After her concert at the Palacio de Carlos V within the Granada Festival on June 22 with the premiere of the show ArteSonao, Marina Heredia returns to Germany as Martha Argerich’s guest. For the fourth time since 2018, the Hamburg Symphony organizes the already legendary Martha Argerich Festival in the Laeiszhalle from June 20 to 29, 2022. Artists such as Martha Argerich herself, Daniil Trifonov, Renaud Capuçon, Marina Heredia, Mischa Maisky, Sylvain Cambreling , Leonora Armellini and Sergei Babayan, as well as the legendary jazz fusion band Aka Moon, will perform six concerts in the Gross Hall and three in the Chamber Hall. The performance of the company of Marina Heredia will take place on June 28.
Tireless creator, great lady of today’s ‘cante’, Marina is one of the best things that has happened to Granada and the flamenco in the last century and is one of the most demanded singers internationally. One week after this presentation at the Granada International Music and Dance Festival, Marina, who made her debut this spring at the Berlin Philharmonie with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, returns to Germany as she will be one of the great Argentine pianist’s guests.
Later this summer MArina will appear at the Lausitz Festival in Görlitz, in eastern Germany, in September she will return to the Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla and will open the season of the Navarra Symphony Orchestra with its new director Perry So with El Amor Brujo by Manuel de Falla, in November she will visit the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin as a special guest of the mandolinist Avi Avital, and throughout the 2022/23 season Marina will be resident artist of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra also in Germany, with two performances with orchestra and two flamenco shows. During this residency she will once again sing Falla’s El Amor Brujo, together with the orchestra’s Music Director Axel Kober, and will star in the world premiere of a new work commissioned by the orchestra from José Quevedo ‘Bolita’ and Joan Albert Amargós under the direction of Josep Pons.
Pacho Flores premieres the Concierto Mambí, trumpet concerto No. 1, by the Cuban composer Igmar Alderete with the Córdoba Orchestra and its Chief Conductor, Carlos Domínguez-Nieto. It will be at the Gran Teatro de Córdoba on June 16 and 17, 2022 and the program also includes the Concierto de Otoño by Arturo Márquez. Concerto No. 1, Mambí, for trumpet and orchestra, composed in 2010 for trumpet in B flat, revised between 2021 and 2022 and specially adapted for Pacho Flores and the variety of four-piston instruments he uses: trumpet in C, flugelhorn , high cornet in A, trumpet in B flat and piccolo trumpet in D. With a marked chamber character and reduced orchestration, its melodic and harmonic treatment is transparent, requiring great precision and balance. In the richness and rhythmic variety is where the author exposes with greater clarity the fundamentals of the concert, entitled Mambí (rebellious slave who fought against Spanish colonialism in the 19th century), it is a work of great virtuosity for the soloist, brilliant passages and difficulty technique, at the same time of deep expressiveness and lyricism in its second movement to the rhythm of Bolero in its central part, two cadenzas and moments of freedom for improvisation.
Igmar Alderete is a total musician, composer, classical and jazz violinist and arranger, born in Havana, Cuba, in 1969, he has been a violinist with the Córdoba Orchestra since 1994. His music gathers feelings and experiences that integrate new sonorities of great richness rhythmic, in a syncretism of resources that clearly reflects its roots: Afro-Cuban music, contemporary art music and popular music. Within its extensive catalog, his two concerts for marimba stand out, both premiered by Carolina Alcaraz, Concert No. 1 for clarinet, La Leyenda del Cimarrón, Nostalgia del Sur, Symphony No. 1 Influences, commissioned by the AEOS author foundation and the Córdoba Orchestra, directed by Manuel Hernández Silva, Esquemas Rotos or Bailando con arcos. His production of chamber music is also prolific with works such as Sones de America, for marimba, vibraphone and string quartet, Desafío concertante, for violin and saxophone quartet, the Suite Mosaico, for vibraphone, string quintet and piano, Introducción y Guajira for clarinet and string quartet, Aires del Sur, for solo clarinet, quartets, trios, etc. Soloists such as Paquito D’Rivera, Matthias Schorn, Vasko Vassiliev, Carolina Alcaraz, Katarzyna Mycka, Javier Nandayapa, Cuarteto de La Habana or the Trio Brouwer have premiered and recorded their works in forums such as the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, Lincoln Center in New York , Cycle of Contemporary Music of Córdoba, Poland or Mexico.
