Ricardo LLorca

Ricardo Llorca (Alicante, 1958) is one of the most recognizable spanish composers in the international music scene. Llorca studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid with Román Alis and Antón García Abril. He also worked with composers Luigi Nono, Carmelo Bernaola and Luis de Pablo in the more advanced courses at the Granada Festival. After graduating in 1988, Ricardo Llorca moved to New York City to complete his studies at The Juilliard School of Music, where he has worked with composers David Diamond and John Corigliano. Llorca currently works as a teacher at The Juilliard School of Music. Llorca alternates his teaching work - he has also been a teacher at the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute in New York City -with his compositional duties which have 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, 2001". Ricardo Llorca is also the Assistant Deputy Director at NYOS (The New York Opera Society) from 2008 to Llorca trabaja actualmente como profesor en “The Juilliard School”present. Teatro Real de Madrid in coproduction with Los Teatros del Canal and in collaboration with The New York Opera Society and HighC Music have announced the premiere in Spain of the stage version of "Las Horas Vacías " by Ricardo Llorca scheduled to be performed in November 2021.

"The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela has commissioned Ricardo Llorca to create a new oratorio,"Oficio de Caminantes", for symphony orchestra; SATB choir; organ; soprano soloist; tenor soloist and narrator, whose premiere is scheduled for July 23rd, 2023 at the Auditorio de Galicia with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia.The recording of a CD of this work with the Sony Classical record label is also scheduled.

Ricardo Llorca's compositional trajectory has evolved outside the avant-garde and influenced by a historical revisionism to which he himself refers in these terms: "We composers can either continue by the path of experimentation or return to more classical schemes. Some composers have found ourselves unable to move forward under the same aesthetic auspices that have dominated the world of contemporary music for the last decades. Looking back is perhaps the only possible way to move forward. To review the past returning to the classical structures of music: horizontal and vertical; and going back to the concept of expressiveness in music according to more traditional models".

Ricardo Llorca is the composer-in-residence for the New York-based dance company “Sensedance” in New York City. Llorca is also a grant recipient of “The Argosy Foundation'' and “Met-Life/Meet the Composer 2008”. As cultural manager Ricardo Llorca has developed an important task to promote contemporary music in different parts of the world. During his almost 32 years living in North America he has spread the latin and spanish cultures collaborating with public and private institutions from various European and South American countries such as: The Manhattan Choral Ensemble (“New Music for New York”); United Nations Language and Communications Program (United Nations); Berlin Musikfest 2007; The Virginia Luque Debut Recital at Carnegie Hall; CDNM (Centro Nacional para la Difusión de la Música; Ministry of Culture of Venezuela and Fundación Venezuela al Mundo; Alicante Institute of Culture "Juan Gil Albert"; Ibero-American Festival of the Arts / Puerto Rico 2006; XII September of Sacred Music in Benidorm; or the "Colombo-Catalan / Medellín Music Week" 2014.

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. Helps oversee $250,000+ annual budget plan. Ricardo Llorca serves as the chief liaison for a very dynamic Board of Directors, runs an annual "Salon Series" and develops "Outreach" in communities under STEM guidelines, and oversees the production of every artistic work with truly distinguished artists from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera rosters, etc.

Ricardo Llorca’s Opera “Las Horas Vacias”.
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:

Estreno Oficio de Caminantes Auditorio de Galicia 20 de Julio 2023 "Estreno "Oficio de Caminantes"
Auditorio de Galicia 20 de Julio 2023".
Foto: Cristina Andina
"Oficio de Caminantes" ("A mass for pilgrims")

Cantata for symphony orchestra; SATB choir; organ; solo soprano; solo tenor and narrator, with texts based on the Codex Calixtinus, texts from the Holy Fathers, and the diaries of the pilgrim Concha Llorca Zaragoza.

Work commissioned by the S.A.M.I Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela premiered on July 20th 2023 at the Auditorio de Galicia with the orchestra Real Filharmonía de Galicia.

Conductor: Alexis Soriano
Soprano: Susana Cordón
Tenor: Jose Luis Sola
Organ: Fernando Buide
Narrator: Eva Guillamón
Choir Angel Barja
Choir direction: Aitor Olivares Garcia
Technical direction: Diego Fortes
The recording of a CD of this work is also scheduled with the Sony Classical record label.

