggest carnival celebrations in the world. Samba de Brasil, the third movement, offers the soloist not only the opportunity to show his technical skills but also his creativity by improvising on the harmonies.
The fourth movement, Bembé de Cuba, is a special tribute to Afro-Cuban music, which has had such an influence on the popular music of the Caribbean countries. The bembé encompasses ancestral African cultural elements that are still present in the Cuban culture nowadays, such as Santeria and the Yoruba language. The ostinato rhythm of bembé produces some sort of trance in the participants of Santeria rituals and this mystical element characterizes this movement. The improvisation on the choir‑proclamation pattern is also present in this dance, an expressive resource of which Pacho Flores knows how to take advantage.
Milonga de Uruguay closes the piece and provides the touch of humor that characterizes this native dance from Río de la Plata. A relative of tango and candombe, milonga shows the African influence in its rhythm, as well as the outgoing character of the Montevidean citizens in its playful melodies and virtuous passages. This movement offers a cheerful and festive ending, suitable for a work that travels with virtuosity through the emotions along the rich geography of Latin American dances.
On November 20 at the Auditorio de Galicia, Pacho Flores and Manuel Hernández-Silva will present, together with the Royal Galician Philharmonia, Cantos y Revueltas, Pacho Flores’ new album for Deutsche Grammophon with the Galician orchestra conducted by Hernández-Silva that includes, among other works and as a centerpiece, the homonymous concert for trumpet and Venezuelan cuatro by Pacho Flores himself.
Cantos y Revueltas
Cantos y Revueltas is a fantasia concertante for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings, premiered last January 2018 in Santiago, Vigo and A Coruña by the Royal Galician Philharmonia under Hernández-Silva, together with cuatro player Leo Rondón and, of course, Pacho Flores’ trumpets. It is a work rooted in old work songs and popular Venezuelan tunes, but also in modern Caribbean-like rhythms. The album begins with the Concerto para corno da caccia by Johann Baptist Georg Neruda, continues with the Aria from Bachiana Brasileira No. 5 by Villa-Lobos, Cantos y Revueltas, El Diablo suelto by Heraclio Fernández and Piazolla’s Winter in Buenos Aires, and was recorded live at the Palacio de la Ópera in A Coruña on January 13, 2018.
This is a double CD-DVD that includes a video recording of the concert and various extras, including interviews revealing the origin of Pacho’s work as well as curiosities about the process that led to its premiere in Santiago and its recording. Cantos y Revueltas is the fourth recording for Pacho Flores with Deutsche Grammophon after Cantar, with the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin conducted Christian Vásquez, Entropía, with guitar player Jesús ‘Pingüino’ González, and Fractales, with the Arctic Philharmonic conducted by Christian Lindberg. These concerts also counted on Pablo Barreiro for the audio recording and Antonio Cid and Joaquín Calderón for the video recording and production, which allowed to obtain a result that met Deutsche Grammophon’s highest artistic and technical standards.
Every so often, sometimes after several generations, some artists appear who are a milestone in their respective disciplines. This is the case with Pacho Flores, the great trumpet player of the 21st century so far, who is improving the performance technique and the expressive possibilities of the instrument to unknown levels. In collaboration with his brand, his STOMVI team, he is carrying out a formidable development and technical improvement of the trumpet, with new instruments in different keys and with four pistons that expand its register and palette. Many of these instruments are prototypes only available to Pacho, and only some, once tested, get produced for the market sale.
Pacho is also actively promoting an unprecedented expansion of the repertoire for solo trumpet and orchestra. After releasing some works dedicated to him by composers such as Efraín Oscher (Concierto Mestizo, 2010; Soledad, 2013, included in the album CANTAR; Barroqueana Venezolana nº 2, 2017; and Apex, double concert for trumpet and clarinet, 2018), Giancarlo Castro (Stunning trumpet, 2017), Alain Trudel (Preach pour trumpet et orchestre), etc., Pacho decided to take over and launch a project of shared commissions to some of the most relevant composers nowadays such as Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín Oscher, Christian Lindberg or Daniel Freiberg, which allows a systematic and scheduled update of new works with technical and musical requirements according to the possibilities offered by the new instruments. This program has already begun to bear fruit: Arturo Márquez and Paquito D’Rivera’s works have already been premiered, and the concerts by Roberto Sierra and Efraín Oscher’s will be presented this season. In addition, and in collaboration with his label, Deutsche Grammophon, Pacho is producing the most complete discography on the trumpet performed by the same artist, recording reference versions of the repertoire classics, as well as the new works that, by his own efforts, are joining the literature for this instrument.
