CLASSICAL VOICE NORTH AMERICA
"The grand finale, Jimmy López’s Bel Canto: A Symphonic Canvas…is heavily laden with brass and percussion, yet the strings and winds have more than ample opportunity to shine. The three-part score out-Mahlers Mahler in terms of volume and intensity…Even from considerably far back in the Concert Hall, one was tempted – more than once – to look up to make sure the ceiling was still intact; no dust seemed to fall at any point. The music is at once dramatic and intense, certainly conveying with brilliance and stunning color the story contained in the Ann Patchett novel on which it is based. All that said, the score stands well on its own…those who remained cheered the performance, its conductor, and the composer with great zeal."
-John W. Lambert
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
"Jimmy López...was represented by his 3-year-old First Symphony, loosely based on Cervantes' late picaresque novel The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda. FWSO music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya seemed in sure command of what might be called musical maximalism..."
"López, 39, has a brilliant command of orchestral timbres and textures, and his suite cycles through hushed and thunderous threats, busy dithers, quirky dancelike episodes and passing melodies…Whetting the curiosity to experience the opera, the suite got a powerful performance from Harth-Bedoya and company…"
- Scott Cantrell
NEW YORK CONCERT REVIEW
"Especially noteworthy on the program was the New York Premiere of Guardian of the Horizon…Its three movements reflect the composer’s deeply personal feelings about life and death, intertwined with sphinx mythology in ingenious evocations of riddles (through cryptic musical question-and-answer phrases) and suggestions of shimmering light through tremolo string textures in its exquisite third movement."
"López is without doubt one of the most innovative and symphonically dynamic composers in the world today."
"Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda: Symphony in Four Movements, was forty-five minutes of well-constructed music, with a sweeping rhythmic force that manifested itself especially in the third movement…the whole work is a demonstration, free of eccentricities, of the resources of the symphony orchestra...The composer took to the stage amidst intense applause and cries of "bravo"…it can be said, without fear, that the premiere was a success."
-Álvaro Menéndez Granda
"'Perú Negro'...is a work that deserves to find its way into the standard orchestral repertoire of the 21st century."
NEW YORK TIMES
"The [Bel Canto] score by Mr. López, 37, is fairly tough stuff…the music is fraught, gnashing and blazingly orchestrated."
"Mr. López proves himself expert in orchestration..."
-James R. Oestreich
WALL STREET JOURNAL
"The strength of Mr. López’s music is its bright, brass-tinged propulsiveness, a riot of orchestral color…"
"Bel Canto [is] an absorbing, vibrant and entertaining first opera by Jimmy López. López…has supplied a staggeringly eclectic, texturally rich score."
"'Bel Canto' may be only Lopez's first opera, but it is an accomplished piece of work, and it marks the 37-year-old…composer as a talent to watch."
"…Jimmy Lopez's music grabs and holds your attention without ever stooping to the feel-good clichés of today's classical accessibility. It's at once serious, engaging, imaginative, beautifully made."
"Lopez (is) one of the most admired among the younger generation of South American composers..."
-John von Rhein
"Lopez doesn't sound like the other composers currently at work. His influences are broad, but he has a distinct voice and it is adventurous and winning. He's making opera that sounds like him, rather than trying to emulate others. That's how you push an art form forward."
-Ray Mark Rinaldi
"López is an undeniably exciting composer. Lyric’s Bel Canto…was an exhilarating event and a compelling reaffirmation of the transcendent power of music."
-Mark Thomas Ketterson
"First time has proved to be the charm for composer and librettist, and Lyric has ended its 11-year world premiere drought with a first-class production."
HYDE PARK HERALD
"The astonishing score of 37-year-old Peruvian-born composer Jimmy Lopez stole the show and revealed his vision, imagination, and immense dramatic skills."
-M. L. Rantala
THE NEW YORKER
"What animates the story is López’s score, which begins in full fury…[López] studied in Lima, Helsinki, and Berkeley, acquiring a virtuoso mastery of the modern orchestra. He isn’t afraid of hard edges, grinding dissonances, spells of near-anarchy. He’s also deft at musical character sketches…"
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND
"The disc of four works by Peruvian composer Jimmy López is the most compelling program of contemporary symphonic music I’ve heard this year."
"…a fascinating figure, Lopez’s music is full of drama, broad musical strokes and craggy energy that never falls victim to the purely rhetorical."
"…Jimmy López (b1978) seems sure to make his mark on the contemporary scene. Neither the sound quality or booklet-notes leave anything to be desired, resulting in a disc which seems sure to raise López’s profile – and deservedly so."
"López can...write ethereal music that seems to survey from the heights as well as conjuring beauties to ravish our senses."
THE CLASSICAL REVIEWER
"Jimmy López is a fine composer who brings the influences of his native Peru to his own unique style producing music of imagination and brilliance."
THE BAY AREA REPORTER
"The facts are: it's music you can get on the first hearing…it's overall unmistakably upbeat and leavened with a non-jokey good humor; it's evocative of Lopez's South American roots without being mysteriously so, or glibly playing the multicultural card…And it's smart in a way that doesn't make you feel less so."
"López, 32, is one of the most interesting young composers anywhere today."
"Jimmy López is the most famous Peruvian composer of our day. Educated in Europe and the United States this musician has established himself as the creator of stupendous orchestral works."
- Alonso Almenara
"What a good choice to end the concert with a powerful final chord presenting "Peru Negro"...Lopez has improvised on motifs, taken them apart and put them together again in a monumental picture made of sound. Like a tropical storm, the music swept over the heads of the completely flabbergasted audience in Die Glocke. Huge ovation with bravos for orchestra, conductor and composer."
