Sunday October 2, 2016
Sunset Center, Carmel
Michael Praetorius (1571-1621)
A. Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999)
Angel Barrios (1882-1964)
Joaquin Turina (1882-1949)
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)
G. Bizet (1838-1875) (arr. Torroba/Romero)
Heitor Villa Lobos (1887-1959)
Celedonio Romero (1913-1999)
Fernando Bustamante (1915-1979)
Pepe Romero (1944)
The Romero Guitar Quartet
Celin, Pepe, Lito and Celino Romero
In the words of Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo, "The Romeros have developed the technique of the guitar by making what is difficult to be easy; they are, without a doubt, the grand masters of the guitar."
To some fortunate musicians, it is given to rise to the peak of a musical art form; to some very few musicians, it is given to originate an art form. The Romeros have achieved both. In a lengthy feature article The New York Times said: "Collectively, they are the only classical guitar quartet of real stature in the world today; in fact, they virtually invented the format."
A veritable institution in the world of classical music, the quartet has dazzled countless audiences and won the raves of reviewers worldwide. The legendary Celedonio Romero, with his sons Celin, Pepe and Angel, founded the internationally renowned ensemble known to millions as "The Royal Family of the Guitar."
With the introduction of Celin's son, Celino, into the quartet in 1990, and Angel's son Lito joining his father in duo recital, The Romeros encompass three generations of concert artists. To have so many virtuosi of the same instrument in one family is unique in the world of musical performance, and in the realm of the classical guitar it is absolutely without precedent.
Those who are privileged to hear these world-renowned musicians perform have the delightful opportunity to experience a musical phenomenon: "One of the enduring mysteries of musical talent is how skills seem to flow genetically from musical parent to musical child. In the Romero family the flow has been swift and unimpeded. The virtuosity of the four Romeros was uniformly solid and finely considered, as if these techniques had derived from a single mold" (The New York Times).
Celedonio Romero was a renowned soloist in Franco's Spain. As each of his sons reached the age of two or three, they began learning the guitar from their father. All of his sons had made their debuts in Spain by the time they were seven years old. In 1957, the family immigrated to the United States where "The Romeros" walked onto the world stage as its first guitar quartet while the boys were still in their teens.
Since then The Romeros have given hundreds of concerts all over the world and have consistently dazzled audiences everywhere and have inspired enthusiastic praise from critics coast to coast. They continue to this day to produce music, which is extraordinary.
The sterling reputation of the Romeros has been continually confirmed by repeated appearances with virtually every major symphony orchestra in the United States including those of Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Detroit and many others.
The family has twice been invited to the White House; in 1983 they appeared at the Vatican in a special concert for His Holiness Pope John Paul II, and in 1986 they performed for His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. Regular festival appearances include the Hollywood Bowl, Blossom, Wolf Trap, Saratoga, Flagstaff and Garden State.
For over 4years three generations of Romeros have inspired composers to enrich the repertoire of guitar quartet with orchestra, which includes works by such distinguished composers as Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Morton Gould, Francisco de Madina, Lorenzo Palomo and others.
Television fans have seen and heard the Romeros many times on television among them, the Tonight and Today shows as well as on PBS specials and PBS's telecast of Evening at the Boston Pops with The Romeros performing Vivaldi and Rodrigo.