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California, Christian Baldini, Concert Hall, Concerto, Germany, Jean-Paul Gasparian, Music, piano, Soloist, Symphony Orchestra

Jean-Paul Gasparian in Conversation with Christian Baldini

On December 18, Jean-Paul Gasparian will be our soloist for Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in a concert that I will conduct in Bad Salzuflen (Germany). I had the opportunity of asking Jean-Paul some questions, and below are the answers:

Christian Baldini: First of all, it is a pleasure to be collaborating with you on this wonderful concerto by Rachmaninov. Tell me, since you have played this concerto before, what is so special about it? Would you consider it to be one of the main pieces of the repertoire for you? What are some of the features in this concerto that you find particularly attractive?
Jean-Paul Gasparian: First of all I would like to say that I am extremely happy to play this concert with you and the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie. Rachmaninov’s Concerto n.2 is actually one of the concerti that I play most often and it is one of the very first that I learned when I was a child. So this concerto accompanies me since many years – almost since the beginning, in a way. And I totally agree with you : it is definitely one of the most glorious and emblematic works of the repertoire. My former professor Michel Beroff told me an interesting anecdote about Stephen Kovacevich: someone asked him “what is your favorite concerto ?”, and instead of answering Mozart, Beethoven or Brahms (as expected), he said “Rachmaninov n.2!”. Which is quite surprising as it is not a repertoire that we often associate with him. But this little anecdote proves that this work produces an incredibly powerful effect on the audience. On any audience I think – even on people that are not familiar with classical music by the way. This concerto is a sort of quintessence of romanticism. It has memorable melodies at every corner, it has epic breath from the beginning to the end, but also very melancholic and elegiac character. Of course this is a work that has been played and recorded thousands of times. So we will do our best to propose an interpretation that is fresh and authentic.
CB: What are other composers that inspire you, and that you enjoy performing? (and which works?)

JPG: There are of course composers that are particularly close to my heart and that I play very often: Rachmaninov is definitely one of them, but there is also Chopin (to whom I dedicated my second CD, with the 4 Ballades, among other pieces), Scriabin, Debussy, Beethoven…

Concerning Beethoven by the way, I will participate in an integrale of his sonatas next year at the Maison de la Radio in Paris, for the 250th anniversary, playing 4 of his sonatas. For the moment I try to keep a large spectrum of repertoire: I also play more modern or contemporary music from time to time (this year I played pieces by Messiaen and Boulez for example).
CB: What corners of the repertoire, or which pieces have you not played yet, but you would like to have the opportunity to perform (either a concerto with orchestra or a solo piece)?

JPG: Yes there are pieces and composers that I adore but I didn’t have the occasion to play a lot for the moment : for example I would very much like to play more Brahms in the coming years, especially the 2 concerti, the Ballades, the 3rd Sonata…

Talking about concerti I would love to have the opportunity to perform Schumann’s concerto, Prokofiev’s N.3, as well as Rachmaninov’s N.1, among others.
CB: How did you get started with music, and who have been some important people in your musical upbringing? What and who has inspired you? 

JPG: I began to play the piano at the age of 6, first with my parents, who are both pianists themselves. They played a very important role, by giving me the basics of the art of piano playing, by making me discover the repertoire (including the symphonic repertoire, the operas, the chamber music etc.). They still continue to give advice, to come to my concerts when they can…

Then I also studied with different teachers that had strong influence on me. I could say that my background is a mix of French and Russian school. Because on the one hand I studied during 8 years at Paris National Conservatoire, with teachers such as Jacques Rouvier, Michel Beroff, Michel Dalberto, Claire Désert, and on the other hand I participated regularly in masterclasses with teachers from the Russian school, such as Tatiana Zelikman (the teacher of Daniil Trifonov) and Elisso Virsaladze who is herself a great soloist. And I think that one can feel this combination of influences in my playing, in my sensibility and also in my repertoire.
CB: Besides music, what do you enjoy doing in your daily life?

JPG: I read quite a lot since many years : especially philosophy, but also literature and poetry. I am very fond of cinema and have quite an important collection of movies at home, especially European cinema of the 60s and 70s, as well as American cinema of course. I am also doing sport quite regularly and love to follow football and tennis events. And as everyone I enjoy going out with friends!