"(Perú Negro) López’s five-section [sic] fantasy on folksongs drawn from the slave-descended African Peruvian community featured a barrage of percussion instruments including donkey’s jawbone, wooden boxes, and thunder sheets, and proved to be a melodic, noisy, and colorful orchestral showpiece in the tradition of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Prokofiev’s Scythian Suite, well worthy of a spot in the orchestral repertoire."
-Wayne Lee Gay
"The concert opened with the world premiere of Jimmy López’s Perú Negro…the Fort Worth Symphony shows its dedication to adding new works to the orchestral canon with the piece; engaging a quality composer such as López to write for the orchestra adds an additional relevance to the occasion and doubles down on the commitment to keep the oeuvre of symphonic music alive."
-John Norine Jr.
"Most pieces were scarcely applauded, but the Peruvian Jimmy Lopéz's Carnynx...pulled roars of applause from the audience."
"Peruvian Jimmy López's ‘Fiesta!’ is fierce and fun rhythmic rumbling... The ensemble began blooming in an extraordinary, original and authentic Peruvian Fiesta-joy, where its slightly cool sound got suddenly transformed into blazing sensuality."
"Wild visionary's music provided an amazing experience...The composition concert of Jimmy López (born in Peru in 1978 and studied in Finland) besides being an amazing experience produced by his overwhelming music was also a formidable proof of his cooperational skills; the support provided by many patrons and institutions have made this event possible. A large orchestra featured many nationalities; there were three conductors and two soloists. The evening awakened the feeling that, also in music, we live in a global era."
"....Jimmy Lopez's 'K'asa', a multifaceted piece for violin and piano. The piece's character and expressive world were pleasingly extensive; the demands on the players considerable. There was boldness in the music and the composition's power of communication and quality always remained high. Fine piece!".
"Jimmy Lopez's 'Fiesta!' had a kinetic kick, with great brass licks and percussion flourishes."
"Peruvian composer Jimmy López's "Fiesta!" — which closes the concert — is an entirely different animal, as is hinted in its movement titles: 'Trance I,' 'Trance II,' 'Countertime,' 'Techno.' It's a rambunctious, percussion- energized piece..."
"'15 etudes for sting octet'... Jimmy Lopez, 2008 Kranichsteiner Music Prize winner. Here, American Jack Quartet joined the Arditti Quartet to create a sequence of aphoristic short pieces, each one dedicated to a playing technique or sound topic. Pizzicati, tremolo, harmonics, glissandi, rhythmic pulses, harmonic diversification; all were explored with much fantasy. This was entertaining music in the best sense. In addition, almost orchestral sonorities were cleverly utilized. In a fully packed Orangerie, Lopez received the biggest applause from all four composers present, and justifiably so."
"Peru Negro is a salute to the black musical heritage of Peru. It’s a very outgoing composition, boundless in energy, with much brass and percussion, fierce rhythms and a smashing ending."
"The concert ended with the world premiere of Lago de Lagrimas by young Peruvian Jimmy Lopez. The flute concerto starred Jessica Warren-Acosta playing a flute with a sliding head joint. She bent notes like a trombone. The first movement, Suplicio, was Baroque in its depth and emotion, the same low, sad flute melody cycling against exquisite, golden orchestrations. Staccato walls of rhythm propelled Transmutacion, blunt-force declarations that tried to maintain momentum...a quiet, beautiful glow remained."
"Rhythmic riffs were repeated and passed around; syncopated snippets suggested salsa beats; strings pounded out a pulse and whirred in blurry glissandi. Fiesta! was frenetic, mirroring the club life that inspired it."
"FWSO disc 'Inti' brings little-known Peruvian compositions to light...Fiesta! by Jimmy Lopez is full of brassy shouts, bubbling percussion and syncopated full-orchestra rumbles...By turns brash and coolly luxurious, Fiesta! is vital, vigorous music, exciting and engaging across its four movements."
THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
"Composer Jimmy Lopez, born in 1978 and another Peruvian, also took a bow Thursday. He aims for fun in his “Fiesta!” and succeeds splendidly, making festive use of the orchestra: energized by Latin dance rhythms and an unvarnished directness that is so typical of New World art but rare back in the old country."
CHARLESTON CITY PAPER
"The program's novelty was Fiesta, by young Peruvian tunesmith Jimmy López. Written just last year, it's a perky number that marks him as a composer to watch. Under resident conductor Scott Terrell's assured baton, the four-movement work engaged its listeners with infectious energy and complex, shifting Latin rhythms...The edgy second movement skittered in all directions, laced with violent outbursts. The CSO's crack percussionists got a real workout in the final two movements, as the piece drove to a frantic finish with primitive punch and brassy flourishes."
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
"True to its name, Fiesta! is a high-energy piece – its fourth movement is called "Techno" – with lots of percussion and catchy rhythms. Its sense of good cheer is hard to resist. Mr. López was present to take bows."
KANSAN UUTISET MAGAZINE
"...the interpretation of Jimmy Lopez's Incubus was a performance that will stay on the mind. It was unpredictable in every sense... Lopéz says this work has taken him to technical and emotional realms that are foreign to him. In the performance this translated into the players whispering, grumbling, yelling and stabbing their shoes audibly against the ground."
"...López himself was unnecessarily humble in his welcoming speech and in the concert programme, where it was not very clear who had composed the works. When the music is as good as this, there is nothing to be ashamed of."