Cloister of the Convent of Santo Domingo
MICHEL CAMILO: Piano
ÁNGEL GIL-ORDÓÑEZ: Conductor
We are grateful to have the Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands back at the festival after two years without them due to extenuating circumstances. This show brings back one of the most important Spanish conductors living in the United States, Ángel Gil-Ordóñez, and a respected soloist, Michel Camilo, who is famous for his brilliant performance of the Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. Mr. Camilo received a Grammy for best recording for this show, which will be performed at the Festival the first time this year.
Rhapsody in Blue
Overture to Candide
Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story”
2. Somewhere (Adagio)
3. Scherzo (Vivace e leggiero)
4. Mambo (Meno presto)
5. Cha-Cha, “Maria” (Andantino con grazia)
6. Meeting Scene (Meno mosso)
7. Fugue, “Cool” (Allegretto)
8. Rumble (Molto allegro)
9. Finale (Adagio)
Approximate length: 1 hour, 20 minutes (including 15 minute intermission)
Michel Camilo was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He studied for 13 years at the National Conservatory and at the age of 16 became a member of the National Symphony Orchestra of his country. He moved to New York in 1979 where he continued his studies at Mannes and Juilliard School of Music. Since his 1985 Carnegie Hall debut he has become a prominent figure performing regularly at festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, Asia, Middle East, South America and the Caribbean.
His twenty one recordings to date have been recognized with a Grammy award, an Emmy award, three Latin Grammy awards, two Grammy award nominations and two Premios de la Música (Spain). He has recorded in Solo, Duo, Trio, Sextet, Big Band and guest soloist with Symphony Orchestras, as well as film soundtracks. He moves with ease between the worlds of Jazz, Latin and Classical music.
Highlights include his two-year appointment as Jazz Creative Director Chair for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a five year tenure as Musical Director of the Heineken Jazz Festival (Dominican Republic), Artist of the Year, Artist in Residence at the Klavier Piano Festival Ruhr, Co-Artistic Director of the 1st Latin-Caribbean Music Festival at the Kennedy Center, performing the world premiere of his Concerto for Piano & Orchestra No. 1 with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin, his Rhapsody for Two Pianos and Orchestra performed by Katia & Marielle Labèque at the Royal Festival Hall. On March 13 and 14, 2009, Mr. Camilo performed the world premiere of his Concerto for Piano & Orchestra No. 2 - Tenerife (commissioned by the Tenerife Auditorium) as guest soloist with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lü Jiá.
Guest engagements with prestigious symphony orchestras include the National (NSO), Detroit, Cleveland, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta, Gulbenkian, BBC, Nacional (Spain), Orchestre National de Lyon, New Japan, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Arhus, RTVE, Euskadi Orkestra, Musikkollegium Wintherthur, among others.
Special collaborations include the successful piano & flamenco guitar Duo Michel Camilo & Tomatito, jazz piano duets with Chucho Valdés and Hiromi; and gala concerts with the Danish Radio and WDR Big Bands, Luxembourg Jazz Orchestra and the Bulgarian Brass Association.At present, Mr. Camilo is composing a new work titled Concerto for Jazz Trio & Orchestra that is to be premiered in April 2017.
The Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands was created in 1988, under the auspices of the Public Foundation of the Balearic Islands for Music, the Balearic Government, the Palma de Mallorca City Council and the Council of Majorca.
Although the history of symphonic music in the Balearic Islands dates back to the 1940s, the credit from building up the orchestra to what it is today belongs to the recently belated Maestro Luis Remartínez, who was the President and Artistic Director from 1988 to 1994. Other maestros have followed, including Philippe Bender, Salvador Brotons, Geoffrey Simon, Edmon Colomer and Josep Vicent. Currently, Pablo Mielgo is its chief conductor, sharing artistic direction with Joji Hattori, the principal guest conductor.
In addition to its show season in Palma de Mallorca, during the opera season, The Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands is involved in productions with the Palma Theater Foundation and the Friends of the Opera of Maó, in opera festivals such as the Bellver Castle Music Festival, the Pollença Festival, the Sunset Classics Festival, in the Belearic Symphonic Soloists’ chamber music cycles at the Museum of Mallorca, at the Castle Museum of San Carlos and the Cycles of Contemporary Music at the Es Baluard. They also hold concerts as part of the “Family Symphony” and “Symphony in Society” programs, where they bring music to people from disadvantaged social backgrounds.
During its 26 years of performances, the orchestra has accompanied internationally-recognized soloists, such as Juan Diego Florez, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Teresa Berganza, Joaquin Achucarro, Piotr Anderszewski, Maria Bayo, Simon Orfila, Francisco Fullana as well as Katia and Marielle Labeque.
The Orchestra has given concerts in the major cities of Spain as well as in Perpignan, Cannes, Marseilles, Vienna and Zurich.Currently, the Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands has the official sponsorship of Banco Mirabaud.
A frequent guest conductor across Europe, the United States and Latin America, Maestro Gil-Ordóñez holds the positions of Music Director/Conductor of PostClassical Ensemble in Washington DC, Principal Guest Conductor of New York’s Perspectives Ensemble, and Music Director of the Georgetown University Orchestra in DC. He also serves as advisor for education and programming for Trinitate Philharmonia, a program in León, Mexico, modeled on Venezuela’s El Sistema.
As the co-founder, along with music historian Joseph Horowitz, of PostClassical Ensemble in Washington DC, Gil-Ordóñez’ music directorship and conducting has helped propel Post Classical Ensemble to what Phillip Kennicott, The Washington Post (2/16/15), has called “…one of the country’s most innovative music groups.”
In the United States, he has appeared with the American Composers Orchestra, Opera Colorado, the Pacific Symphony, the Hartford Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the National Gallery Orchestra in Washington. Abroad, he has been heard with the Munich Philharmonic, the Solistes de Berne, at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and at the Bellas Artes National Theatre in Mexico City. In the summer of 2000, he toured the major music festivals of Spain with the Valencia Symphony Orchestra in the Spanish premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass.
The former Associate Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Spain, Gil-Ordóñez was born in Madrid (Spain) and became an American citizen in 2009. He worked closely with legendary conductor Sergiu Celibidache in Germany for more than six years, and also studied with Pierre Boulez and Iannis Xenakis in France.
An artist of the label Naxos, Gil-Ordóñez has recorded five CDs devoted to Spanish composers, in addition to PostClassical Ensemble’s Virgil Thomson and Copland CD/DVDs. In May 2016, Naxos released the classic 1935 Mexican film, Redes, a world premiere recording of the soundtrack of the full score by Revueltas. The LA Times picked it as their recording of the week.
In 2006, the King of Spain awarded Mr. Gil-Ordóñez the country’s highest civilian decoration, the Royal Order of Queen Isabella, for his work in advancing Spanish culture around the world, in particular for performing and teaching Spanish music in its cultural context. Mr. Gil-Ordóñez received a WAMMIE award in 2011 from the Washington DC association of professional musicians in the category of best conductor.