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 recognized classical names, creating hugely interesting and unique concerts. He has also been responsible for commissioning new works; for example he and the orchestra co-commissioned a new concerto for orchestra and trumpet by Arturo Márquez which was given its US premiere under Gomez’s baton in 2019.
Upcoming highlights include two debuts in fall 2022: one with National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.) where he will conduct a new piece by Paquito d’Rivera performed by Yo-Yo Ma; and he will also make his debut with the Indianapolis Symphony in a program to include Strauss Der Rosenkavalier Suite and Brahms Piano Concerto No.2 with Stephen Hough. Over the summer he conducted Opera de Tenerife’s Opera Gala at Auditorio de Tenerife and the Chineke! Junior Orchestra at London’s Royal Festival Hall.
Other recent highlights saw Gomez return to the Flanders Symphony Orchestra to conduct a program featuring soloist Johannes Moser in Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, which toured venues around Belgium before returning to Brussels for Gomez to lead the orchestra in their season gala at Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel. He also returns to conduct the Colorado Symphony, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.
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, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, 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 León, Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano, Sinfonia Varsovia, SWR Radio Sinfonie-orchester Stuttgart, Sofia Philharmonic, 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 Radulović, 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.
He has also featured with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, recording Béla Fleck’s Second Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra “Juno Concerto,” and conducted the MGD CD release of the Nielsen, Françaix and Debussy Clarinet Concertos with talented young clarinetist 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 Music Director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra where his contract has been extended to the end of the 26/27 season.