Bad when an appointment is known before it is officially announced, and even more so when it is the result of a public tender. But that's the way things are, especially in the world of culture. In fact, as discussed in several musical sectors for a few weeks, Víctor García de Gomar will be the new artistic director of the Gran Teatre del Liceu with a four-year extensible contract. This was confirmed Monday by the Liceu Executive Committee. García de Gomar, who since 2011 is the artistic director of the Palau de la Música, will replace Christina Scheppelmann, who will end her contract with the La Rambla theater at the end of the year.
Víctor García de Gomar (Barcelona, 1975) responds to the profile that the Liceu sought: to promote a new stage once the economic situation of the work was stabilized, or at least relieved. With musical training and as a cultural manager – as the new CEO of L & # 39; Auditori, Robert Brufau-, García de Gomar sang ten years at Orfeó Català and participated as a baritone in small productions . However, he chose cultural management as a professional field. He has a degree in law and a post-graduate course in management and management of institutions, societies and cultural platforms at the Pompeu Fabra University, as well as several management programs at IESE and at the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.
Just this double preparation led him to be hired by Joan Oller as artistic director of the Palau de la Música, where he worked since 2011. His way of doing is that of the musician involved in quality and new creation who wants what program is considered essential and at the same time not silencing the economic sustainability of the equipment. In this balance he has always moved and also trying to communicate music as an artistic activity open to other disciplines and also in other fields such as education. In fact, he likes to quote the artist Louise Bourgeois: "Art is a guarantee of health".
The profile sought by the Liceu
The bases of the competition to select the artistic director were clear enough. He was looking for a person who "provided a broad and credible artistic programming experience in the areas of the Gran Teatre del Liceu". Until now the staging work has not been at the center of the curriculum of García de Gomar, but has experience in the classical world and a deep knowledge of the international music ecosystem, which was one of the conditions of the competition. It was also requested, or at least it has been said that it is worthwhile, "the accreditation of training in cultural and / or commercial management of institutions or societies" and "the accreditation of music education and in particular studies in the field of singing / he sees ". All this seems to be tailored to a profile like García de Gomar, which has, in the Palau de la Música, been able to build international programs of stars, great voices, portraits of artists and landmarks such as the resident composer, who allowed the first of new works. He also promoted the image of the exceptional, with the programming of events such as the Beethoven symphonic integral by Gustavo Dudamel.
Professionally trained in Girona
The career of García de Gomar has received the impetus of Maricarmen Palma, the director of the music service of the La Caixa Foundation, who contracted it in 2000. A year later she began working at the Festival of Religious Music and the World from Girona, he has directed since 2007. Before, in 2005, he was named artistic director of the Auditorium of Girona.
When he entered the Palau de la Música in 2011, the institution is immersed in a redefinition process. The Palau case had deteriorated the artistic image of the institution and its perception had to be changed. Oller and García de Gomar left. Now it is the Liceu that trusts the attached artistic director to leave behind the effect of the crisis that has so influenced the Scheppelmann stage. By the way, with the replacement of Scheppelman there will be no woman at the head of the three great structures of Barcelona, unless the Palace is looking for a woman to free García de Gomar.
The hand of the new artistic director of the Liceu, which will have a salary of 120,000 euros per year, will not be visible until then a couple of seasons, given the pace with which the work is scheduled. However, there are resources that should have continuity, such as the support that Scheppelmann gave to local singers and the project of new music. With the arrival of García de Gomar, the renovation of the Liceu began last year when Valentí Oviedo, of the same generation as him, was incorporated as general manager.
The new position was selected among the sixteen nominations presented – three women and thirteen men – in the public competition of merit, by a commission of nine experts presided over by Salvador Alemany, president of the Gran Teatre del Liceu Foundation; and the participation of Félix Palomero, director of the Baluarte Foundation of Pamplona – representing the Ministry of Culture and Sports -; Jaume Graell, vice president of Amics del Liceu -Generality-; Luisa Vinci, director of the academy of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the City of Barcelona; Pia Bosch, technical advisor to the Diputació de Barcelona; Javier Coll, president of the Liceu Society; and from the Liceu, Valentí Oviedo, general manager; and Josep Pons, musical director.
The full incorporation of García de Gomar will be in September, coinciding with the start of the 2019/20 season. According to the Liceu, "this calendar will allow an orderly transition with the current artistic director of the Liceu, Christina Scheppelmann, and will also facilitate the organizational coverage at the Palau de la Música".