ISSN 2605-2318


Ricardo Llorca (Composer) 


Based in New York City but with his suitcase always ready to go, he has been a faculty member at The Juilliard School for 30 years. Ricardo Llorca (Alicante 1958) has worked with some of the most important american composers of the 20th century, such as John Corigliano, David Diamond, Milton Babbitt, Tania León and John Adams. But Llorca does not give too much importance to these things, perhaps because he is approachable and very positive. He has a very distinctive style away from musical trends and fashions.

Ricardo has a warm personality and is a great conversationalist. He has a genuine interest for the arts of his times, and is a composer-in-residence of  The New York Opera Society, and for the New York-based dance company Sensedance, and is absolutely up-to-date with everything that happens in the world of music. Our talks and his innumerable anecdotes have been really interesting, moments to learn and enjoy.

He is also a critical person and sometimes, perhaps, too sincere. He is tenacious, far from dogmas, and full of optimism and curiosity. His friends tell me that he is hyperactive and has an inexhaustible energy. It doesn't surprise me because he is a tireless worker who has time for everything. He enjoys exercising, especially skiing, a sport which he has been practicing since his teenage years in Madrid. And, following an old family tradition where gastronomy is very important, Llorca is also an expert in traditional Spanish cuisine.

His music is full of intuition and, at the same time, he is very efficient and a great orchestrator. He does not stop composing and premiering, especially in the United States, where he has been nominated on several occasions for prestigious awards. However, of all his premieres, he sticks with the one performed in his hometown in the province of Alicante by the locals themselves. Llorca is like that: authentic.

He loves the frenetic hubbub of New York City, but, on the other hand, he tells me that: “I withdrew to the mountains of Saratoga to be able to write my piano concerto there in total silence and without being bothered by anything or by anyone”. 

When I ask him about contemporary art, he tells us that:
“Contemporary art represents an honest image of the indefinite time in which we live and is represented by the simultaneous existence of very diverse styles. There is no doubt that today's contemporary culture faithfully reflects the fragmented nature of the world in which it develops”.

And about his music, he explains to me that he likes: 
“Reviewing the past and going back to composing on the structures and classic concepts (horizontal and vertical) of music, taking up the concept of expressiveness according to traditional models” 

The premiere of the staged version of his opera Las Horas Vacías (The Empty Hours), already a classic that he composed 13 years ago, happened last November 2021 at the Teatros del Canal in co-production with the Teatro Real de Madrid. But Llorca does not stop, several commissions on his table and several works to be released in the coming months.

Ruth Prieto for The Composer Speaks. February 2022


Este trabajo tiene la licencia CC BY-NC-SA 4.0