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Gonzalo Grau

Gonzalo Grau
Composition and Theory

Gonzalo Grau began his musical studies at the age of three in Caracas. Along his musical journey he developed skills in many instruments, from the viola da gamba and the cello to the flamenco cajón and his principal instrument, the piano.

Gonzalo has established himself as a multi-instrumentalist and his varied credits include performances with Venezuelan music projects like Maroa, Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, Camerata de Caracas and the Simón Bolivar National Youth Orchestra, jazz icon Maria Schneider and the Latin jazz giant Timbalaye. As a music director he leads two projects of his own, “Plural” (Latin jazz-Flamenco-Venezuelan fusion) and “La Clave Secreta” (salsa fusion), nominated for the 2008 GRAMMYs in the Best Tropical Album category.

As a recording artist, Grau has participated in over eighty productions that bridge both classical and popular music worlds. His most recent productions include the studio recording of Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos (winner of the ECHO award 2010), the album “México” of Rolando Villazón (winner of the ECHO award 2011), and Nazareno with pianists Katia and Marielle Labeque, all released by the German label Deutsche Grammophon. Also the production of West Side Story with the Labeque sisters (winner of the Choc the Classica) under KLM label.

Wearing his composer and arranger hat, his achievements include composition collaborations alongside Osvaldo Golijov for the opera Ainadamar and La Pasión Según San Marcos. Original works include the overture “Pregunta y Respuesta” commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony (premiered in March 2008), “Café con Pan”, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony for the MusicNow concert series (premiered in November 2008), “Nazareno” (suite for two pianos and full orchestra), commissioned by pianists Katia & Marielle Labeque (premiered in January 2010), the oratorio “Aqua” commissioned by the Bach Academy International, winner of the European Composer Award 2011, award given by the Young Euro Classic Festival in Berlin (premiered in August 2011); “Viaje”, suite for full-orchestra and Latin ensemble, commissioned by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra (premiered in June 2012), “Fantasía de Guayaba Habanera”, violin concerto commissioned by Johnny Gandelsman and the Community MusicWorks (premiered in May 2013), and “Five-legged-cat”, commissioned by the Brooklyn Rider Quartet (recorded in the album Almanac, 2014).

In 2019, he got nominated for GRAMMY Awards in the category of “Best Arrangement Instrumental and Vocals”, for his participation in the album “Dreamers” (by Magos Herrera and Brooklyn Rider). In 2020, Gonzalo was commissioned by the “Orchestra of the Americas” to write a double concerto for violin, cello and orchestra; to be premiered in 2023 by Johnny Gandelsman and Yo-Yo Ma. In 2021, was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conductor Gustavo Dudamel, to compose a concerto for Venezuelan cuatro and orchestra, premiered at the Hollywood Bowl in July of 2022.

Currently, he is working on arrangements and compositions for the Boston Pops Orchestra, singer-songwriter Ilan Chester, violinist Alexis Cárdenas and the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, the Knights, the Brooklyn Rider, and producing albums for Erini Tornesaki, Olivia Pérez Collellmir, Magos Herrera, Ariacne Trujillo and his own band “La Clave Secreta.”