The Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra will present a world premiere of Vicente Gomez’s Concierto Flamenco on November 18, 2023 at 2 p.m. at the Brooklyn Museum. World-class artist and prize-winning classical guitarist Virginia Luque will perform the concierto accompanied by the orchestra.
Considered to be one of the great classical and flamenco guitarists of the 20th century, Vicente Gomez began performing at a young age, with his touring career taking flight at age 13 in Madrid. He went on to perform in Europe, North Africa, and America, making his debut at Town Hall in 1938.
Gomez was the go-to guitarist for Hollywood, appearing in five movies, including Blood and Sand with Tyrone Power and Rita Hayworth and The Snows of Kilimanjaro with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner. He also provided his music for four Broadway shows.
In 1953 Gomez moved to California and opened the School of Spanish Musical Arts, where classes offered included classical guitar, flamenco dancing, castanet playing, and even bullfighting.
Gomez recorded the Concierto Flamenco in 1960 on his guitar but never completed the orchestration. Bringing this unpublished masterpiece to life comes from the inspiration of two of Gomez’s most prominent students: Dorothy Savitch (now conductor of two New York orchestras, the BCCO and the Sound Symphony Orchestra,) and Patrick Russ, orchestrator for some of Hollywood’s most famous composers, including Elmer Bernstein and Maurice Jarre.
“I began studying with Vicente Gomez when I was eleven years old, going on to study with him for ten years. He was a musical grandfather to me, a wonderful teacher and great composer,” said Dorothy Savitch, Music Director of Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. “Shortly before he died, he gave me the score to this concierto, and I worked alongside world-famous orchestrator Patrick Russ, another one of Gomez’s students, to bring it to life. I’m so proud to be able to share it with the rest of the world.”
The first half of the upcoming concert begins with Leonard Bernstein’s Candide Overture and ends with Smetana’s orchestral tone poem, The Moldau. Performing with the orchestra will be three of Brooklyn Conservatory’s students, Mira Mandayam, Lou Couaillier, and Peter Corwin, winners of BKCM’s Suzuki Concerto Competition. The concert will end with the world premiere of the Concierto, a show-stopping finish to leave the tune ringing in the ears of all attendees.
Tickets for the 2PM concert can be purchased at https://bkcm.org/event/gomez-premiere/.
About Brooklyn Conservatory of Music:
The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BKCM) aims to transform lives and build community through the expressive, educational, and therapeutic powers of music. Our Park Slope home offers private music lessons, group classes, ensembles, and music therapy. Through our community engagement programs, we bring high-quality music education and music therapy to thousands of students and clients at public schools and community-based organizations across the city's five boroughs. We strive to be a safe, affirming, and inclusive place for all people to come together and experience learning, joy, creativity, and healing through music. For more information, visit: https://bkcm.org/