About this Artist
Coming from a family of outstanding musicians, Giancarlo Castro has been characterized as a representative figure within the music scene in Venezuela.
Formed in El Sistema, which was founded by Maestro José Antonio Abreu, Castro has developed into an exceptional artist who represents the country in the most prestigious theaters in the world, showcasing his wide-ranging abilities as trumpet player, conductor, and the composer of musical works of international relevance.
During his career, he has belonged to the most representative ensembles of El Sistema, with which he has made numerous concert tours countries of America, Europe, and Asia, earning awards, sponsorships, deals with international arts agencies such as Askonas Holt, Kajimoto, and Sony Music Foundation, and recordings by record labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, and Euro Arts.
As a conductor, Castro has appeared with many orchestras and chamber music groups, such as the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, Paris Symphony Orchestra, the Jazz Band Walking Manizales (Colombia), Lara Symphony Orchestra, Símon Bolivar Conservatory Big Band Jazz Orchestra, Barquisimeto Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Chacao Youth Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Influenced by Latin American music, jazz, electronic and film music, and under the tutelage of the Colombian Maestro Blas Emilio Atehortua, Castro conceived his first works: Trombone Quartet No. 1 (Released in Argentina in 2005), Brass Quintet No. 1, Swing Sonata (Released in Spain as part of the Festival Spanish Brass Alzira in 2006 by Francisco “Pacho” Flores), and the Concert for Clarinet and Big Band (written and dedicated to the Latin American Clarinet Festival in 2006—a work that has been highly praised in various national and international stages).
His most important work, Grand Fanfare, was completed in 2004 and has been recorded and included on such albums as We Got Rhythm on the EMI Classics label, Grand Fanfare, and Mambo! Live From Caracas, both on the Euro Arts label. The work has been televised by Film & Arts channel and received rave reviews from the trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis in Caracas in 2006 and the film composer John Williams in Los Angeles in 2007. In 2012, the work was recorded by the Símon Bólivar Symphonic Band of Venezuela for the Genuin label in Germany. That same year, his works Llegada de un Noble Maestro and Walking Faster were performed by the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble in the Bergen International Festival in Norway and at Carnegie Hall in New York, where they were lavishly praised by international press.
Castro’s concerto for violin and string orchestra entitled Concierto Sureño was commissioned by the Laurentius Dinca (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) and was premiered in Finland in 2010.
Castro’s versatility extends beyond the orchestral field, setting the trend in many facets of music. An example is his creation of the soundtrack of the Maleficio series.
In 2013, Castro composed Rhapsody for Talents, a work commissioned by the French consortium Buffet Crampon in commemoration of the manufacturer’s role in the manufacture and sale of wind instruments. The world-premiere performance was presented by the Simón Bolívar Youth Band of Venezuela in the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.
In 2015, he composed the soundtrack of the Venezuelan film Redención, for which he also participated as a music producer and mixing supervising. In November of that same year, he was invited by Buffet Group to conduct Rhapsody for Talents with the Paris Symphony Orchestra at the Radio France Auditorium for the celebration of the 190th anniversary of the consortium, becoming the first Venezuelan composer to conduct his own work at this venue.
In 2016, his Concerto for Clarinet was performed in the Abbey of Stift Melk in Austria as part of the Salzburg Festival. In December of that same year, he became a gold medal winner for Rhapsody for Talents in the Original Score and Composition / Composer category at the Global Music Awards in San Diego, California.
In 2017, Castro moved to the United States to develop his musical career. Grand Fanfare was performed by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., conducted by Colonel Jason K. Fettig. His Concerto for Tuba was performed by Carol Jantsch, Principal Tuba of the Philadelphia Orchestra, at the Berkshire Summer Music Summer Festival and Interlochen Arts Camp. Castro was invited as a guest composer and conductor by the University of Minnesota—Duluth to present lectures about his works and conduct the Senior High School Honor Band Festival and the Twin Ports Wind Orchestra in the Weber Music Hall. In December, he traveled to France to participate as guest conductor of the Orchestra Valentiana with a repertoire that included Concierto Sureño, performed by Marie-Francoise Pallot. Castro also conducted the world premiere of his Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra in the Saint-Nicolas Auditorium in Valenciennes, performed by Buffet Crampon Artist Michel Supera.
In 2018, his work Melk Abbey was included in the new recording by Ensemble 7/4 of Venezuela on its album Festfanfaren, recorded in the Abbey of Stift Melk in Austria. His work Walking Faster was recorded by the European Brass Ensemble on the album Diversity, conducted by Thomas Clamor for the Genuin Label. In the same year, the Banda Municipal de València performed Rhapsody for Talents in the Palau de la Música de València in Spain at the closing ceremony of the 2018 International Music Band Contest “Ciutat de València.”
In February 2019, his work Euphantasy for Euphonium and Band was recorded and released by the French soloist Bastien Baumet and the Portugal Air Force Band on their album Radiance.
In May 2019, his Sonatina for Tuba was premiered by Carol Jantsch at the International Tuba and Euphonium Association 2019, and Concierto Sureño was premiered in Portland by Venezuelan violinist Inés Voglar Belgique and the string ensemble of Portland Youth Philharmonic, conducted by David Hattner.
In September 2019 Giancarlo became the conductor of the Reed College orchestra, being the first Latin American conductor to obtain this position.
Castro’s works continue to be performed all over the world by groups such as l’Orchestre Symphonique d’Orléans in France, the Peter Mayr Pfeffersberg Band in Austria, the Brass and Percussion Faculty Ensemble of Interlochen Camp in Michigan, Le Grand Ensemble de Cuivres et Percussions du Conservatoire in France, the Royal Academy of Music Symphonic Brass in London, Giovanile Sinfonica Band Trentino in Italy, and Boston Conservatory Brass Ensemble, among others.
His compositions are published by BIM (Switzerland) and registered with SUISA, Zurich. Castro performs on brass instruments from the Stomvi factory in Spain.