This is the last of the lavish series of premieres that Pacho Flores has carried out throughout the course that is ending. The season began with the London premiere of Invocation, by Eleanor Alberga; in Bilbao he offered the premieres of the concerts by Arturo Sandoval and Arturo Márquez in their version for band, whose arrangements he himself made; the first premiere of Historias de Flores y Tangos by Daniel Freiberg with the Oviedo Filarmonía and Lucas Macías took place in Oviedo; then he premiered the Concerto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera in the United Kingdom with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Domingo Hindoyan, which shortly after had its Spanish premiere by Manuel Hernández-Silva and the Valencia Orchestra and later closed its cycle with the US premiere with the San Diego Symphony and Rafael Payare. Shortly after, the Brazilian premiere of Salseando, by Roberto Sierra, with the OSESP and Carlos Miguel Prieto took place, the cycle of which closed just a few days ago with the French premiere with the Orchestre National de Bordeaux and, once again, Manuel Hernández-Silva. Previously he had premiered his own flugelhorn concerto, Albares, with the Tenerife Symphony and Christian Vásquez; and, although on this occasion as a conductor and not as a soloist, he premiered with the Murcia Region Symphony the Concierto del Mar, for four Venezuelans and orchestra, by Leo Rondón, with the author in the solo part. In total, there are eleven premieres throughout the season, which continue this summer with the American premiere of Historias de Flores y Tangos, by Freiberg, with the Minería orchestra and Prieto, together with which he will also present his latest recording release in Deutsche Grammophon. Next season the two remaining premieres of Freiberg will take place, with the Arctic Philharmonic of Norway and Hernández-Silva, and the Walla Walla Symphony and Yaacov Bergman; and the process of premiering the new concert by Gabriela Ortiz begins, with the Spanish and British premieres, the Galician Symphony and Hernández-Silva and Royal Liverpool and Domingo Hindoyan respectively, orchestras for which he will be Artist-in-Residence throughout the season. This summer he will also be a resident artist at La Virée Classique, the festival of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, where he will offer three concerts, two as a soloist under the baton of Rafael Payare and another as a soloist-conductor leading the brass and percussion ensemble of the festival.
The Venezuelan Cuatro player Leo Rondón makes his debut at the Salzburg Pentecost Festival as part of the L’Arpeggiata ensemble, conducted by Cristina Pluhar, which will perform a program entitled Torre del Oro. The Salzburg Pentecost Festival has Seville as the central theme of its programming for 2022, which is celebrated between June 3 and 6. A new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia with stage direction by Rolando Villazón will open the festival with its director, Cecilia Bartoli, playing the role of Rosina, with whom she made her professional debut at the end of the 1980s. The concert in which the Cuatro player Leo Rondón participates will take place on Saturday, July 4 at the Haus für Mozart in the Austrian city.
About this program in which the cuatrista Leo Rondón participates, the festival says: On the banks of the Guadalquivir is the symbol of Seville, the twelve-sided Torre del Oro. For many centuries, the port in front of the Torre del Oro was the departure point for Spanish galleons sailing to South America and returning to Seville laden with treasure. But it also symbolizes the lively and enriching exchange between peoples and cultures. In this concert, L’Arpeggiata opens the golden door from the Old to the New World. The starting point of the musical journey is the music of Alonso Mudarra. The Sevillian composer (1508-1580) is one of the most important Spanish vihuelists of the 16th century, whose innovations in instrumental and vocal music were so significant that his work is still recognized today. Mudarra’s works were published in the collection Tres libros de música en cifra para vihuela de Sevilla in 1546. It contains variations of folías, tientos, pavanas, gallardas, romanescas, canzones, villancicos and sonnets in Latin, Spanish and Italian, which can be found among the oldest solo songs with instrumental accompaniment. From this collection the musical path leads to South America and the “living baroque” in the traditional musical culture there to this day. The Venezuelan cuatro, a key instrument in the Caribbean country’s folklore, is a direct descendant of the vihuela, and popular and traditional Venezuelan music is truffled with the aroma of both courtly and popular Spanish music, and its most characteristic forms, such as the joropo, descends directly from the fandango.