CB: Thank you for your time. I very much look forward to our Rachmaninov collaboration in a few weeks in Germany.
JPG: Thank you, I am very much looking forward to our collaboration, see you in Bad Salzuflen!
Jean-Paul Gasparian
Jean-Paul Gasparian (Biography)

Born in Paris in 1995, he studied at Paris’ National Conservatoire with Olivier Gardon, Jacques Rouvier, Michel Béroff, Laurent Cabasso, Claire Désert and Michel Dalberto. Jean-Paul has been member of international piano masterclasses with Pavel Gililov, Elisso Virsaladze and Tatiana Zelikman, selected for the Verbier Academy 2014 and Prize Winner of the Salzburg Academy 2010. From September 2017, he started an Artist Diploma at the Royal College of Music in London, with Professor Vanessa Latarche.

He is the winner of the Bremen European Competition 2014, and has been a laureate at many other international competitions including the José Iturbi Competition 2015 (4th Prize and special prize for the best performance of a contemporary piece), the Lyon International Competition 2013 (3rd Prize), the Hastings International Concerto Competition 2013, the Tel-Haï Concerto Competition 2012, and semi-finalist of the Geza Anda Competition in 2015. He is also the piano laureate of the Cziffra Foundation Prize 2014 and the l’Or du Rhin Foundation Prize 2016.
Moreover, he received the 1st Prize in Philosophy at the Concours Général des Lycéens de France in 2013.

Jean-Paul has played with orchestras such as the Orchestre National d’Ile-de-France, the Bremen Philarmonic Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Robert-Schumann Philharmonie, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen, Orchestre Régional de Normandie, Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine, the Serbian Radio-Television Orchestra, the Montenegro Symphonic Orchestra, Toulouse Chamber Orchestra the Murcia Symphonic Orchestra, the Valencia Symphonic Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Caen, the Alliance Orchestra, the Ostinato Orchestra, performing Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Tchaïkovski, Rachmaninov and Gershwin concertos.

He has given recitals at important festivals, among them : Festival Chopin de Bagatelle, Flâneries de Reims (broadcasted live on Medici.tv), La Roque d’Anthéron, Lisztomanias, Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, Nohant Festival Chopin, Touquet Piano Folies, Août Musical de Deauville, Festival Radio-France de Montpellier, Liszt en Provence, and has played in important venues such as the Salzburg Mozarteum, Zürich’s Tonhalle, Bremen’s Die Glocke, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Belgrade’s Kolarac, the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, the Louis Vuitton Foundation (broadcasted live on Radio Classique), the Maison de la Radio, the Salle Cortot and the Salle Gaveau in Paris.

Upcoming concerts include recitals in Holland, United Kingdom, Colombia, Germany, Spain, as well as in France at the Radio-France Festival Montpellier, Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse, Festival de l’Épau and many others. He began 2018 by replacing at last minute famous pianist Christian Zacharias in Chemnitz, Germany, and playing two times Mozart’s 24th Concerto under Leopold Hager.

His Schumann G Minor Sonata Live in Nohant 2015 has been released last year, together with Aldo Ciccolini’s last recital, as the first album of the Nohant Chopin Festival Archives. Moreover, the “Classica” Magazine has ranked Jean-Paul among the 10 most promising young pianists of his generation. The “Pianiste” Magazine also dedicated a large portrait to him this year.

His first studio CD was released in 2018 for the Évidence Classics label, with a Russian program : Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Prokofiev, and was highly praised by the press.

Since September 2016, Jean-Paul is artist-in-residence at the Singer Polignac Foundation, together with Shuichi Okada and Gauthier Broutin, with whom he founded the Cantor Trio.

Jean-Paul is supported by the Safran Foundation for Music. He is also, since this summer, a Steinway Artist.

California, Christian Baldini, Concerto, Experimental, Lutoslawski, Symphony Orchestra, Uncategorized, violin

