Living Legend - Pepe Romero Returns to Portland! November 19 2014
It is no exaggeration to say that Pepe Romero is a living legend in the worlds of both classical and flamenco music. Now in his seventh decade, Romero is the second son of the famed Spanish guitarist and composer Celedonia Romero, with whom he was a founding member of the beloved quartet, the Romeros—affectionately known as the “Royal Family of the Guitar.” To achieve musical excellence in that context alone would have been notable for most guitarists. But Pepe Romero has gone even farther than world-class ensemble playing, mastering his instrument as a soloist as well, thanks to an astonishing technique and a wide-ranging and unerring musical taste.
In his long career, Romero’s contributions to the art of the guitar have been inestimable. Since his public debut at age seven, he has performed regularly, giving literally thousands of concerts, before all sorts of audiences—from avid fans; to eager students; to popes, presidents, kings, and queens. Romero has been a special guest at all of the prominent classical music festivals—Salzburg, Tanglewood, and Wolf Trap, for example, have all presented him to great acclaim. He has performed with the most renowned ensembles of our time, including the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, the Boston Pops, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the London Symphony, the American Sinfonietta, and many others. He is highly respected and sought after by the world’s greatest conductors; it is not unusual to find him performing with the likes of Sir Neville Marriner, Eugene Ormandy, Arthur Fiedler, Andre Kostelanetz, and Leonard Slatkin.
Romero has inspired the creation of beautiful new works by such famed composers as Joaquín Rodrigo and Federico Moreno Torroba, as well as by his esteemed father. And as a music scholar as well as a performer, Romero rounds out his repertoire by championing the work of lesser-known composers from the history of the guitar, including Fernando Sor and Mauro Giuliani. He has an extensive discography, which includes more than eighty recordings. His most recent offering, a Naxos release that featured Ernesto Cordero’s new work Concerto Festivo, was nominated for a Latin Grammy.
In addition to his outstanding concert career, Romero is a gifted and dedicated teacher, with tenures at the University of Southern California, the University of California at San Diego, Southern Methodist University, and the University of San Diego. His master classes have previously been featured by the prestigious Salzburg Summer Academy, the Córdoba Guitar Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. He has received numerous honors and awards for his contributions as both a teacher and a performer, including a Distinguished Artist in Residence appointment at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, a knighthood from King Juan Carlos I of Spain, and the President’s Merit Award—presented to all of the Romeros by the Recording Academy, in honor of significant contributions to music.
It is an honor for us to have Pepe Romero return for the Portland Classic Guitar Series 10th Anniversary season.