Pacho Flores will make his debut with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic in two concerts with its principal conductor, Spanish Josep Caballé-Doménech. The concerts will take place on November 16 and 17 at the Pikes Peak Center with a program entitled “Free Spirit”, consisting of works by Gershwin and Ginastera, Concierto de Otoño by Arturo Márquez, the Aria de the Bachiana No. 5 by Villalobos, Morocota, a Venezuelan waltz by Pacho Flores himself, and Invierno, from the Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas by Astor Piazzolla.
Colorado Springs is already Pacho’s third visit to the US so far since the beginning of this intense season, which started with the premiere in Mexico of Concierto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera, with the Orquesta de Minería and Carlos Miguel Prieto, a historic evening during which Pacho played four trumpet concerts in the same program: Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño, which had been premiered a year earlier in the same country and with the same conductor but with the National Orchestra; the afore mentioned concert by D’Rivera; Crónicas Latinoamericanas by Daniel Freiberg; and Efraín Oscher’s Concierto Mestizo, a preamble of the album recorded with this same repertoire the following week.
Arturo Márquez, Paquito D’Rivera, Roberto Sierra, Christian Lindberg, Efraín Oscher and Daniel Freiberg
Pacho traveled afterwards to New Orleans to play with the Louisiana Philharmonic before visiting Poland to perform with the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, then to Switzerland to play with the Strasbourg Philharmonique and Kirill Karabits at the KKL in Lucerne, and then returned to the US to participate in the Latin American Festival of Fort Worth, Texas. After some master classes in Zurich, Pacho will travel to Bogota to perform with the Philharmonic Orchestra led by his friend, maestro Christian Vásquez, and from there he will head to Colorado Springs.
Pacho Flores and Paquito D’Rivera recording D’Rivera’s Concerto Venezolano
Pacho will after this return to the Royal Galician Philharmonia with Manuel Hernández-Silva for a double event, in which he will present Cantos y Revueltas, his fourth album for Deutsche Grammophon recorded live with this same orchestra and conductor, and also premiere Danzas Latinas, Efraín Oscher’s new concert dedicated to Pacho himself and which is part of the project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts that Pacho is promoting.
Arturo Sandoval. Foto: Ocesa
From there on await Brazil, France, Spain and the Liverpool Philharmonic for the premiere of Salseando by Roberto Sierra; Spain, a new visit to the United States, Mexico and the San Diego Symphony for a new premiere by Paquito D’Rivera; afterwards Tokyo, again Poland to perform with the National Radio Symphony of Poland and back to the US; then the ADDA orchestra in Spain to play Un Sueño Morisco, double concert for trumpet and trombone that Christian Lindberg wrote for Pacho and Ximo Vicedo, premiered this 2019 with the RTVE Orchestra; Argentina and Chile; a return to Spain for the European premiere of Arturo Sandoval’s Concert No. 1 with the Oquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and the absolute premiere of the ConciertoMambí by Igmar Alderete with the Orchestra of Cordoba; and from there to Canada before returning to Spain again for the European premiere of Concierto venezolano by D’Rivera with the Orchestra of Valencia under Vicent Alberola. Finally, Pacho will premiere next summer in Brazil Roberto Sierra’s Salseando, with the Orquetra Simfònica do Estado de São Paulo and Giancarlo Guerrero.
Christian Vásquez and Pacho Flores are working together again, this time with the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra, on November 8 and 9 at the Auditorio León de Greiff. The program includes the following works: Gershwin: Cuban Overture; Márquez: Concierto de Otoño; Villalobos: Aria de la Bachiana nº 5; Flores: Morocota; Piazzolla: Invierno Porteño (from Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas); and Ginastera: Suite from ballet Estancia.
Christian Vásquez and Pacho Flores have known each other since their infancy, when they were together at EL SISTEMA in Venezuela. After developing an international career and being both based in Europe, they have had the chance to collaborate on different occasions with orchestras such as the Philharmonic of Turku in Finland, the Stavanger Symphony in Norway or the Het Gelders Orkest in the Netherlands, in addition to Pacho Flores’ record debut for Deutshe Grammophon with CANTAR, which they recorded with the Funkhausorchester in Berlin in 2013.