Max Haft in Conversation with Christian Baldini

California, Christian Baldini, Music, Symphony Orchestra, Uncategorized

Leyla Kabuli in Conversation with Christian Baldini

On November 23, Leyla Kabuli will return to the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra (in which she was a member of the first violin section years ago, for two seasons) as our piano soloist for Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Below is an interview with Leyla.
Leyla grew up in Davis, California, and she went through the public school system. During her time at Harper Junior High School, she was concertmaster of the school orchestra, directed by Greg Brucker. I had the opportunity of asking Mr. Brucker about his recollections of Leyla as his student, and this is what he had to say about her:
“When she [Leyla] was a part of the Harper Orchestras from 7th -9th grade, she was by far one of the most talented raw musicians and musical minds the school and our program had seen, if not the best musician to come through the program to date. Her talent on the violin was incredible, and that was her second instrument. When she played the piano for the class, we were all absolutely moved. It was magical. […] There is no question we were witnessing a true musical prodigy on the piano. Her kindness, care and concern for others, and her connection to those around her showed a deep wisdom and compassion far beyond her years. And it has been a true pleasure to follow her growth and progress as a musician since, from her amazing performances while at the high school, SF Conservatory, and since throughout Northern California and beyond. She is a true talent, and one of the great prides of our program historically. It was an honor to be a teacher to her, and a true pleasure.”

Christian Baldini: Leyla, it is such a pleasure to welcome you back to the Mondavi Center, and this time in a different capacity. You will be our soloist for this very beautiful and demanding Piano Concerto by Rachmaninov. How does it feel to be back?
Leyla Kabuli: Thank you very much for inviting me to play my favorite piano concerto with my favorite orchestra.  It came as a big surprise, and I am honored to be a soloist with the UCDSO. It’s super exciting to rehearse and perform at the Mondavi Center again.
CB: What are some of the features that define this Piano Concerto? What speaks to you in it, and are there any recordings that you really like of it?
LK: This is the ultimate emotional piece that touches the hearts of everyone in the orchestra and the audience.It’s technically demanding, with wide-spread chords. I especially like how the piano relates to the orchestra throughout; at times it’s role is to accompany the other instruments as in the simple flute and the clarinet accompaniments in the second movement. The energy in the third movement is incredible. How could Rachmaninoff express so many feelings in those notes? Among the many recordings, my favorite is the one by Sviatoslav Richter and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra in 1959; it’s the composition of one genius performed by yet another genius.
CB: Let’s talk about repertoire. Who are some composers that have influenced you as an artist? Which composers have you had the chance to explore in depth (even at your young age, you are quite an experienced performer!)? And who are those composers and/or works that you’d like to explore more?
LK: I learned many, many pieces from every different era of classical music, but I found that exploring Bach in depth was most beneficial also for appreciating the works of other composers. In recitals, I like to include the works of composers whose beautiful piano music is not part of the standard repertoire. Interestingly, some of the pieces I discovered in recent years were suggested by non-musicians. For example, I got introduced to the piano works of Nikolai Medtner by a friend’s father, who is a famous plant biologist at the Carnegie Institution. Whenever I play Medtner, I also play a few shorter pieces by his extremely supportive friend Rachmaninoff, who tirelessly helped to promote Medtner’s music.
CB: You have already been involved in important social justice work, including your committed performance on From the Top, which was a tribute to Syrian refugees, of “Black Earth”, by Turkish composer/pianist Fazil Say. What is the meaning of music to you? Does it have a role in society? Why is it so important nowadays?
LK: Following my performance on NPR’s From the Top with host Christopher O’Riley, I collaborated with the show on other projects. The music video of my shorter arrangement of Fazil Say’s “Black Earth” was intended to raise awareness for two organizations that help refugees, especially in the Mediterranean region. It surprises me that so many people have seen that video and contributed to these organizations, and some even sent me very touching letters, which all prove that music has the power of uniting communities. The arts connect people in ways that nothing else can, and our cultural diversity serves to enrich our experience. Music provides a means for communication and expression beyond any spoken language. It transcends boundaries, barriers, and all perceived differences between people. I’d like to repeat Leonard Bernstein’s famous quote: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
CB: Besides being a remarkable pianist and an excellent violinist, you also play the bassoon. In addition, you are pursuing a degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley, and I am pretty sure you must be a great athlete. How do you find time for everything, and how do you organize yourself?
LK: I really couldn’t claim to be any of those things. I did prepare for the junior high school basketball team tryouts until my violin teacher asked if basketball meant so much to me that I would risk breaking my fingers, which would mean the end of piano. I tried wrapping my fingers with bandages for a while, but had to quit before the tryouts. In general, I’m not that well unorganized, and my to-do list is hopelessly long. My classes and work as a teaching assistant twenty hours a week are prioritized, and then I try not to get stressed out about the many other things that can’t be finished. One day I hope to find a way to multi-task and parallel-process piano practice with other homework.
CB: Tell us about your first few steps in music. How did you start, and when? Who were the main influences (people, teachers, and also musical experiences) in your life so far?
LK: Actually, performing at the Mondavi Center is very meaningful to me. When I was almost seven, my mom took me to a concert of Itzhak Perlman. Although we listened to classical music at home all the time, the live performance was a completely different experience. I probably understood that Perlman was the main star of the concert, but I was fascinated by his piano accompanist Rohan de Silva and the gigantic concert grand piano. It was very disappointing that I wouldn’t be allowed to climb on the stage and play the big piano right after the concert, and more shockingly, according to my mom, one needed many lessons to play it. In the months that followed the concert, I demanded those lessons, assuming they would take place right there on the Mondavi stage, and that de Silva would be the teacher. Finally, my mom was convinced and we bought an electric keyboard with a wobbly stand from everyone’s favorite wholesale store. Then my life changed when I got accepted by a fantastic teacher in Davis, Angelia Lim, who taught me the joy of playing the piano and even convinced my mom to buy a used baby grand after a couple of years of lessons. When I was ten, in addition to weekly lessons with Mrs. Lim, I started the Pre-College program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) as a scholarship student, first with John McCarthy, and then with Yoshikazu Nagai. In the next seven years at SFCM, I studied  violin with Doris Fukawa, and bassoon with Dr. Yueh Chou. I also had exceptional chamber music coaches there, including  Machiko Kobialka. Many great pianists coached me in masterclasses and summer programs such as Piano Texas, BU Tanglewood, Colburn Academy, Oberlin, Southeastern Piano in South Carolina, and IIYM in Kansas. As the keyboardist of San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra for four seasons, I was coached in orchestral piano by SF Symphony’s Robin Sutherland; I got to play the piano, celeste and organ in Davies Symphony Hall. I have been so very lucky to receive the gift of music from these extraordinary musicians.
 
