Pepe Romero

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Pepe Romero
Pepe Romero 2000.JPG
Pepe Romero in 2000
Background information
Born (1944-03-08) March 8, 1944 (age 72)
Málaga, Spain
Genres Classical music, flamenco
Occupation(s) Guitarist, arranger
Instruments Guitar
Years active fl. ca. 1959 – present
Labels Philips Records
Associated acts The Romero Guitar Quartet
Website www.peperomero.com
Notable instruments
Torres 1856

Pepe Romero (born March 8, 1944, in Málaga, Spain) is a classical and flamenco guitarist. He is particularly noted for his outstanding technique and colorful musical interpretations on the instrument.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Pepe Romero was born in Spain, the second son of celebrated guitarist and composer Celedonio Romero, who was his only guitar teacher. His first professional appearance was in a shared concert with his father at the Teatro Lope de Vega, Seville, when Pepe was only seven years old,[1][2] playing a gavotte by Bach and Sevilla by Albéniz.[3] In 1957 Celedonio Romero left Franco's Spain for the United States with his singer actress wife, Angelita, and his three sons, Celin, Pepe and Angel, settling in the San Diego area.[4]

Teaching[edit]

Romero served as guitar professor at the University of Southern California, Southern Methodist University, University of San Diego and University of California at San Diego, before taking up the post of adjunct professor at USC Thornton School of Music.[1]

Romero published a guitar method, La Guitarra, in 2012.[2]

Career[edit]

In 1959, Pepe made his first recording, featuring traditional flamenco music of his native Andalucia.[1] At 16, he performed for the first time in Los Angeles, playing flamenco with his father and brothers Celin and Angel.[5]

As a soloist Pepe Romero has appeared in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, the Middle-East, Japan, and Australia with, variously, the London, Toronto, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, Pittsburgh, Boston, San Francisco and Dallas symphony orchestras, as well as with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New York, Bogotá and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, I Musici, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia Hungarica, the Hungarian State Orchestra, the Spanish National Orchestra, the Spanish National Radio/Television Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the New Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the American Sinfonietta, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He has been a special guest at the festivals of Salzburg, Israel, Schleswig-Holstein, Menuhin, Osaka, Granada, Istanbul, Ravinia, Garden State, Hollywood Bowl, Blossom, Wolf Trap, Saratoga and Hong Kong[2]

Romero has recorded over 60 albums, including 20 concerti with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields,[2] and 30 albums as part of the famed guitar quartet The Romeros. He has played for Presidents Carter and Nixon, the Queen of the Netherlands, the Prince of Wales and Pope John Paul II. He has numerous international recording awards to his credit and has received an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

His contributions to the field of classical guitar have inspired a number of distinguished composers to write works specifically for him, including Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Francisco de Madina, Lorenzo Palomo, Michael Zearott, Paul Chihara, Enrique Diemecke, Ernesto Cordero and Celedonio Romero.[2][6] He was personally chosen by the legendary Andrés Segovia for the world premiere of Torroba's Diálogos entre guitarra y orquesta.[2]

Of performing, Romero said,

Music makes us communicate through our soul, and if you can leave the theatre feeling that connection, that’s what I want more than anything.[7]

Although originally a classical guitarist, he is talented in flamenco and a popular flamenco performer. His most famous flamenco-only album is called ¡Flamenco Fenómeno!

The Romero Guitar Quartet[edit]

Honors[edit]

For contribution to the arts, he received the Premio Andalucía de la Músicahe in June 1996.[2]

On February 11, 2000, King Juan Carlos I of Spain knighted Pepe Romero and his brothers, Celin and Ángel, into the Order of Isabella the Catholic. The official ceremony of this high honor took place at the USC Thornton School of Music, and included a gala performance by The Romeros with the Thornton Chamber Orchestra. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Classical Guitar at the Thornton School, where he was named "Distinguished Artist in Residence" in 2004.[6][8]

In 2007, the Romero Quartet received the President's Merit Award from the Recording Academy, the producers of the Grammy Awards, and, in November 2012, Romero's recording of Concierto festivo by Ernesto Cordero was nominated for Best Classical Album at the Latin Grammy Awards.[2]

Guitars[edit]

Initially, Romero shared his father’s Santos Hernandez. In 1958, he bought a Miguel Rodriguez from Córdoba which he played until 1969. He then played a Hermann Hauser II before finally, in 1973, obtaining another Rodriguez which was his principal instrument until at least 2014.[3]

Discography[edit]

Solo Recordings or Soloist with Orchestra[edit]