If Christian Vásquez and Pacho Flores recorded what was Pacho’s first record for the yellow label, this program includes two works, Aria de la Bachiana nº 5 by Villalobos and Invierno Porteño by Piazzolla, which are part of CANTOS Y REVUELTAS, his fourth record for the German label that will be launched very soon. This new album was conducted by Manuel Hernández-Silva with the participation of Venezuelan cuatro player Leo Rondón and the Royal Galician Philharmonia. In between these two were published the albums ENTROPÍA, in 2017, with guitarist Jesús ‘Pingüino’ González, and FRACTALES, in 2018, with the Arctic Philharmonic and Christian Lindberg. This program also includes Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño, which is part of a large and ambitious project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts that Pacho himself is promoting and that includes composers such as Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín Oscher, Christian Lindberg and Daniel Freiberg. The main target of this project is to expand and improve the repertoire for solo trumpet with orchestra.
Pacho Flores debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg next Friday, September the 27th, at the KKL of Lucerne, with the Concerto for trumpet and orchestra by Henri Tomasi, conducted by Kirill Karabits. Pacho has just arrived from Cracow, where he played works by Lindberg, Piazzolla and Arturo Márquez with the Beethoven Academy Orchestra conducted by Lee Reynolds; and after Lucerne Pacho is going to Fort Worth, Texas, to participate in the Latin American Music Festival, organised by the Texas Christian University, where Pacho will teach, play recitals, chamber music and concert con orchestra .
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.
D. Freiberg, A. Márquez, P. D’Rivera, P. Flores and C. M. Prieto during the recording of Mestizo for Deutsche Grammophon
His solo performances include appearances with orchestras such as Turku Philharmonic, Arctic Philharmonic, Norrköping Symphony, Norddeutschen Philharmonie Rostock, Salzburger Philharmoniker, Kiev Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Camerata, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, NHK Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic, Kymi Sinfonietta, Het Gelders Orchestra, Tucson Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, , Orquesta de RTVE, Hyogo PAC Orchestra, 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, Stavanger Orchestra, Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Orquesta del Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires, Oviedo Filarmonía 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. Next engagements include the, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Basel Symphonieorchester, Orchestre National de Lille, Sinfónica de Navarra, San Diego Symphony, National Orchestra of the Polish Radio, Sinfónica do Estado de São Paulo or Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
Pacho Flores and Paquito D’Rivera recording D’Rivera’s Concerto Venezolano
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. Pacho Flores is a Deutsche Grammophon exclusive artist with already three recordings, Cantar, with Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin and Christian Vásquez; Entropía, Gold Medal of the Global Music Awards 2017 and Melómano de Oro; and Fractales, with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra and Christian Lindberg, Gold Medal of the Global Music Awards 2019. Next releases are Cantos y Revueltas, with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia and Manuel Hernández-Silva, and Mestizo, with the Sinfónica de Minería and Carlos MIguel Prieto.
Ira Levin has been named as the new ‘Maestro Titular’ (Music Director) of the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, effective immediately. This happens after a hugely successful production of Gounod’s Faust and concerts with tenors Vittorio Grigolo and Michael Fabiano. The TMRJ is the largest opera house in Brazil and the second largest in South America after the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, where Levin was the principal guest conductor from 2011 to 2015. He was also the artistic and music director of the Teatro Municipal in Sao Paulo from 2002 to 2005 and the National Theater of Brazil from 2007 to 2009, making him the only foreigner to have had leading positions in most of the leading opera houses in South America. He will conduct at least three opera productions and several concerts each year in Rio.
Ira Levin had major conducting positions in Bremen, Kassel and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and guest conducted in several houses including Leipzig, Dresden, Frankfurt, Hannover, Linz, Geneva, Oslo, Cape Town and New York City Opera. Ira Levin has conducted over 90 operas and his concert activity has been equally intense, encompassing a huge repertoire, and he has several CDs to his credit with the London Symphony, Scottish National Orchestra and other orchestras.
Ira Levin is also still active as a concert pianist and has published several piano transcriptions as well as seven large orchestrations. His first Naxos CD, to be released in the Fall of 2019 will be of works by Max Reger and includes his orchestration of the monumental Bach Variations opus 81, originally for piano.
Ira Levin is also still active as a concert pianist and has published several piano transcriptions as well as seven large orchestrations. His first Naxos CD, to be released in the Fall of 2019, will be of works by Max Reger and includes his orchestration of the monumental Bach Variations opus 81, originally for piano. He lives in Berlin and Rio de Janeiro. He lives in Berlin and Rio de Janeiro. For more information about Ira Levin seewww.iralevin.net.
Pacho Flores will play four trumpet concertos in the same concert.
Pacho Flores will premiere the Concierto Venezolano, by Paquito D’Rivera, with the Minería Symphony Orchestra and Carlos Miguel Prieto at the Palacio de Bellas Artes de México DF on September 1. This concert is the result of a commission shared between four orchestras that already has its first two premieres scheduled, because after Mexico it will be released in the US by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra with Rafael Payare. This commission is part of the large project of shared commissions that Pacho Flores is carrying on prominent composers such as Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Efraín Oscher, Christian Lindberg and Daniel Freiberg.
