The Venezuelan-born, Spanish conductor José Luis Gomez began his musical career as a violinist but 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 Järvi and the orchestra directly upon the conclusion of the competition.
In 2016, Gomez was named Music Director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Since taking the helm, the orchestra has seen a marked increase in subscribers and donors to the orchestra and Gomez has worked tirelessly to introduce innovative and exciting new outreach activities whilst continuing to nurture and support existing education projects. For example the unique Young Composers’ Project which sees students new to composing working closely with orchestra representatives to create new compositions, culminating in a public performance and recording. Maestro Gomez is also a champion of many lesser-known composers from South America, programming their works sensitively with more recognised classical names, creating hugely interesting and unique concerts. He has also been responsible for commissioning new works, for example he and the orchestra were co-commissioners of a new concerto for orchestra and trumpet by Arturo Marquez which was given its US premier under Gomez’s baton in 2019.
The 19/20 and 20/21 seasons in Tucson will see Gomez conduct the complete Beethoven’s Symphonies and selected Concertos in a celebration of the composers works in his anniversary year, and additionally in the 19/20 season he will conduct Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, a selection of works by Rossini with rising star Federica Lombardi, the world premiere of Lopez-Hanshaw’s vokas animo for Orchestra and Chorus, and a gala evening with Renée Fleming. In past seasons Gomez has invited and enjoyed working with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, Barry Douglas, Vadym Kholodenko and Gil Shaham.
In The Americas he enjoys a close relationship with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and has also worked with such orchestras as the Houston Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, Vancouver, Colorado, Grand Rapids, Winnipeg, and Alabama Symphonies, the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, Rochester & Louisiana Philharmonics, Pasadena, Elgin, and he made his debut at Carnegie Hall with YPhil Youth International Philharmonic. Further south, he has worked with Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira, Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra and Orquesta Nacional de Peru.
He has worked extensively at home in Europe with such orchestras as RTVE National Symphony Orchestra of Madrid, Weimar Staatskapelle Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Hamburg Symphony, Karlsruhe Staatstheatre Orchestra, Basel Sinfonietta, Orquesta Sinfonica do Porto, Castilla y Leon, Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano, Sinfonia Varsovia, SWR Radio Sinfonie-orchester Stuttgart, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, and in 2019 he made a very successful debut with Komische Oper Berlin with Gabriela Montero as soloist.
In Australasia he has worked with the Macau Orchestra and Nemanja Radulovic, New Zealand Symphony, Australian National Academy of Music in a Celebration of Bernstein, the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, the Daegu Symphony Orchestra, as well as conducting and curating the programme for the inaugural year of the Solasian Youth Orchestra at the Daegu Festival.
At the end of the 19/20 season he will make his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic. He will also embark on an extensive tour of the UK with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra with Milos Karadaglic as soloist. Another debut will take him to California to work with the Pacific Symphony and Joyce Yang, and he will also work with both the Malaga Filharmonica and the Phoenix Symphony for the first time.
Other memorable performances included debuts with the Moscow State Conservatory, the widely televised New Year’s Eve concert in Sofia, and with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in their New Year concerts.
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 and Norma at The State Opera in Tbilisi, Georgia, La Traviata in concert with Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni with Teatro Sociale di Como, with whom he also closed their season with a spectacular production of Cavalleria Rusticana.
He has also featured with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, recording Bela Fleck’s Second Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra “Juno Concerto,” and conducted the MGD CD release of the Nielson, Francaix and Debussy Clarinet Concertos with talented young clarinettist Vladimir Soltan and the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra.
Maestro Gomez was the principal conductor of the Orchestra 1813 Teatro Sociale di Como between 2012 and 2015 where he curated a new symphonic season, which resulted in a new and enthusiastic audience, conducting concerts to full houses. He is Musical Director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra where his contract has been extended to the end of the 23/24 season.