CB: We are the lucky ones to witness and appreciate your talent first hand, Leyla! Thank you very much for your time, and for sharing your extraordinary talent and wonderful energy with our musicians and our audience. I very much look forward to sharing this with everyone at our performance on the 23rd of November!
LK: I really appreciate it that you are giving me this opportunity. I look forward to Rach at the Mondavi Center!

Leyla_3

Leyla Kabuli is a third-year student at the University of California, Berkeley, studying Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences and Music. She graduated from the Pre-College Division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2017, where she studied piano, violin, and bassoon as a scholarship student for seven years. She was the keyboardist of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2015 to 2019. Leyla’s piano awards include three consecutive National YoungArts Awards in 2016, 2017, 2018, the American Prize in Piano Concerto, and the US Chopin Foundation scholarship. She won first prizes in the Los Angeles Young Musician International, eMuse, American Prot´eg´e, Wildflower, Pacific Musical Society, MTAC, CAPMT, Kruschke, Mindell, Ghiglieri, Classical Masters, East Bay, Berkeley Etude Club, US Open, and Junior Bach competitions. Other awards include top prizes in Virginia Waring International Concerto, Seattle International, Enkor International, MTNA Piano Duet, Ross McKee, USIMC, and Zeiter competitions. She was also a semi-finalist in the prestigious International Piano-e-Competition, Cooper International Competition, Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition, and the First International Arthur Rubinstein Youth Piano Competition. She has performed at Davies Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Benaroya Hall, McCallum Theater, Zipper Concert Hall and other major venues. In addition to the national broadcast of her featured performance on NPR’s From the Top with host Christopher O’Riley in 2016, Leyla collaborated with the show on a benefit video and performed at From the Top’s 2017 Gala. Her Bay Area performances included San Francisco’s Noontime Concert Series as the Helen von Ammon Emerging Artist Award recipient, Ensemble SF Concerts, and Concerts at the Presidio. She was a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Waring Festival Orchestra, Nova Vista Symphony, El Camino Symphony, South Valley Symphony, Bay Area Soli Deo Gloria, Sonoma Philharmonic, and Palo Alto Philharmonic. Leyla has studied piano with Angelina Lim and John McCarthy, and currently studies with Yoshikazu Nagai of SFCM and with Michael Orland at Berkeley. She attended many festivals, masterclasses and summer programs, including PianoTexas, Southeastern Piano Festival, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Colburn Academy, and IIYM. As a soloist, active chamber musician and collaborative pianist, she organizes and frequently participates in benefit and outreach events in California and around the country.