But the concert is not only news for the premiere of the Concierto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera as Pacho Flores will also play four trumpet concertos in the same session. The program begins with Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño, the first of the shared commission project concerts, which was recently premiered in Europe by the Oviedo Filarmonía and Lucas Macías, in the fourth commissioned orchestras engagement, and begin its public performance tour, precisely in Mexico with Carlos Miguel Prieto, the maestro who premiered it with the National Symphony exactly one year ago.
Paquito D’Rivera and Pacho Flores at the Stomvi factory working on the Concierto Venezolano
After Danzón nº 2 by Márquez, Pacho returns to the scene to play the premiere of the night, the Concierto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera. After the break he will play Crónicas Latinoamericanas, by Daniel Freiberg, which premiered last January with the Het Gelders Orchestra and Christian Vásquez and after the Huapango de Moncayo, Pacho will return to the stage to deliver the fourth concert of the night, the Concierto Mestizo by Efraín Oscher, that he has already played over 30 times throughout the world.
It is a physical feat of more than an hour of solo trumpet music that will shortly be released in a new Pacho Flores album for Deutsche Grammophon, his exclusive label, also accompanied the Minería Symphony Orchestra and Carlos Miguel Prieto; but beyond an athletic demonstration, it is an important step forward in Pacho’s effort to expand the repertoire of solo trumpet and orchestra. The shared commission project includes new milestones such as premieres of Efraín Oscher’s Danzas Latinoamericanas by the Galician Royal Philharmonic and Manuel Hernández-Silva in November; and Salseando, Roberto Sierra’s new trumpet concerto, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Domingo Hindoyan in January 2020. After the concert, Pacho, Prieto and Minería Orchestra will record these concertos for Deutsche Grammophon.
Hernández-Silva has recently achieved a great success at Teatro Colón after conducting two programs with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra. Several reviews from Argentine and international media such as Clarín, Olyrix or De Paraíso para Usted highlight his detailed knowledge of the scores, technique, musicality, attention to detail and ability to accompany the soloists and get the best out of this prestigious ensemble. Here you can read some excerpts.
The orchestra accompanied the pianist perfectly, under the masterful conducting of Hernández Silva. In the second of the three movements (Allegro scherzando), Filjak’s scherzo was masterful, with a depth and sound balance between orchestra and soloist as had not been heard at Teatro Colón for a while.
For the second part of the concert, Manuel Hernández Silva chose Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8 in G major, a piece within the usual repertoire of the Philharmonic, that has performed it on countless occasions. However, few performances have achieved the level of perfection and luminosity as last night’s under Hernández-Silva, which excelled for its outstanding interpretative quality and pure sound.
When there is rehearsal, discipline and effort, the Philharmonic shows its quality, sounding like a European orchestra. Manuel Hernández-Silva was an additional ingredient, contributing with his personality and talent to bring brightness and luminosity on a night worthy of the Colón. An authentic revelation on the stage of our biggest coliseum.
The five pieces in Ma Mère l’Oye offer in their symphonic version a delicate, smooth and quilted panorama of this French garden, which promised to be rich in colors and nuances, and that the Buenos Aires orchestra managed to transmit under the beats of the sometimes magic baton of Hernández-Silva, who was very inspired and precise in his direction. The management of volumes and tempi is particularly careful (III, Laideronnette), with Manuel Hernández-Silva remaining very attentive to the execution of his gestural, flexible and precise indications. The fade-in of the harp, the triangle and then the violins in Les Entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête (IV) is a good example of coordination to create this impression of wonder that is the aesthetic link of Ma Mère l’Oye and finds in Le Jardin féérique (V) an enchanting conclusion.
Au Cimetière (V) gives us the opportunity to see text and melody intermingling in a piece that evokes a song “on the wings of music”, while the iridescent nuances of the orchestra, under the instructions on its conductor, manage effects that echo those of the verses.
The second part of the concert opens to this French garden a new horizon from across the Rhine: the performance of Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 further reinforces the already existing impression. The Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra follows Manuel Hernández-Silva’s requests exactly, earning them all a big applause.
Conducted by Venezuelan Manuel Hernández-Silva, the orchestra excelled itself with works by Ravel, Schumann and Berlioz.