Cover of Cantos y Revueltas, with Flores, Rondón, the Real Filharmonía and Hernández-Silva
Cuatrista, guitarist, double bassist, composer-arranger and producer, Leo Rondón is one of the most outstanding representatives of his instrument who has performed in concert halls and festivals in Venezuela, Colombia, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, Kazakhstan and Morocco, with different groups and in collaborations with artists such as Quatuor Debussy, Rolando Villazón, Emiliano González Toro, Richard Galliano, Didier Lockwood, Cristóbal Soto, Ricardo Sandoval, Alexis Cárdenas, Simón Bolívar Big Band of Jazz, Omar Acosta and Roberto Koch, Pacho Flores or Manuel Hernández-Silva, among others. As a soloist, he has appeared alongside Alexis Cárdenas and Recoveco in the show El Fuego Latino organized by the Orchester National d’Île-de-France and under the baton of maestro Alondra de la Parra, presenting seven concerts in the Parisian region, where they stand out the Philharmonie de Paris or the Opera Garnier. In Spain, he has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia, the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra, the Navarra Symphony, the Murcia Region Symphony, the Extremadura Orchestra, the Valencia Orchestra and the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, and among his next commitments are the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Arctic Philharmonic or Swedish Chamber Orchestra. He has participated in the album CANTOS Y REVUELTAS, by Pacho Flores, for Deutsche Grammophon, with the Real Filarmonía de Galicia and Hernández-Silva and has recently premiered his CONCIERTO DEL MAR for four Venezuelans and orchestra with the Murcia Region Symphony under the baton of Pacho Flores.
He won third place in the 2007 Siembra del Cuatro, and second place in 2012, as well as in 2011 as a cuatro player at the El Silbón (Venezuela) and San Martín (Colombia) festivals. He is currently a cuatrista, arranger and producer of the Ávila Quartet, a Venezuelan music quartet, as well as a cuatrista with the Ensemble L’Arpeggiata, directed by Christina Pluhar, Alexis Cárdenas y Recoveco, Venezuelan Roots and Joropo Jam, in addition to his solo project Leo Rondon Project. He organizes since 2010, together with the teacher Cristóbal Soto, the Summer Course Música Criolla Venezolana, a Venezuelan music teaching camp in the city of Mirecourt, France. Leo Rondón uses a cuatro made by Mathias Caron.
Christian Vásquez returns this week to the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, of which he was Chief Conductor between 2013 and 2019, to face a program that includes: Manuel De Falla: Suite No. 1 of The Three-cornered Hat, Gabriel Fauré: Elegy for cello and orchestra, Keiko Abe: Prism Rhapsody for marimba and orchestra, Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, and Alberto Ginastera: Suite del ballet Estancia. It is a festive program that will serve as the closing of the symphonic course in the Norwegian city and that will take place in the Fartein Valen, Stavanger Concert Hall. Vásquez will be accompanied at this event by soloists Liv Opdal, cello, Kristina Vårlid, guitar, and Akane Tominaga, percussion.
Christian Vásquez has also been Principal Guest Conductor of the Gävle Symphony Orchestra, in Norway, between 2010 and 2013, and of the Het Gelders Orkest in the Netherlands between 2015 and 2020, and continues to be linked to the Venezuelan Children’s and Youth Orchestra System as musical director of the Juan José Landaeta Symphony Orchestra, formerly the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra, a position he assumed in 2010. Previously he had been the musical director of the José Félix Ribas Youth Orchestra.
He has worked with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Orchester de la Suisse Romande, Vienna Radio Symphony, Salzburg Camerata, Russian State Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic or Singapore Symphony. In North America he has conducted the National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa) and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, during his participation in their Young Artist Fellowship programme. Since then he has conducted orchestras such as the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Galicia Symphony, Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Prague Radio Symphony, Warsaw Beethoven Festival, Turku Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Warsaw Radio Symphony, Prague Philharmonic, Poznan Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Basel Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Estonian National Orchestra, Royal Danish Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra or the RTE National Orchestra of Ireland. His first operatic engagement in Europe was at the Norwegian Opera with Carmen and he has recently conducted at the Opéra National de Paris as Gustavo Dudamel’s assistant. In Spain he has conducted the Philharmonic of Gran Canaria and Symphonies of Galicia, Castilla y León, Tenerife, the Principality of Asturias and Navarra.