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. "Three Top Hats" had its european premiere at Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid on November 12th 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

retrato por VICTOR RAMOS“Three 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 de Barcelona

“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.  

Ricardo Llorca y Nanct Herrera“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.

Ricardo Llorca has been commissioned to compose works for numerous events and institutions, including:

  • The Manhattan Guitar Duo ( New York City)
  • The Manhattan Choral Ensemble (“New Music for New York”) 
  • ”United Nations Language and Communications Programme” (United Nations)
  • “The New York Opera Society” 
  • “Berlin Musikfest 2007 “
  • “Centro Nacional para la Difusión de la Música (CNDM)”
  • Guitar player Adam Levin
  • Guitar player Giuliano Belloti
  • Guitar player Alex Garrobé
  • Guitar player Tali Roth
  • Pianist Alba Ventura
  • Pianist Rosa Torres-Pardo
  • Pianist Mac Maclure
  • Pianist Raimon Garriga
  • Pianist Miguel Baselga
  • Mezzosoprano Nancy Fabiola Herrera
  • Soprano Laura Rey
  • Soprano Ana Maria Sanchez
  • Tenor Enrique Viana
  • Conductor Alexis Soriano
  • Conductor Uwe Mund
  • Conductor Emmanuel Plasson
  • Conductor Sergio Sanchez
  • Conductor James Ross
  • Conductor Jose Miguel Rodilla
  • Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid
  • “The Virginia Luque Debut Recital at Carnegie Hall” 
  • “The Julliard Performing Arts Program for Schools” 
  • “Composers and Choreographers Series at Lincoln Center” 
  • “Queen Sofía Spanish Institute”
  • “Sensedance New York”
  • “Museo Reina Sofia/ Centro para la Difusión de la Música Contemporánea” 
  • “Festival Internacional Andrés Segovia” 
  • Junta de Castilla-La Mancha; Grupo de Musica Barroca "La Folia" 
  • Festival de Musica Colombo-Catalana 
  • Ministerio de Cultura de Venezuela y Fundación Venezuela al Mundo 
  • Instituto Alicantino de Cultura “Juan Gil Albert” 
  • “Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes/ Puerto Rico 2006” 
  • “XII Setmana de Musica Sacra de Benidorm” 
  • “Casa de Cultura Ecuatoriana Benjamin Carrion” 
  • “Setmana de Musica Colombo-Catalana/ Medellin 2006” 
  • “Michael Phelps/John O’Brien Salon Series 2009"
  • "Chicago Cultural Center"
  • "Orquesta del Conservatorio del Tolima" (Colombia. Temporadas 2017 y 2019)
  • Walter Reade Performing Arts Center (Lincoln Center, New York City 2019)
  • "Jazz at Lincoln Center" (2017 Season)
  • Fordham University at Lincoln Center. New York City 2018
  • ADDA (Auditorio de la Diputación de Alicante)
  • JORCAM (Joven Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid)
  • ONE (Orquesta Nacional de España)
  • RTVE (Orquesta de la Radio Television Española)
  • Orquesta de Valencia
  • Orquesta del Vallés
  • The New York Opera Society Orchestra
  • Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico
  • Orquesta de la EAFIT (Medellin 2017)
  • Orquesta del Teatro Sao Pedro (Sao Paulo 2016)
  • Orquesta del Teatro Sergio Cardoso (Sao Paulo 2017)
  • Orquesta del Mediterraneo (2016)
  • Gran Teatro Teresa Carreño (Caracas 2004)
  • Orquesta Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho (Caracas 2005)
  • BID (Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo) Washington DC 
  • New York Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium (United Nations)
  • "National Gallery of Art" (Washington DC)
  • "Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History" (Washington DC)
  • Italian Embassy (Washington DC)
  • The Miller Theater at Columbia University
  • Festival "Tardes de España" (San Petersburgo 2015)
  • The Maryland College (2019)
Manhattan Choral Ensemble


CARNEGIE HALL ( New York City)

The New York Opera Society

The Juilliard Performing Arts Program for Schools
September 26th 2009/ The Westfield Symphony Orchestra and The New York Opera Society
September 26th 2009/ The Westfield Symphony Orchestra and The New York Opera Society
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