On February 17, 2023, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra presents the US premiere of Roberto Sierra’s trumpet concerto Salseando, featuring soloist Pacho Flores. Manuel Hernández-Silva conducts. The three-movement, 18-minute work – with improvisation – was written for Flores, and was commissioned and premiered by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Domingo Hindoyan led the world premiere in January 2020. Salseando was also co-commissioned by three additional orchestras who have presented their own performances: the Sao Paulo State Symphony (Brazil); the State of Murcia Symphony (Spain) and the National Orchestra of Bordeaux-Aquitaine (France) — both of which were conducted by Hernández-Silva. The Tucson Symphony repeats its concert program on February 19.
Sierra comments on his concerto. “I would say that Salseando is traditional in the sense of its fast-slow-fast movements [and] structure. On the other hand, it is infused with popular idioms, hence the title ‘Salseando,’ a word derived from the concept of ‘salsa’ music. As in my Concerto for Saxophones, I’ve also provided the opportunity for the soloist to improvise, in the manner that salsa musicians would do in the score’s ‘montuno’ sections.”
Conductor Manuel Hernández-Silva shares some thoughts about the work on the eve of the US premiere. “I’ve had the honor and fortune of conducting the Spanish and French premieres of Roberto Sierra’s Salseando. It is a concerto that masterfully recreates a genre as popular as ‘Salsa’ with the different styles and dances that compose it. It is a work that allows both the soloist and the orchestra to revel in a great display. As a Venezuelan, these rhythms are very familiar to me because they have been part of my musical and sentimental education since I was a child. So, it was enormously interesting to immerse myself in this work that so masterfully dresses these popular rhythms with symphonic clothing, and even more so, with a soloist of Pacho Flores’ stature, who, with this commissioned work is actively contributing new masterpieces to the repertoire of solo trumpet with orchestra. It will be a pleasure for me to conduct Salseando again with the Tucson Symphony, as maestro Sierra’s music forms an indispensable part of today’s great repertoire.”
More Sierra Salseando news: next month, on March 1 and 2, Pacho Flores takes Salseando on the road for its Canadian premiere with the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec conducted by Anu Tali at the Grand Théâtre de Québec.