Manuel Hernández-Silva and Pacho Flores appear with the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine to offer two French premieres, those of the trumpet concertos, Salseando, by Roberto Sierra, and Concerto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera. In addition, a purely Latin American program is completed with Redes, by Silvestre Revueltas, and Estancia, by Ginastera. This French premiere of Salseando is the fourth in the cycle of premieres derived from the joint commission between the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Murcia Region Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra and the Bordeaux-Aquitaine National Orchestra itself. Hernández-Silva, who was also responsible for its Spanish premiere in Murcia, will conduct it next season with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for its premiere in North America, later it will be Anu Tali with the Orchester Symphonique de Quebec who will premiere it in Canada, and Domingo Hindoyan will conduct it again in Liverpool for a new recording.
In the other hand, the Concerto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera completed its series of premieres by the co-commissioning orchestras last February by the San Diego Symphony and Rafael Payare, after the Minería Symphony, again the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Valencia Orchestra, a Spanish premiere also under Hernández-Silva’s conducting. Since then it has already been scheduled with the Castilla y León Symphony and Carlos Miguel Prieto and the Gran Canaria Philharmonic with Hernández-Silva, Payare will take it this summer with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and next season, again under the baton of Hernández-Silva, will be presented together with the Galician Symphony. Hernández-Silva’s presence in this commissioned project will continue with the premieres of the new concert commissioned from Gabriela Ortiz with the Galician Symphony and Daniel Freiberg’s Historias de Flores y Tangos with the Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra, both at the season 2022/23, and at the time he also conducted the Spanish premiere of Danzas Latinas by Efraín Oscher with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, with which he also premiered and recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Cantos y Revueltas by Pacho Flores himself.
Cover of Cantos y Revueltas, with Flores, Rondón, the Rea Filharmonía and Hernández-Silva
All these new trumpet concerts are the result of a carefully laid plan with the aim of expanding the scarce repertoire for solo trumpet and orchestra, which is materializing through a project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts from outstanding composers such as all those mentioned here. In a first phase, Arturo Márquez, Paquito D’Rivera and Roberto Sierra were commissioned, in a second Christian Lindberg, Efraín Oscher and Daniel Freiberg, and with Gabriela Ortiz a third phase begins and will last for the next seasons. The first of all the premieres was Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño, by the National Symphony of Mexico and Carlos Miguel Prieto, and despite the interruptions and delays caused by the COVID19 pandemic, with this one from Bordeaux, sixteen of the twenty-one planned premieres of the first two phases have already been made, and if nothing prevents it, at the beginning of the 2023/24 season the twenty-five premieres corresponding to the seven commissions will have been completed.
Manuel Hernández-Silva makes his debut conducting the OSESP, São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by soprano Beatriz Díaz, tenor César Gutiérrez and guitarist Rafael Aguirre with three concerts on May 19, 20 and 21 at the Sala São Paulo, usual venue of the orchestra. The programme, entirely dedicated to Spanish music, includes Falla’s Suite No. 2 of El Sombrero de Tres Picos, the guitar concerts Concierto para una fiesta and Concierto de Aranjuez, which alternate, and a zarzuela gala that includes orchestra excerpts, arias and duets by Jesús Guridi, Reveriano Soutullo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Pablo Sorozábal, Ruperto Chapí, Gerónimo Giménez, Manuel Fernández Caballero, Manuel Penella and Federico Chueca.
With the Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Hernández-Silva has already conducted all the great Latin American orchestras such as the Simón Bolívar Orchestra, of which he was the principal guest conductor, the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Teatro Colón, the Bogotá Philharmonic or the National Symphony Orchestras. from Chile, Mexico, Colombia or Puerto Rico. His debut with the Orchester National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine will also take place shortly, and upcoming invitations include the Tucson Symphony, Orquesta de Valencia, Sinfónica de Galicia, Arctic Philharmonic, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Orchester National du Pays du Loire, National Cyprus Orchestra, etc.
