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José Luis Gomez, Music Director

“Throughout, the conductor and the orchestra were so intrinsically in sync that they seemed like a long married couple that finishes one another’s sentences. By the end of the symphony, Gomez needed only shrug a shoulder or turn towards the musicians to get them to respond with glorious results.“ – Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star

The Venezuelan-born, Spanish conductor José Luis Gomez was catapulted to international attention when he won First Prize at the International Sir Georg Solti Conductor’s Competition in Frankfurt in September 2010, securing a sensational and rare unanimous decision from the jury.

Gomez’s electrifying energy, talent and creativity earned him immediate acclaim from the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra where he was appointed to the position of Assistant Conductor, a post created especially for him by Paavo Jarvi and the orchestra directly upon the conclusion of the competition.

Gomez started his musical career as a violinist, and by the age of 11 he was Concertmaster of the Youth Orchestra of Zulia State - part of El Sistema de Orquestas Juveniles de Venezuela. He graduated in music and violin from the Manhattan School of Music in New York before embarking on a European orchestral career. Deciding to follow his dream to have more creative input and influence on musical direction he took conducting lessons from Lu Jia, Muhai Tang and John Nelson. After just six months of studying conducting he went on to win the Georg Solti competition.

Since then he has worked with the RTVE National Symphony Orchestra of Madrid, Houston Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, Hamburg Symphony, Basel Sinfonietta, Orquesta Sinfonica do Porto, Grand Rapids Symphony, and the Orchestra 1813 Teatro Sociale di Como with whom he also led performances of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, to name a few.

The 16/17 season sees Gomez’s appointment of a four-year position as Musical Director with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, resulting in a range of concerts throughout the year, including a new commission by Gabriella Smith, jazz-influenced orchestral works as well as traditional symphonic repertoire. The new season will also see appearances with Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra, Orqueste Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, and re-invitations to Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Macau Orchestra.

Gomez’s recent highlights include conducting the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, his Carnegie Hall debut with YPhil Youth International Philharmonic, his debut at the Moscow State Conservatory conducting for the widely televised New Year’s Eve concert with Soprano Federica Lombardi, and the MGD CD release of the Nielson, Francaix and Debussy clarinet concertos with talented young clarinetist Vladimir Soltan and the Hambourg Symphony Orchestra. 

Opera highlights have included La Bohème at Frankfurt Opera and a new production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola at Stuttgart Opera, of which he also conducted the revival in the following season, La Forza del Destino in Tokyo with the New National Theatre, Don Carlo at The State Opera in Tbilisi, Georgia, Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni with Teatro Sociale di Como, with whom he also closed the 13/14 season with a spectacular production of Cavalleria rusticana. In April 2017, Gomez will conduct a concert performance of La Traviata with Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra.

Other memorable performances included debuts with Royal Liverpool and Rochester Philharmonic, Vancouver, Pasadena, New Zealand, Elgin Symphony and the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestras, Sinfonia Varsovia, Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon, Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira and SWR Radio Sinfonie-orchester Stuttgart. Gomez also conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in their New Year concert and several educational projects.

Maestro Gomez was the principal conductor of the Orchestra 1813 Teatro Sociale di Como between 2012 and 2015.