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We remember together

Interview: Jose Luis Gomez, Music Director Tucson Symphony Orchestra

Jose Luis Gomez, photo by Steven Meckler

This year, the Finale Ceremony music will be performed by 50 Tucson Symphony Orchestra musicians, led by Jose Luis Gomez, the new Music Director of the Symphony. We could not be more excited!

Our Technical Director, Paul Weir, has rented a beautiful tent to accommodate the musicians’ delicate instruments. It will feature prominently in the Finale staging. Our Artistic Director, Nadia Hagen, has been collaborating with Jose to co-create the Finale Ceremony. Dozens of dancers, aerialists, fire spinners, and other performers are working to bring her vision to life.

And as you can see from his photo, Jose is getting in the spirit too!

We were able to chat with Jose about Tucson and the Procession.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background? 

I was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela. My father is Spanish and my mother, Venezuelan. Studied in my native city and in New York and moved to Europe in 1999.

What drew you to Tucson? 

The first time I came to Tucson was in 2014 as part of the many places that I get to travel as a guest conductor. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra was doing an international Music Director search and I clearly remember that I found the orchestra very interesting and at a very good level with a good capacity of development artistically speaking. I came back again the next year as a guest conductor and after that I became their new Music Director.

What has your experience been of the Procession so far? 

This is going to be my very first time ever. I know the enormous impact the Procession has in Tucson and I couldn’t wait for the TSO to be part of this meaningful opportunity to connect with such different parts of the wonderful Tucson community.

What inspires you about working with the Procession? 

I would say that it is a fantastic and wonderful way to connect emotionally through music with the vast, diverse and broad community that Tucson is.

The Procession Finale is a pretty unusual venue for a symphony orchestra! What do you think some of the challenges will be? 

Performing outdoors is always a challenge for classical music ensembles because of the acoustics but it is a good challenge to tackle. Now we have technology to help overcome some of the obstacles.

You have been collaborating with All Souls Artistic Director Nadia Hagen to select music for the Finale Ceremony. What has that process been like? 

It has been terrific! Nadia is a wonderful creative artist, full of passion and dedication; no wonder the Procession is so successful! It has been a great collaboration. We’re very lucky to have someone like her and all the team working together to create an event as unique as the All Souls Procession is.

Paul Weir’s Finale stage mock-up featuring the Symphony tent.
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