Since she was invited by Riccardo Muti to sing Paisiello’s Missa Defunctorum at the Salzburg Festival or the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and the role of Diana de Iphigénie in Aulide for the Rome Opera, performances of Beatriz Díaz have been successful in great national coliseums such as the Teatro de la Zarzuela and the Real in Madrid, Arriaga and Euskalduna in Bilbao, Maestranza in Seville, Palacio Carlos V in Granada, Cervantes in Malaga, Baluarte and Gayarre in Pamplona, Pérez Galdós in Las Palmas, Jovellanos in Gijón or Campoamor in Oviedo and on notable international stages such as La Fenice in Venice, Carlo Felice in Genoa, Massimo in Palermo, Comunale in Bologna and Modena, Châtelet in Paris and Colón in Buenos Aires. Likewise, Díaz took part in exclusive concerts held in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Doha, Rabat or Tokyo, among other cities.
Winner of the first prize at the Hilde Zadek international singing competition in Passau, as well as the First Grand Prize and Gold Medal at the María Callas International Singing Competition in Athens, Gutiérrez has sung at the Opéra de la Bastille, Liceu, Opéra de Rome, Staatsoper Berlin, Volksoper and Staatsoper of Vienna, Theater an der Wien, Opera de Montecarlo, Leipzig, Munich or Helsinki, as well as in Tokyo, Athens, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Lima and Bogotá. Her repertoire includes more than 35 operas, from Handel’s Acis & Galatea to Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires. He has sung with directors such as Ricardo Muti, Armin Jordan, Gidon Kremer, Gustavo Dudamel or Hernández-Silva, and under the stage direction of Michael Hampe, Philippe Arlaud, Hugo de Ana or Jorge Lavelli, in addition to the Lied and oratorio repertoire.
Pacho Flores begins an American tour that will bring him to Chicago, IL, Portland, ME, and Delaware, OH, after an intense period in which he has performed the Spanish and USA premieres of Paquito D’Rivera’s new trumpet concerto, Concerto Venezolano, with the Valencia and San Diego orchestras; the South American premiere of Roberto Sierra’s new trumpet concerto, Salseando, with the Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil; his Spanish debut as a conductor with the Murcia Symphony orchestra premiering Leo Rondón’s Concierto de Mar, new concerto for Venezuelan cuatro and orchestra, as well as two of his new compositions, Heterónimos, for trumpet and small orchestra, and Preludio and Fugue for Strings; and the absolute premiere of his own Albares, Concerto for flugelhorn, releasing three new prototypes of flugelhorns, with the Tenerife Symphony, besides other important concerts in Spain with the Castilla y León Symphony and the Gran Canaria Philharmonic. This American tour includes a chamber concert for the Music Institute of Chicago, Pacho’s debut with the Portland Symphony playing Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño under Josep Caballé-Domenech, and his largely postponed debut with the Ohio Central Symphony and his friend Jaime Morales, in which Pacho will perform Neruda’s Concerto for corno da caccia as well as Márquez’s concerto.
Shortly after this, he will play the French premiere of Sierra’s Salseando with the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine under Manuel Hernández-Silva, and the absolute premiere of Igmar Alderete’s Concierto Mambí with the Orquesta de Córdoba led by its principal conductor Carlos Domínguez-Nieto. This will be prior to his engagement with Alondra de la Parra and her project The Impossible Orchestra; his three appearances as a Resident Artist in La Virée Classique (The Classical Spree) of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra on his triple role as soloist, conductor and composer; and his performance on the premiere of Daniel Freiberg’s new trumpet concerto, Historias de Flores y Tangos, with the Minería Symphony Orchestra under Carlos Miguel Prieto, with whom Pacho will also launch his last recording for Deutsche Grammophon, which already includes some of these new trumpet concertos dedicated to him by Arturo Márquez and Paquito D’Rivera, together with Efrain Oscher’s Concierto Mestizo and Daniel Freiberg’s Latin American Chronicles.
