Appears on: Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group
Raúl Gómez-Rojas is in his fifth season as music director of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony (MYS), where he enjoys working with a vibrant community of conductors, coaches, staff, families, and over 500 students in 14 orchestra, band, and jazz ensembles. Mr. Gómez was recently selected as one of six conductors to be featured in the League of American Orchestra's 2018 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, after competing for the honor with nearly 150 applicants from around the world. Conductors were selected for their “experience, talent, leadership, and commitment to a career in service to American orchestras.”
A sought-after guest conductor for professional ensembles, Mr. Gómez' recent and upcoming engagements include multiple appearances with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Asia/America New Music Institute, and Sinfonietta Belo Horizonte, as well as engagements in Mexico, Brazil, and Costa Rica.
Mr. Gómez has previously served in artistic and musical leadership positions with the Orchestra of the Americas, Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra, Premier Orchestral Institute, and Louisiana Sinfonietta and Kids' Orchestra (Baton Rouge, Louisiana).
A native of Costa Rica, Gómez holds masters and doctoral degrees from Louisiana State University, where he studied with Carlos Riazuelo (conducting), Kevork Mardirossian, and Espen Lilleslåtten (violin/viola). Additional conducting training includes a fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and numerous masterclasses with leading conductors.
A passionate advocate for equity and access, Gómez has led the recent expansion of several MYS programs, including the creation of new beginning strings classes and ensembles in Hillsboro, OR, responding to fast-paced demographic changes in the area. He enjoys speaking publicly about the transformative power of music education. His TED talk “El Concierto Inolvidable” was an audience favorite in TEDxPuraVida 2014.
Gómez lives in Portland, OR with his wife, theater and screen actor Sarah Ellis Smith. They enjoy giving back to the community by supporting local performing arts organizations and advocacy groups.