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Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez

Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez

Ankush Kumar Bahl, conductor
Pablo Sáinz Villegas, guitar

Many composers’ music reflects their ancestral homelands. Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, the most popular concerto ever composed for guitar and orchestra, is inspired by the Royal Gardens at Aranjuez in Spain and features spellbinding Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas as soloist. Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 begins with the breadth and majesty of a Nordic landscape and ends with one of the most dramatic finales in classical music. Guest conductor Ankush Bahl leads The Phoenix Symphony in Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhaness’ popular and meditative Symphony No. 2, “Mysterious Mountain.”

Concert Repertoire
Hovhaness: Symphony No. 2, “Mysterious Mountain” *
Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
Sibelius: Symphony No. 5

* Sponsored by APS


The Phoenix Symphony’s Preludes series returns for the 2023-2024 season! Preludes
will take place prior to select performances with activities that will be sure to delight the
whole family! Prepare to hear live musical performances, discover new artworks,
explore the dances and traditions of new cultures, and much, much more!

Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez Preludes – Begin One Hour Prior to Performance on Saturday and Sunday ONLY

Become entranced by the beautiful appearance and enchanting sound of the classical guitar, expertly performed and showcased by the Phoenix’s Guitar Society’s top-notch players.

The Preludes Series is brought to you by





About Pablo Sáinz Villegas

Praised as “the soul of the Spanish guitar”, he has become a worldwide sensation known as this generation’s great guitarist. Pablo Sáinz-Villegas has been acclaimed by the international press as the successor of Andrés Segovia and an ambassador of Spanish culture in the world. His “virtuosic playing characterized by irresistible exuberance” (The New York Times) make him one of the most acclaimed soloists by prestigious conductors, orchestras and festivals.

He is known for his passionate, emotive and open-hearted playing, whether he is performing at intimate recital halls, or playing to an audience of over 85,000 at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid with beloved tenor Plácido Domingo who has hailed him as “the master of the guitar”. Together they have performed at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles as well as on a floating stage on the Amazon River. They most recently released “Volver” a duo album with Sony Classical.

Pablo Sáinz-Villegas has appeared on some of the world’s most prominent stages including the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Musikverein in Vienna and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. He has played in more than 40 countries and with orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the National Orchestra of Spain. In 2019 Pablo will make his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing the beloved Concierto the Aranjuez and as a solo recitalist he will perform for the first time at the Harris Theater in Chicago and at Boston’s Celebrity Series. He will also continue touring with his trio band along with a special presentation at the iconic Blue Note Jazz Club in New York.

Billboard Magazine named him “the global ambassador of Spanish guitar” and as passionate promoter of the development of new repertoire, he has made numerous world premieres including the first composition for guitar by five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams.

Sáinz-Villegas thrives over a continuous search of innovative ways to inspire communities since he considers that “music is an ideal tool to humanize this world”. As a lifelong dreamer, educator and philanthropist he has reached more than 35,000 children and youth through his non-profit ‘The Music Without Borders Legacy’ and through his various Artist-In-Residence collaborations with orchestras and festivals.


About Ankush Kumar Bahl

Currently in his third season as Music Director of the Omaha Symphony, Ankush Kumar Bahl has delivered resonant performances of masterworks (new and old), and continues to champion American composers and artists while pursuing innovative, community-based concert design. Committed to expanding the American repertoire, the Omaha symphony and Maestro Bahl have commissioned five new works in their first three seasons together by a number of composers including Andy Akiho and Stacy Garrop. In fact, their recording of the Akiho has garnered the Omaha Symphony its first three Grammy nominations in the over 100 year history of the orchestra. On the podium, Bahl is recognized by orchestras and audiences alike for his impressive conducting technique, thoughtful interpretations, innovative concert experiences,
and engaging presence. In concert, he has left the Washington Post “wanting to hear more” and has been praised by the New York Times for his “clear authority and enthusiasm” and “ability to inspire.”

Highlights of previous classical series guest engagements include performances with the New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Florida Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, Richmond Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.). Summer festival appearances engagements include the Copenhagen Philharmonic at Tivoli, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, Chautauqua Institute, Wolf Trap with the NSO, and the Brevard Music Center. An experienced collaborator, Bahl has worked with many prominent soloists, among them Daniil Trifonov, Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, Sarah Chang, Lara St. John, Karen Gomyo, Stella Chen, Aaron Diehl, Bhezod Abduraimov, Benjamin Grosvenor, Orion Weiss, Conrad Tao, Charlie Albright, Anthony McGill, Kelley O’Connor, Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim, and Vesko Eschkenazy, concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Bahl is a proud recipient of four separate Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards between 2011 and 2016 and the 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship. A protégé of former New York Philharmonic Music Director Kurt Masur,
he served as his assistant conductor at the Orchestre National de France, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. From 2011 to 2015, he was assistant conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach, leading a variety of concerts with the orchestra in over 100 performances. Bahl has been fortunate to also count Maestros Jaap van Zweden, Zdenek Macal, David Zinman, and Gianandrea Noseda among his mentors.

American born and of Indian descent, Ankush Kumar Bahl is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and received a double degree in music and rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley. He was a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival with David Zinman and completed his master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at the Manhattan School of Music with Zdenek Macal, David Gilbert, and George Manahan. Prior to his passing, Bahl was a frequent collaborator with jazz legend Wayne Shorter, conducting his quartet with orchestra in concerts at the Kennedy Center and Detroit Free Jazz Festival.

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Feb 2-4

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