No. Album Title Record Label Date
01 ¡Flamenco Fenomeno! Contemporary 1959
02 Flamenco! Mercury 1962
03 Giuliani Guitar Concerto, Op. 30, (Side A: Pepe Romero) Rodrigo: “Concierto Madrigal” for two guitars (Side B: Angel and Pepe Romero)(Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner) Philips 1974 *
04 Rodrigo: “Fantasía para un gentilhombre”, Giuliani: Introduction, Theme with Variations and Polonaise, op. 65 (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner) Philips 1975
05 Famous Guitar Music including Tárrega: "Recuerdos de la Alhambra"/Albéniz: "Asturias"/Villa Lobos/Lauro/Sagreras/Sor Philips 1976
06 Giuliani Guitar Concertos, Op.36 & Op.70 (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner) Philips 1976
07 Mauro Giuliani: Guitar Concertos, Op.30, Op.36, Op.70, Op.65(Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner) Philips 1976
08 Works for Guitar from Renaissance to Baroque Sanz, Milán, Mudarra, Narváez, Pisador, Valderrábano Philips 1976
09 Giuliani: Handel Variations, op.107, Gran Sonata Eroica, etc. Philips 1977
10 Flamenco Philips 1977
11 Rodrigo: “Concierto de Aranjuez” (Side A: Pepe Romero); “Concierto Andaluz” (Side B: Los Romeros)(Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner) Philips 1978 *
12 Sor: Guitar Sonatas/Gitarrensonaten Op.22 & 25 Philips 1978
13 Boccherini Guitar Quintets Nos. 4,5 & 6 (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields’ Chamber Ensemble) Philips 1978
14 Torroba: “Concierto Ibérico” (Side A: Los Romeros). “Diálogos” – (Side B: Pepe Romero side) Philips 1979 *
15 Boccherini Guitar Quintets Nos. 3 & 9, “La ritirata di Madrid” (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields’ Chamber Ensemble) Philips 1979
16 Boccherini Guitar Quintets Nos. 1,2 & 7 (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields’ Chamber Ensemble) Philips 1980
17 Joaquín Rodrigo/Pepe Romero guitar (solo works) Philips 1980
18 Pepe Romero: Bach Partita BWV 1004 & Suite BWV 1009 Philips 1981
19 Carulli 2 Sonatas Diabelli Sonata Op. 68, Grande Sonate brilliante Op. 102 (Pepe Romero, Wilhelm Hellweg, forte piano) Philips 1982
20 Jeux Interdits, Recuerdos de la Alhambra, Asturias Philips 1982
21 Rodrigo: “Concierto para una fiesta” Romero/Torroba:“Concierto de Málaga” (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner) Philips 1983
22 Villa-Lobos, Castelnuovo-Tedesco Guitar Concertos, Rodrigo: “Sones en la Giralda” (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner) Philips 1985
23 Pepe Romero Guitar: Albéniz/Tárrega/Moreno Torroba/Romero Philips 1985
24 Villa-Lobos: Five Preludes, Etude No.1, Suite populaire brésilienne Philips 1987
25 Pepe Romero: Flamenco – Chano Lobato, Maria Magdalena, Paco Romero Philips 1987
26 Carulli, Molino: Guitar Concertos, Mozart: Adagio KV 261, Rondo KV373 (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Iona Brown) Philips 1989
27 La Paloma: Spanish and Latin American Favorites Philips 1990
28 Vivaldi Guitar Concertos I Musici, Pepe Romero, Massimo Paris Philips 1991
29 Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez, Fantasía de un gentilhombre, Cançoneta, Invocación y danza, Trois petites piéces(ASMF, N. Marriner, Agustin Leon Ara)(“Shadows and Light: Rodrigo at 90”, a film by Larry Weinstein and Rhombus Media)(released also as a CD, Laser CD-Video disc and VHS cassette) Philips 1992 **
30 Noches de España: Romantic Guitar Classics-World premiere recording Sor Fantasie Philips 1993
31 Opera Fantasy for Guitar: Philips 1995
32 Songs My Father Taught Me Philips 1998
33 Boccherini: Quintetti con chitarra n.2,6,7,4(Pepe Romero with Quartetto Stadivari) UNICEF 1998
34 Palomo: Andalusian Nocturnes, Spanish Songs (Pepe Romero, guitar,Maria Bayo, soprano. Seville Royal Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos) NAXOS 2000
35 Homenatge a Montsalvatge Metamorfosi de concert (Pepe Romero, Orquesta de Cadaqués, Gianandrea Noseda) Tritó 2002
36 Corazón Español CPA Hollywood Records 2003
37 Chihara: Guitar Concerto (Pepe Romero, London Symphony, Neville Marriner) Albany Records 2004
38 Giuliani: Guitar Concert No.1, Rodrigo: Concierto Madrigal. Re-release 2004 on super audio CD (original release 1974) PentaTone 2004
39 The Art of Pepe Romero (compilation) Philips 200?
40 The Rodrigo Collection(Re-release 2005 – CD/DVD including “Shadows and Light” film) Philips 2005 **
41 Classic Romero CPA Hollywood Records 2005
42 Guitarrenmusik: Bach, Sor. (Re-release on CD) Philips Classics/Eloquence Label 200?
43 Recuerdos de la Alhambra: Spanishe Gitarrenmusik-Pepe Romero, Los Romeros Philips Classics/Eloquence Label 200? **
44 Aita Madina (Concierto vasco para 4 guitarras y orquesta Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa/Los Romero / Mandeal Claves 2005 **
  • (*)denotes albums where one side of the album was Pepe Romero and the second side was Los Romeros
  • (**) denotes albums that where mainly Pepe Romero with some involvement of the rest of Los Romeros

