born on 8/3/1944 in Málaga, Andalucía, Spain
Pepe Romero (born March 8, 1944, in Málaga, Spain) is a classical and flamenco guitarist. He is particularly noted for his outstanding technique and colorful musical interpretations on the instrument.
Pepe Romero was born in Spain, the second son of celebrated guitarist and composer Celedonio Romero, who was his only guitar teacher. His first professional appearance was in a shared concert with his father at the Teatro Lope de Vega, Seville, when Pepe was only seven years old, playing a gavotte by Bach and Sevilla by Albéniz. In 1957 Celedonio Romero left Franco's Spain for the United States with his singer actress wife, Angelita, and his three sons, Celin, Pepe and Angel, settling in the San Diego area.
Romero served as guitar professor at the University of Southern California, Southern Methodist University, University of San Diego and University of California at San Diego, before taking up the post of adjunct professor at USC Thornton School of Music.
Romero published a guitar method, La Guitarra, in 2012.
In 1959, Pepe made his first recording, featuring traditional flamenco music of his native Andalucia. At 16, he performed for the first time in Los Angeles, playing flamenco with his father and brothers Celin and Angel.
As a soloist Pepe Romero has appeared in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, the Middle-East, Japan, and Australia with, variously, the London, Toronto, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, Pittsburgh, Boston, San Francisco and Dallas symphony orchestras, as well as with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New York, Bogotá and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, I Musici, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia Hungarica, the Hungarian State Orchestra, the Spanish National Orchestra, the Spanish National Radio/Television Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the New Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the American Sinfonietta, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He has been a special guest at the festivals of Salzburg, Israel, Schleswig-Holstein, Menuhin, Osaka, Granada, Istanbul, Ravinia, Garden State, Hollywood Bowl, Blossom, Wolf Trap, Saratoga and Hong Kong.
Romero has recorded over 60 albums, including 20 concerti with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and 30 albums as part of the famed guitar quartet The Romeros. He has played for Presidents Carter and Nixon, the Queen of the Netherlands, the Prince of Wales and Pope John Paul II. He has numerous international recording awards to his credit and has received an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
His contributions to the field of classical guitar have inspired a number of distinguished composers to write works specifically for him, including Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Francisco de Madina, Lorenzo Palomo, Michael Zearott, Paul Chihara, Enrique Diemecke, Ernesto Cordero and Celedonio Romero. He was personally chosen by the legendary Andrés Segovia for the world premiere of Torroba's Diálogos entre guitarra y orquesta.
Of performing, Romero said,
Music makes us communicate through our soul, and if you can leave the theatre feeling that connection, that’s what I want more than anything.
Although originally a classical guitarist, he is talented in flamenco and a popular flamenco performer. His most famous flamenco-only album is called ¡Flamenco Fenómeno!
The Romero Guitar Quartet
- 1960–90: Celedonio Romero, Celin Romero, Pepe Romero, Ángel Romero
- 1990–96: Celedonio Romero, Celin Romero, Pepe Romero, Celino Romero
- since 1996: Celin Romero, Pepe Romero, Celino Romero, Lito Romero
For contribution to the arts, he received the Premio Andalucía de la Músicahe in June 1996.
On February 11, 2000, King Juan Carlos I of Spain knighted Pepe Romero and his brothers, Celin and Ángel, into the Order of Isabella the Catholic. The official ceremony of this high honor took place at the USC Thornton School of Music, and included a gala performance by The Romeros with the Thornton Chamber Orchestra. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Classical Guitar at the Thornton School, where he was named "Distinguished Artist in Residence" in 2004.
In 2007, the Romero Quartet received the President's Merit Award from the Recording Academy, the producers of the Grammy Awards, and, in November 2012, Romero's recording of Concierto festivo by Ernesto Cordero was nominated for Best Classical Album at the Latin Grammy Awards.
Initially, Romero shared his father’s Santos Hernandez. In 1958, he bought a Miguel Rodriguez from Córdoba which he played until 1969. He then played a Hermann Hauser II before finally, in 1973, obtaining another Rodriguez which was his principal instrument until at least 2014.
