Music Director José Luis Gomez reflects on Tucson Symphony’s history and present

Posted on: March 11, 2020

The Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Music Director José Luis Gomez in performance

“ ‘91 years ago, somebody was crazy enough … to create a symphony orchestra in the middle of the desert,’ says Tucson Symphony Orchestra Conductor José Luis Gomez,” writes Pat Parris on Monday (3/9) at Tucson radio station KGUN 9. That person was “Camil Van Hulse … a Belgian-born pianist and composer, who came to Tucson in the 1920s. He had been gassed in World War I. Doctors told Van Hulse to go somewhere with a dry climate…. The small group of musicians were volunteers. Now, the much larger Tucson Symphony Orchestra is filled with profession-als…. The Venezuelan-born Gomez has been music director and conductor of the TSO since 2016. He’s led a rebirth of sorts for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. ‘The quality of the orches-tra has grown in clear and obvious ways since the moment he took the podium,’ said Ben Nisbet, the Orchestra and Artistic Manager. Gomez is … proud of the education programs the TSO sponsors, including the Young Composers Program. He also takes pride in the Symphony Or-chestra’s place in the community… ‘It is a town that breaths art,’ said Gomez…. ‘The fantastic dynamic that Tucson has towards arts reflects on the Tucson Symphony.’ ”