Ricardo Llorca is one of the most promising talents to emerge from the new generation of
contemporary Spanish-American composers. Llorca
was born in 1962 in Alicante, a city located in the southeastern
coastal region of Spain that has been the birthplace of many great
Esplá, Ruperto Chapi, José Iturbi, López Chavarri,
Martín y Soler, Joaquín Rodrigo, Tarrega, etc. He
later moved to Madrid, where he studied at that city’s Royal
Conservatory under Román Alis and attended the most theoretically
advanced courses at the Festival de Granada with Luigi Nono, Carmelo
Bernaola, and Luis de Pablo. After graduating in 1988, Llorca traveled
to New York in order to continue his studies at the Juilliard School,
where he has worked with composers David Diamond and John Corigliano.
Upon completing his studies, Llorca assumed a
at Juilliard, and continues to teach there today. Llorca combines
his teaching responsibilities at Juilliard with his work as a composer,
which has garnered him the "Richard Rogers Scholarship, 1992"; the "American Chamber Music
Award, 1994"; the "Virgen de la Almudena Award, 1999"; and the "John Simon Guggenheim Award,
Ricardo Llorca is the composer-in-residence for the New York-based dance company
“Sensedance”. Llorca is currently teaching at The Juillliard School and at The Queen Sofía
Spanish Institute in New York City. Llorca is a grant recipient of “The Argosy Foundation”
and “Met-Life/Meet the Composer 2008”.
Ricardo Llorca was recently commissioned by the National Orchestra of Spain to write a new orchestral piece:"Thermidor" (premiered on October 2014 at the National Auditorium in Madrid).
The New York Opera Society and the Consulate General of Spain in New York City announced in 2016 the commission of a new opera: “Three Top Hats” by composer Ricardo Llorca (based on the play “Tres Sombreros de Copa”, by spanish author Miguel Mihura. This opera was premiered in Teatro Sergio Cardoso in Sao Paulo in November 26th and 28th 2017. Upcoming performances of "Tres Sombreros de Copa/Three Top Hats" have been announced at the Gran Teatro Opera del Amazonas (Manaos) on 2019, and Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid on November 14th 2019.
The New York Opera Society
Ricardo Llorca is also the Assistant Deputy Director at NYOS (The New York Opera
Society) from 2008 to present
Duties at NYOS: reports to the Executive Director and Board of Directors
and is responsible and accountable for the management of New York Opera Society (NYOS) both
artistically and administratively. As Assistant Deputy Director, ensures that NYOS fulfills
its mission and achieves its goals for artistic excellence, community engagement, and
financial stewardship. Help oversee $250,000+ annual budget plan, develop and fund annual
programming. Recruit artists, develop audience, cultivate corporate, educational and donor
participation, and intensively evaluate performances towards the goal of continually
improving the organization. Write and defend grants from foundations, private sector and
government to underwrite annual productions of contemporary opera in the US, to host a
yearly festival in the south of France, and to participate in accredited international
Serve as the chief liaison for a very dynamic Board of Directors, run an annual Salon
Series, develop Outreach in communities under STEM guidelines, Young Artists Program (Jeunes
Solistes) and oversee the production of every artistic work from the ground up with truly
distinguished artists from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera and New York City
Opera rosters, etc. with top tier production partners like the United Nations, the World
Financial Center, the National Gallery of Art, Chicago Cultural Center, etc.
Ricardo Llorca’s Opera “Las Horas Vacias”. “XII Setmana de Musica Sacra”. Benidorm, Spain. Premiere of the concert version in Spain by Dorota Grezskowiak, Maria Ruiz de Apodaca, Agrupacion Coral de Benidorm and Orchestra del Julius Stern Institute of Berlin.
Notable works by Llorca include:
Opera "Tres Sombreros de Copa/Three Top Hats"
A new opera based in Miguel Mihura´s theater play commissioned by The New York Opera Society and premiered in Teatro Sergio Cardoso in Sao Paulo in November 26th and 28th 2017. Upcoming performances of "Tres Sombreros de Copa/Three Top Hats" have been announced at the Gran Teatro Opera del Amazonas (Manaos) on 2019, and Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid on November 14th 2019.