Solo Recordings or Soloist with Orchestra
|No.||Album Title||Record Label||Date|
|03||Giuliani Guitar Concerto, Op. 30, (Side A: Pepe Romero) Rodrigo: “Concierto Madrigal” for two guitars (Side B: Angel and Pepe Romero)(Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner)||Philips||1974||*|
|04||Rodrigo: “Fantasía para un gentilhombre”, Giuliani: Introduction, Theme with Variations and Polonaise, op. 65 (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner)||Philips||1975|
|05||Famous Guitar Music including Tárrega: "Recuerdos de la Alhambra"/Albéniz: "Asturias"/Villa Lobos/Lauro/Sagreras/Sor||Philips||1976|
|06||Giuliani Guitar Concertos, Op.36 & Op.70 (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner)||Philips||1976|
|07||Mauro Giuliani: Guitar Concertos, Op.30, Op.36, Op.70, Op.65(Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner)||Philips||1976|
|08||Works for Guitar from Renaissance to Baroque Sanz, Milán, Mudarra, Narváez, Pisador, Valderrábano||Philips||1976|
|09||Giuliani: Handel Variations, op.107, Gran Sonata Eroica, etc.||Philips||1977|
|11||Rodrigo: “Concierto de Aranjuez” (Side A: Pepe Romero); “Concierto Andaluz” (Side B: Los Romeros)(Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner)||Philips||1978||*|
|12||Sor: Guitar Sonatas/Gitarrensonaten Op.22 & 25||Philips||1978|
|13||Boccherini Guitar Quintets Nos. 4,5 & 6 (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields’ Chamber Ensemble)||Philips||1978|
|14||Torroba: “Concierto Ibérico” (Side A: Los Romeros). “Diálogos” – (Side B: Pepe Romero side)||Philips||1979||*|
|15||Boccherini Guitar Quintets Nos. 3 & 9, “La ritirata di Madrid” (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields’ Chamber Ensemble)||Philips||1979|
|16||Boccherini Guitar Quintets Nos. 1,2 & 7 (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields’ Chamber Ensemble)||Philips||1980|
|17||Joaquín Rodrigo/Pepe Romero guitar (solo works)||Philips||1980|
|18||Pepe Romero: Bach Partita BWV 1004 & Suite BWV 1009||Philips||1981|
|19||Carulli 2 Sonatas Diabelli Sonata Op. 68, Grande Sonate brilliante Op. 102 (Pepe Romero, Wilhelm Hellweg, forte piano)||Philips||1982|
|20||Jeux Interdits, Recuerdos de la Alhambra, Asturias||Philips||1982|
|21||Rodrigo: “Concierto para una fiesta” Romero/Torroba:“Concierto de Málaga” (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner)||Philips||1983|
|22||Villa-Lobos, Castelnuovo-Tedesco Guitar Concertos, Rodrigo: “Sones en la Giralda” (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner)||Philips||1985|
|23||Pepe Romero Guitar: Albéniz/Tárrega/Moreno Torroba/Romero||Philips||1985|
|24||Villa-Lobos: Five Preludes, Etude No.1, Suite populaire brésilienne||Philips||1987|
|25||Pepe Romero: Flamenco – Chano Lobato, Maria Magdalena, Paco Romero||Philips||1987|
|26||Carulli, Molino: Guitar Concertos, Mozart: Adagio KV 261, Rondo KV373 (Pepe Romero, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Iona Brown)||Philips||1989|
|27||La Paloma: Spanish and Latin American Favorites||Philips||1990|
|28||Vivaldi Guitar Concertos I Musici, Pepe Romero, Massimo Paris||Philips||1991|
|29||Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez, Fantasía de un gentilhombre, Cançoneta, Invocación y danza, Trois petites piéces(ASMF, N. Marriner, Agustin Leon Ara)(“Shadows and Light: Rodrigo at 90”, a film by Larry Weinstein and Rhombus Media)(released also as a CD, Laser CD-Video disc and VHS cassette)||Philips||1992||**|
|30||Noches de España: Romantic Guitar Classics-World premiere recording Sor Fantasie||Philips||1993|
|31||Opera Fantasy for Guitar:||Philips||1995|
|32||Songs My Father Taught Me||Philips||1998|
|33||Boccherini: Quintetti con chitarra n.2,6,7,4(Pepe Romero with Quartetto Stadivari)||UNICEF||1998|
|34||Palomo: Andalusian Nocturnes, Spanish Songs (Pepe Romero, guitar,Maria Bayo, soprano. Seville Royal Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos)||NAXOS||2000|
|35||Homenatge a Montsalvatge Metamorfosi de concert (Pepe Romero, Orquesta de Cadaqués, Gianandrea Noseda)||Tritó||2002|
|36||Corazón Español||CPA Hollywood Records||2003|
|37||Chihara: Guitar Concerto (Pepe Romero, London Symphony, Neville Marriner)||Albany Records||2004|
|38||Giuliani: Guitar Concert No.1, Rodrigo: Concierto Madrigal. Re-release 2004 on super audio CD (original release 1974)||PentaTone||2004|
|39||The Art of Pepe Romero (compilation)||Philips||200?|