The conductor was also a success. Venezuelan Manuel Hernández-Silva replaced French Lionel Bringuier, absent for health reasons. Hernández-Silva was born in Caracas, graduated in Vienna and is currently principal conductor of the Malaga and Navarra orchestras. In Ravel’s suite and Berlioz’s songs he managed the orchestra to sound expressive and detailed even in the most surprising pianissimos. The ravelian goldsmithing counted in addition on impeccable soloist interventions, especially Pablo Saraví in the brief but significant violin solo at the end of the fourth movement, Les entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête.
And another success was the soloist Berlioz songs, the Irish mezzosoprano Tara Erraught, of beautiful timbre, fair intonation and an expresiveness at the same time nuanced and reserved. Hernández-Silva maintained a seamless balance between orchestra and soloist.
If conductor Hernández-Silva had been extremely reserved in the first two pieces of the program, in Schumann he reached peaks of great emotional intensity, without neglecting the continuity of form and details at the same time. The great performance of the soloists, especially the oboe, the clarinet and the bassoon, must also be here underlined.
Alexandre Kantorow, the First Prize winner at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition in the Piano category, became the owner of the Grand Prix of the competition. On June 29, 2019 Valer Gergiev, Co-Chair of the Organizing Committee of the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition, announced the name of the Grand Prix winner after the Competition Closing Gala Concert which was held at the New Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Mariinsky II) in Saint Petersburg.
Alexandre Kantorow currently studies at the École Normale de Musique de Paris in the class of Rena Shereshevskaya. At the age of 16 he was invited to play at the Les Folles Journées Festivals in Nantes and in Warsaw with the Sinfonia Varsovia. Since then he has played with many orchestras and has performed at some of the most prestigious festivals. Alexandre Kantorow has played at major concert halls such as the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Philharmonie de Paris, the BOZAR in Brussels. Next season he will play with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse (conducted by John Storgards), will give solo recitals in Paris dedicated to 200 years since the death of Beethoven and will also make his US debut with the Naples Philharmonic (conducted by Andrey Boreyko). Alexandre Kantorow is son of Jean-Jacques Kantorow, a legend of the violin.
Distinguished predecessors of Alexandre Kantorow on winning the Tchaikovski Competition have been pianists such as Dmitry Masleev, Daniil Trifonov, Denis Matsuev, Boris Berezovsky, Barry Douglas, Mikhail Pletnev, Andrei Gavrilov, Grigory Sokolov, Vladimir Ashkenazy, John Ogdon and Van Cliburn. In this XVI edition of the Tchaikovski Competition he jury was formed by: Denis Matsuev, chair, Michel Béroff, Barry Douglas, Pavel Gililov, Boris Petrushansky, Menahem Pressler, Freddy Kempf, Li Ming-Qiang, Piotr Paleczny, Nelson Freire and Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Alexandre has won the prize between 25 competitors from 12 countries.
Alexandre Kantorow, young French pianist and son of violinist and conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow, has just been announced winner of the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition held in Moscow this week. With impressive versions of Tchaikovsky and Brahms Concertos No. 2 and accompanied by the Evgeny Svetlanov Orchestra under Vassily Petrenko, he won the first prize in a high-level final round against contestants of enormous quality such as Japanese Mao Fujita or Russian Dmitry Shishkin, both of them second prize ex aequo.
Alexandre, who has just released his fourth album with Saint-Saëns piano concertos, the third one for BIS RECORDS after the recording of Liszt piano concertos and the Russian repertoire album entitled Á la rousse, has despite his youth long been arousing the most glowing praises from the specialised critics for his recitals and concerts with the most important European and Asian orchestras, and is considered by some to be the reincarnation of Franz Liszt himself.
Alexandre, born in 1997, has been groomed for a career as a pianist for most of his life, studying with France’s top teachers including, first, Pierre-Alain Volondat. At the Schola Cantorum in Paris his teacher was Igor Lazko, and along the way he has also taken lessons with Jacques Rouvier, Théodore Paraschivesco, Georges Pludermacher, Christian Ivaldi, and Jean-Philippe Collard. Enrolling at the Paris National Conservatoire he has continued his studies with Frank Braley and Haruko Ueda. Kantorow made his debut at 16 with the Sinfonia Varsovia in Poland, performing Rachmaninov’s fearsome Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and he made other early appearances with the Bordeaux Chamber Orchestra, the Orléans Symphony Orchestra and the Kaunas Symphony Orchestra in Lithuania. He has won several top prizes in international competitions.
Kantorow has been able to tour widely despite the demands of classwork, performing as far afield as Finland and South America. He was featured in the first season at Paris’ new Philharmonic Hall (Philharmonie de Paris), playing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Op. 80, and a return visit was planned. His interests extend beyond traditional repertory into American music, and he has performed Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, in its original jazz band version, at French chamber music festivals.