"Thermidor" (for organ and symphonic orchestra)
Premiered by the National Orchestra of Spain on October 17th, 18th and 19th 2014, at the
National Auditorium in Madrid
"Thermidor" (notes by Ricardo Llorca)
According to Imbert de Saint-Amand: "Thermidor is the triumph of tolerance and plurality
against the revolutionary fanaticism, the victory of pleasure against pain, of life against
death, joy against suffering". The "Reaction of Thermidor" is the name given
to the period of the French Revolution in which the ending of the "revolutionary
government" and the Terror, gave way to the control of conservatives, called precisely
"Thermidorians". Because of the Thermidor reaction - 9 Thermidor Year II - with
the overthrow of the revolutionary radical Maximilien Robespierre and his followers, the
word "Thermidor" means a retreat from the goals and radical strategies towards
more conservative and traditional goals.
In addition, during the period of the French Thermidor, a new kind of quirky characters made
an appearance on the streets: "Les Incroyables", sons of the old nobility and
survivors of the guillotine. "Les Incroyables" were extremely affected and filled
with provocative insolence. They were equipped with batons used with a dual purpose, on the
one hand to signal their aristocratic roots, and secondly, to attack the sans-coulotte,
which were considered the symbol of revolutionary fanaticism.
Of all these, the most signified was the Spanish aristocrat Teresa Cabarrus, "Our Lady
of Thermidor", who introduced Greek Revival and Neoclassical style in France. "Les
Incroyables" were young and eager to live all that fundamentalists revolutionaries had
taken from them.
It is not difficult to see the relationship and the metaphor I can suggest with this concept
of "Thermidorian reaction" if we apply it to the field of culture, and more
specifically to a work of contemporary music.
Opera “Las Horas Vacias”/” Empty Hours”/ “Vertane
Zeit”, premiered at the “XII Setmana de Musica Sacra de Benidorm”,
and later performed at the Berlin Cathedral on September 7th 2007; at the Dag Hammarskjold
Theater at the United Nations in New York City on November 17th 2008; at Alice Tully Hall
(Lincoln Center, New York City) on November 19th 2010; at the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic
Hall on October 3rd 2012; Teatro San Pedro (Sao Paulo, August 8th 2014). A CD recording
of “Las Horas Vacias/The Empty Hours” has been released by Columna Música
on September 2011.
"Borderline" (for batucada and orchestra). Work commisioned by CDNM (Centro
para la Documentacion Nacional de la Música) premiered on June 4, 2012 at the National
Museum Reina Sofia in Madrid, and later performed at the ENSEMS (Festival of Contemporary
Music of Valencia) on May 29th, 2013.
"The CNDM has commissioned for this concert a work by composer Ricardo Llorca, whose
language, influences and conviction, does not depart from the classical constructive rigor
of J. S. Bach, but retains the melodic expression and communication of Aarvo Part and the
sensuality of Bjork "
“Handeliana” (for guitar). A work commissioned by american guitar virtuoso
Adam Levin, premiered at the 2012 Boston Guitar Festival, and later performed at Fundacion
Juan March (Madrid); Le Poisson Rouge (New York City ); Instituto Cervantes (New York City);
Concurso Internacional de Guitarra de Sevilla (Spain); Carnegie Hall (New York City); The
College Music Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A CD recording of “Handeliana” has been
released by the label Naxos on July 2013.
"Identifying Bodies at the Twenty-Sixth Street Pier" for Choir
(SATB) and orchestra. Commissioned by The Manhattan Choral Ensemble to commemorate The
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911. Premiered by The Manhattan Choral Ensemble at the
Church of the Incarnation (New York City, March 12, 2011). Text from Jonathan Fink's poem
"Conflagration and Wage”.