Pacho Flores, Leo Rondón and Manuel Hernández-Silva meet again, this time together with the Gran Canaria Philmarmonic Orchestra, to offer a program that includes Kalinnikov’s Symphony No. 1 and two trumpet concerts: the Concerto Venezolano, by Paquito D’ Rivera, and Cantos y Revueltas, by Pacho himself. The concert will take place at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in Las Palmas on Saturday, May 6 at 8:00 p.m. These two trumpet concerts have several things in common, such as the fact that they were composed for a wide range of instruments of the trumpet family that include trumpets, cornets and flugelhorns, all with four pistons and manufactured by STOMVI: cornet in C, trumpet in C, cornet in G, flugelhorn in B flat and cornet in F for the Concerto Venezolano, and flugelhorn in B flat, cornet in D and trumpet in C for Cantos y Revueltas, which means that Pacho comes on stage with 6 different instruments.
Another thing both works have in common is the presence of the Venezuelan cuatro; in the case of D’Rivera, integrated as part of the orchestra, and in the case of Flores, as co-soloist with the trumpet —not in in vain this piece bears the subtitle Fantasia concertante for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings. Rondón is one of the most outstanding virtuosi of this instrument and has collaborated with ensembles such as the Quatuor Debussy, L’Arpeggiata by Christina Pluhar 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, Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra, Extremadura Symphony Orchestra, Navarre Symphony Orchestra, Tunisia Symphony Orchestra or Malaga Philharmonic, and he will soon debut with the Gran Canaria Philharmonic. Future engagements will take him to Sweden and Norway.
The Concerto Venezolano is a joint commission between the Minería Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Valencia Orchestra and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, which have premiered it under the baton of conductors Carlos Miguel Prieto, Domingo Hindoyan, Manuel Hernández-Silva and Rafael Payare, respectively. Cantos y Revueltas was premiered by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia and Manuel Hernández-Silva, and is the main work on the homonymous album by Deutsche Grammophon.
The absolute premiere of Albares, Pacho Flores’ concert for flugelhorn, will take place next Friday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Adán Martín Auditorium in Tenerife, performed by Pacho himself with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (OST) under the baton of Christian Vásquez. A second trumpet concert, Danzas Latinas by Efraín Oscher, commissioned and premiered by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia in November 2021 under Manuel Hernández-Silva, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 will complete the program. This flugelhorn concert is the second work composed by Pacho Flores for solo instrument and orchestra after Cantos y Revueltas, fantasia concertante for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings, which was also premiered by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia and Manuel Hernández-Silva in January 2018, featuring Leo Rondón on the Venezuelan cuatro, and which is part of the homonymous album for Deutsche Grammophon, Pacho’s fourth recording for the yellow label.
The instrument construction technique has always been vital for the development of music; not in vain instruments are the tools whose evolution and improvement have allowed composers to go a step further, demanding from the performers increasingly greater skills in order to exploit the potential of their new works, a classic virtuous circle. The appearance of pistons expanded the possibilities of brass instruments and therefore their importance within the orchestra, as well as their role as solo instruments, as was the case with Haydn’s Trumpet Concert, commissioned by Weidinger for a new instrument with valves that allowed him to play the chromatic scale, soon improved by the incorporation of the three pistons. Nowadays, Pacho Flores is promoting both an expansion of the solo trumpet repertoire as well as an unprecedented technological evolution of the instrument. Both lines do not run in parallel but intermingle and feed each other back continually, allowing their mutual development.
The expansion of the repertoire comes about through an ambitious project of shared commissions to leading composers, who write trumpet concerts for the new four-piston prototypes in new keys developed by STOMVI. Pacho works closely with the engineers in the development of these instruments, whose timbre and register possibilities are made known in advance to the composers, so that they know what they can expect from them. The fact that Pacho uses different trumpets in the same concert means that the expressive possibilities of timbre, color and range of these pieces are multiplied. In Albares, Pacho has given this process a new twist by requiring STOMVI to manufacture three new instruments to meet the demands of the work. For the first movement, Bambuco, a C flugelhorn has been constructed, for the second, Milonga, a low A flugelhorn, and for the third, Periquera, a high D flugelhorn.
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.