|40||The Rodrigo Collection(Re-release 2005 – CD/DVD including “Shadows and Light” film)||Philips||2005||**|
|41||Classic Romero||CPA Hollywood Records||2005|
|42||Guitarrenmusik: Bach, Sor. (Re-release on CD)||Philips Classics/Eloquence Label||200?|
|43||Recuerdos de la Alhambra: Spanishe Gitarrenmusik-Pepe Romero, Los Romeros||Philips Classics/Eloquence Label||200?||**|
|44||Aita Madina (Concierto vasco para 4 guitarras y orquesta Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa/Los Romero / Mandeal||Claves||2005||**|
- (*) denotes albums where one side of the album was Pepe Romero and the second side was Los Romeros
- (**) denotes albums that where mainly Pepe Romero with some involvement of the rest of Los Romeros
Pepe Romero with Los Romeros
|No.||Album Title||Record Label||Date|
|01||The Royal Family of the Spanish Guitar||Mercury||1962|
|02||The Romeros: Spain's Royal Family of the Guitar; Baroque Concertos and Solo Works||Mercury||1965|
|03||An Evening of Flamenco Music: The Romeros; The Royal Family of the Spanish Guitar||Mercury||1965|
|04||The Romeros: The World of Flamenco||Meercury||1967|
|05||Los Romeros: Die Könige der Spanischen Gitarre||Mercury||1967|
|06||The Romeros: Spain's Royal Family of the Guitar; Vivaldi Guitar Concertos (San Antonio Symphony, V. Alessandro)||Mercury||1968|
|07||Rodrigo: First Recording: “Concierto Andaluz” for four guitars and orchestra, (Side A: the Romeros); “Concierto de Aranjuez” for solo guitar and orchestra, (Side B: Angel Romero)(San Antonio Symphony, V. Alessandro)||Mercury||1968|
|08||The Romeros Play Classical Music for Four Guitars||Philips||1976|
|09||Los Romeros-Telemann/Bach/D. Scarlatti/Loeillet/Dowland||Philips||1977|
|10||Rodrigo: “Concierto de Aranjuez”, Pepe Romero; “Concierto Andaluz”, Los Romeros (Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner)||Philips||1978|
|11||Joaquín Rodrigo: “Concierto Madrigal” “Concierto Andaluz”, Los Romeros(Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, N. Marriner. Re-release||Philips|
|12||Torroba: “Concierto Ibérico” - Los Romeros, “Diálogos” – Pepe Romero First recording||Philips||1979|
|13||Vivaldi Guitar Concertos, Los Romeros(Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Iona Brown)||Philips||1984|
|14||Bizet Carmen Suite – Falla Dances, Moreno Torroba Sonata - Los Romeros||Philips||1984|
|15||Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez, Fantasía de un gentilhombre, Cançoneta, Invocación y danza, Trois petites piéces(ASMF, N. Marriner, Agustin Leon Ara)(“Shadows and Light: Rodrigo at 90”, a film by Larry Weinstein and Rhombus Media)(released also as a CD, Laser CD-Video disc and VHS cassette)||Philips||1992|
|16||Los Romeros: Spanish Guitar Favorites (Celedonio, Celin, Pepe, Celino Romero)||1993|
|17||The Romeros: Generations||CPA Hollywood Records||2000|
|18||Homenaje a Joaquín Rodrigo-Los Romero con Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE(Recorded 1997, live performance at the Alhambra)|
|19||Recuerdos de la Alhambra: Spanishe Gitarrenmusik (Pepe Romero, Los Romeros) Re-release on CD|
|20||Aita Madina (Concierto vasco para 4 guitarras y orquesta. Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa/Los Romero / Mandeal||2005|
|21||Los Romeros: Golden Jubilee Celebration. 50th Anniversary re-release||DECCA||200?|
|23||The Romeros: Celebration||RCA RED Seal/SONY||2008|
- Knisely, Richard (4 November 2007). "Pepe Romero and the Art of the Spanish Guitar". NPR Music. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "Pepe Romero Biography" (PDF). Columbia Artists Management. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 July 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Paget, Clive (17 July 2014). "Pepe Romero: Maestro of the guitar". Limelight. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Roland, Terry (March 2015). "A Conversation with Pepe Romero". The San Diego Troubadour. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Wager, Gregg (4 December 1987). "Music Is Nonstop for Pepe Romero". LA Times.
- "USC Thornton School of Music Faculty". University of Southern California. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Kanengiser, William (12 November 2013). "A poignant return to Bach". New York Guitar Festival. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "Pepe Romero: Biography". Pepe Romero: official website. Pepe Romero.