“La Llum”, a piece for Choir (SATB ) and solo piano, commissioned by The
Manhattan Choral Ensemble and premiered at Earl Hall (Columbia University) on March 7th 2009
Pieces for Piano and Orchestra”. Premiered in 1999 by the Orquesta de la
Radiotelevisión Española at Teatro Monumental de Madrid. Also performed in 2002 by the
Orquesta Sinfónica de Valencia; in 2004 by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico; in 2005 by
the Savannah Symphony Orchestra, the New York Opera Society Orchestra, and The New Mexico
Symphony Ochestra by soloists: Miguel Baselga; Maria Antonia Garcia, and Mac Maclure. A CD
recording of “Three Pieces for Piano and Orchestra” (“El Tiempo Malherido”) was released in
2004 by the label “RTVE Música” , recorded with soloist Miguel Baselga and conductor Jose de
Eusebio with the Orquesta de la Radiotelevision Española.
“Concierto Italiano para flauta de pico, guitarra, clave continuo y orquesta de
cuerdas” . Commissioned by Museo Reina Sofia/Centro para la Difusion de la
Música Contemporánea. Premiered by “La Folía and I Solisti Aquilani Orchestra” in the
Auditorio Nacional de Madrid as part of the Festival Internacional Andrés Segovia in 2002.
Later performed in 2003 by soloist Alex Garrobé, “La Folía” and “La Camerata del Prado” in
the XI Setmana de Música Sacra de Benidorm; in 2004 by German Gutierrez and the Youth
Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth (YOGFW) in San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Medellin (Colombia);
and in 2006 by the San José Symphony Orchestra. A CD recording of “Concierto Italiano” was
released in 2005 by the label “Columna Música” with soloists Alex Garrobé; Pedro Bonet;
Belen Gonzalez and conductor Guerassim Voronkov with the Orquesta de la Academia del Liceo
“Three Academic Pieces for Piano”: I “Sarao,” II “Coral,” III “Fuga”.
Commissioned by the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute (New York City) in 2001 and premiered by
pianist Terrence Wilson at the Florence Gould Hall (Alliance Française New York) in a
concert dedicated to Ricardo Llorca’s chamber music: “Ricardo Llorca and the Music of
Catalonia”). Also performed by pianist Mac Maclure at Queen Sofía Spanish Institute, New
York; MUBAG (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Alicante) by pianist Ricardo Descalzo; Sala de
Camara del Auditorio Nacional de Madrid by pianist Mac Maclure; Festival Iberoamericano de
las Artes ( San Juan Puerto Rico) by pianist Maria Antonia Garcia; Festival de Musica
Contemporanea de Caracas by pianist Raimon Garriga. A CD recording of “Three Academic Pieces
for Piano” was released in 2005 by the label “Columna Música”” with soloist Raimon Garriga;
and later by the label “RTVE Música” with soloist Ricardo Descalzo.
“The Dark Side”
(monodrama for mezzosoprano and piano).
Premiered in 1995 by mezzosoprano Cheryl Marshall at Paul Recital Hall (The Juilliard
School, NY). Later performed at The Miller Theater at Columbia University; The Chicago
Cultural Center; The Queen Sofía Spanish Institute; and Auditorio Nacional de Música /
Centro para la Difusión de la Musica Contemporánea, by soloists Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Sonia
Gancedo, Cindy Sanner, Rosa Betancourt and Gustavo Ahualli (in its version for baritone). A
CD recording of “The Dark Side” was released in 2005 by the label “Columna Música” with
soloists Nancy Fabiola Herrera and Mac Maclure.
“El Combat del Somni” (commissioned by “The New York Opera Society and The
Michael Phelps/John O’Brien Salon Series” and premiered by Deborah Dimasi on October 16th
2009 at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute of New York; and by Rosa Bethancourt at "The
Chicago Cultural Center" on October 18th 2009.
"The Fallen Angel" ( "Virgen de la Almudena Award 1999
"). Premiered in 1999 at the National Auditorium in Madrid with Jose Ramon Encinar and
the Orquesta Filarmonica de Madrid.
“The Swimming-Pool”, for Dancers, Electro-Acoustic Instruments, and
Percussion (first performed as part of the Composers and Choreographers Series at Lincoln
Center, New York, 1993).
As well as music for the theater (“Sancta Sussana”, “Amor de Perlimplin con
Belisa en su Jardin”); film scores (“Expiration Date”,“Hanging Gardens”,“La
Espalda de Dios "); dance ( “Sensedance NY”); music for the BBC
documentary "Mario Testino”; solo songs, chamber & orchestral music.