Pepe Romero with Los Romeros[edit]

No. Album Title Record Label Date
01 The Royal Family of the Spanish Guitar Mercury 1962
02 The Romeros: Spain's Royal Family of the Guitar; Baroque Concertos and Solo Works Mercury 1965
03 An Evening of Flamenco Music: The Romeros; The Royal Family of the Spanish Guitar Mercury 1965
04 The Romeros: The World of Flamenco Meercury 1967
05 Los Romeros: Die Könige der Spanischen Gitarre Mercury 1967
06 The Romeros: Spain's Royal Family of the Guitar; Vivaldi Guitar Concertos (San Antonio Symphony, V. Alessandro) Mercury 1968
07 Rodrigo: First Recording: “Concierto Andaluz” for four guitars and orchestra, (Side A: the Romeros); “Concierto de Aranjuez” for solo guitar and orchestra, (Side B: Angel Romero)(San Antonio Symphony, V. Alessandro) Mercury 1968
08 The Romeros Play Classical Music for Four Guitars Philips 1976
09 Los Romeros-Telemann/Bach/D. Scarlatti/Loeillet/Dowland Philips 1977
10 Rodrigo: “Concierto de Aranjuez”, Pepe Romero; “Concierto Andaluz”, Los Romeros (Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner) Philips 1978
11 Joaquín Rodrigo: “Concierto Madrigal” “Concierto Andaluz”, Los Romeros(Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, N. Marriner. Re-release Philips
12 Torroba: “Concierto Ibérico” - Los Romeros, “Diálogos” – Pepe Romero First recording Philips 1979
13 Vivaldi Guitar Concertos, Los Romeros(Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Iona Brown) Philips 1984
14 Bizet Carmen Suite – Falla Dances, Moreno Torroba Sonata - Los Romeros Philips 1984
15 Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez, Fantasía de un gentilhombre, Cançoneta, Invocación y danza, Trois petites piéces(ASMF, N. Marriner, Agustin Leon Ara)(“Shadows and Light: Rodrigo at 90”, a film by Larry Weinstein and Rhombus Media)(released also as a CD, Laser CD-Video disc and VHS cassette) Philips 1992
16 Los Romeros: Spanish Guitar Favorites (Celedonio, Celin, Pepe, Celino Romero) 1993
17 The Romeros: Generations CPA Hollywood Records 2000
18 Homenaje a Joaquín Rodrigo-Los Romero con Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE(Recorded 1997, live performance at the Alhambra)
19 Recuerdos de la Alhambra: Spanishe Gitarrenmusik (Pepe Romero, Los Romeros) Re-release on CD
20 Aita Madina (Concierto vasco para 4 guitarras y orquesta. Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa/Los Romero / Mandeal 2005
21 Los Romeros: Golden Jubilee Celebration. 50th Anniversary re-release DECCA 200?
23 The Romeros: Celebration RCA RED Seal/SONY 2008

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Knisely, Richard (4 November 2007). "Pepe Romero and the Art of the Spanish Guitar". NPR Music. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Pepe Romero Biography" (PDF). Columbia Artists Management. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Paget, Clive (17 July 2014). "Pepe Romero: Maestro of the guitar". Limelight. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Roland, Terry (March 2015). "A Conversation with Pepe Romero". The San Diego Troubadour. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  5. ^ Wager, Gregg (4 December 1987). "Music Is Nonstop for Pepe Romero". LA Times. 
  6. ^ a b "USC Thornton School of Music Faculty". University of Southern California. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Kanengiser, William (12 November 2013). "A poignant return to Bach". New York Guitar Festival. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Pepe Romero: Biography". Pepe Romero: official website. Pepe Romero. 

External links[edit]