“Conductor Guerrero presided over a sensitive orchestral accompaniment, allowing the music to breathe and dialogues between soloist and ensemble to bloom.”
“On Thursday, guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero led an organically shaped and viscerally powerful reading of the score, one that fused the work’s disparate gestures toward jazz, Broadway, Jewish liturgy, and the 20th-century avant-garde into a single forceful whole.”
“It’s an administrator’s nightmare: the grand opening of a concert season, and no conductor…Thursday night’s subscription season opener was saved by Giancarlo Guerrero, a five-time Grammy winner whose charismatic conducting and attention to detail brought to life the Mahler “Resurrection” Symphony in a performance that drew sustained cheers from the audience…Vigorously cuing the orchestra with incisive and emphatic gestures, Guerrero left no doubt about the depth of his acquaintance with the Mahler. He commanded great intensity (and often great volume) from the orchestra, particularly in the apocalyptic first movement, but was equally adept in creating an atmosphere of gentle warmth in the second and encouraging jaunty woodwind passages in the third. Tricky tempo changes, offstage ensembles and precise entrances all were managed so smoothly that it was hard to believe the conductor and the players had only just met.”
Texas Classical Review
“Beneath the visual podium emoting, there was a clean, baton-less technique, and the orchestra responded with a neat precision that it hasn’t consistently demonstrated under this season’s string of guest conductors. Guerrero also has clearly latched onto the acoustic possibilities of Meyerson Symphony Center: it’s an excellent room for orchestral music, but guest conductors have to quickly adapt to the particular characteristics involved. Guerrero did just that, exploring tone qualities and achieving an ideal balance at all times.”
Boston Classical Review
“Guerrero drew playing of crackling energy. The brass sounded with power and precision in the symphony’s jazzy sections, while strings glowed in shades of light and darkness.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Guerrero, music director of the Nashville Symphony, is a pillar of the Cleveland Orchestra family, a relative rarely far removed and always welcome…But it was the Finale, predictably, that shone brightest. Between its adept handling of Guerrero’s bold tempo and a striking level of dynamic contrast, the orchestra had a guaranteed winner on its hands, and succeeded once again in sending listeners home with much for which to be thankful.”
“Guerrero led a performance of theatrical grandeur, with sensitive playing from all sections of the orchestra, from the opening brass fanfares to the blazing conclusion.”
“Guerrero guides his ensemble through a performance in which both details and arching statements are set forth to resplendent effect.”
Seen and Heard International
“Possessed of a no less intense seriousness (leavened by disarming flashes of humor), Maestro Guerrero, whose manner on the podium is at once authoritative and at the same time warmly collaborative, seems to be at home in a wide range of styles. When the music wants to dance, he dances with it, though never overdoing body language to the point of distraction.”
“Giancarlo Guerrero [is] a conductor unafraid to make a splash, yet with a keen instinct for dynamic contrasts and an excellent ear for internal textures.”
Giancarlo Guerrero is a six-time GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor now in his eleventh season as Music Director of the Nashville Symphony. Guerrero is also Music Director of the Wrocław Philharmonic at the National Forum of Music in Poland and Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal. Guerrero has been praised for his “charismatic conducting and attention to detail” (Seattle Times) in “viscerally powerful performances” (Boston Globe) that are “at once vigorous, passionate, and nuanced” (BachTrack).
Through commissions, recordings, and world premieres, Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony have championed the works of American composers who are defining today’s musical landscape, making Nashville a destination for contemporary orchestral music. Guerrero has presented eleven world-premieres with the Nashville Symphony, including the GRAMMY-winning performance of Michael Daugherty’s Tales of Hemingway and Terry Riley’s Palmian Chord Ryddle.
Guerrero’s rich discography with the Nashville Symphony numbers seventeen, including the 2019 Naxos release of world premiere recordings of works by Jonathan Leshnoff, with the composer’s Symphony No. 4 “Heichalos.” The symphony was commissioned by the Nashville Symphony for the Violins of Hope, a collection of restored instruments that survived the Holocaust. This recording marks the first time the instruments have been heard on a commercially available album.
In a glowing review of Guerrero’s recording of John Harbison’s Requiem with the Nashville Symphony and Chorus released in 2018, MusicWeb International declared, “Giancarlo Guerrero brings out not just the drama but also the many subtleties in the score.” Other recent albums have been dedicated to the music of composers as diverse as Terry Riley, Richard Danielpour, Joan Tower and Béla Fleck.
During the 2019/2020 season, Naxos will release recordings of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Symphony No. 4 and Christopher Rouse’s Concerto for Orchestra, both recorded with the Nashville Symphony at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. As part of his commitment to fostering contemporary music, Guerrero, together with composer Aaron Jay Kernis, guided the creation of Nashville Symphony’s bi-annual Composer Lab & Workshop for young and emerging composers.
Guerrero enjoys relationships with orchestras around the world. His 2019/20 season will include return engagements with the Boston Symphony, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Bamberg Symphony, Frankfurt Opera and Museums Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony. In January 2020, Guerrero will conduct the Wrocław Philharmonic on a twelve-city North American tour.
Maestro Guerrero has appeared with prominent North American orchestras, including those of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Montréal, Philadelphia, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and the National Symphony Orchestra. He has developed a strong international guest-conducting profile and has worked in recent seasons with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, Deutsches Radio Philharmonie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Netherlands Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest, NDR in Hannover, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Queensland Symphony and Sydney Symphony in Australia. Guerrero was honored as the keynote speaker at the 2019 League of American Orchestras conference, where his address on transforming “inspiration and innovation into meaningful action” was met with a unified standing ovation.
Guerrero made his debut with Houston Grand Opera in 2015 conducting Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Early in his career, he worked regularly with the Costa Rican Lyric Opera and has conducted new productions of Carmen, La bohème, and Rigoletto. In 2008 he gave the Australian premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s one-act opera Ainadamar at the Adelaide Festival.
Guerrero previously held posts as the Principal Guest Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra Miami (2011-2016), Music Director of the Eugene Symphony (2002-2009), and Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra (1999-2004).
Born in Nicaragua, Guerrero immigrated during his childhood to Costa Rica, where he joined the local youth symphony. As a promising young student, he came to the United States to study percussion and conducting at Baylor University in Texas; he earned his master’s degree in conducting at Northwestern, where he studied with Victor Yampolsky. Given his beginnings in civic youth orchestras, Guerrero is particularly engaged with conducting training orchestras and works regularly with the Curtis School of Music, Colburn School in Los Angeles, and Yale Philharmonia, as well as with the Nashville Symphony’s Accelerando program, which provides music education to promising young students from underrepresented ethnic communities. In recent years, he has developed a relationship with the National Youth Orchestra (NYO2) in New York, created and operated by the Weill Institute of Music at Carnegie Hall.