 

Anibal Troilo, Buenos Aires, California, Christian Baldini, Claudio Barile, Concert Hall, Concerto, Music, Piccolo, Symphony Orchestra, Tango, Teatro Colón, Uncategorized, violin

Claudio Barile en diálogo con Christian Baldini

Christian Baldini: Querido Claudio, es un verdadero gusto poder hacerte algunas preguntas acerca del concierto que vamos a tocar juntos junto a la Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires en el Teatro Colón, y también poder conocer un poco más acerca de tu formación musical, tu experiencia, tu filosofía de vida y tu visión como músico de mundo y poseedor de un gran refinamiento. Contame por favor, qué significado tiene para vos este hermoso Concierto para Flauta, Cembalo y Cuerdas en Re menor de Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach? Cuál fue tu primer contacto con esta obra, y que te inspiró a tocarla en este concierto con la OFBA?

Claudio Barile: Curiosamente han existido en mí obras que me han impactado a través de haberlas escuchado desde chico como los conciertos y sonatas barrocas ejecutadas por Jean- Pierre Rampal o Sir James Galway. Las he dejado en mi hermoso “rincón de escucha”, de auditor, o de agradecido espectador auditivo” por el encanto que han producido y producen el escucharlas nuevamente por esos intérpretes, sin decidirme estudiarlas yo mismo por el mero disfrutar de escucha para no romper el encanto. Acaso procrastinando la decisión de hacerlo. Podría decir que esta es una de esas obras. La he conservado en mi biblioteca por años. Hasta que un día decido “meterme en la vida privada del autor” y por ende del intérprete de mis recuerdos y decido modificar algo… Con ello quiero decir que comienzo a sentir de algún modo algo nuevo que no se dijo aún en esa obra y que puede decirse todavía, interpretativamente hablando. Es así como formará luego parte de mi vida o como que se dice comúnmente: “La sumo al repertorio.”

Esta es una obra exigente al día de hoy a pesar de que fue escrita para otro tipo de instrumento más limitado en su velocidad como lo eran las flautas del siglo XVII. Carl Phillip escribió para el instrumento de una manera Magistral. Como te digo es muy virtuosa la obra y difícil para hacerle justicia al día de hoy.

Baldini: Tu repertorio ha sido muy vasto. Has tocado obras de todos los períodos, tanto en el ámbito orquestal como en el repertorio solístico y de cámara. Cómo le explicarías a alguien que no conoce (o que cree que no gusta de) este repertorio la relevancia y la importancia que tiene tocar este enigmático concierto de CPE Bach, habiendo tocado piezas de Robert Dick, Dutilleux, Mozart y tantos otros?

Barile: J. S. Bach ha sido y es ruta en mi vida. Así como Esquilo refirió que toda su obra la había realizado con “migajas del banquete homérico”, podría decirse de algún modo que las obras de los hijos de Juan Sebastián han sido creadas bajo su influencia directa e indirecta de su padre. Se frecuenta poco el nombre de Bach en la Filarmónica y es cierto que en mi caso luego de haber sugerido u ofrecido tocar obras de Mauricio Kagel, Penderecki , Dick, Nielsen, Ibert, Khachaturian, Messiaen, es hermoso y enriquecedor para los oyentes de este concierto escuchar que los pasajes de virtuosismo (que los hay y muchos!) en este concierto luzcan con esta estética armónica y melódica.

Pero además te diré que me he encontrado en mi vida con gran cantidad de público nacional así como en el extranjero que está hambriento de escuchar más asiduamente en las armonías del periodo clásico. Quizás sea una estética más trabajosa y puntillosa, lo se… No se puede sofisticar o “mentir” virtuosismo con los autores refinados del periodo clásico. En tanto que lucir desmañado pero con visos de “apasionamiento” en la ejecución de otros autores y periodos puede pasar más desapercibido. Quizás sea por ello que no se escuche de modo más frecuente a los clásicos? No lo sé…

Baldini: Cómo comenzó tu formación musical? Cómo fue tu infancia? Y cuáles fueron los pasos que te llevaron a ser eventualmente integrante, y luego el solista de flauta de la Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires?

Barile: Allá por mis once años, recuerdo que mi padre había comprado su nuevo auto y le había agregado un reproductor de lo que se llamaba entonces “magazines“ (el antecesor de la cassette). Uno de sus preferidas adquisiciones había sido comprar un magazine con música de Tango, más precisamente de Troilo-Fiorentino. Me fascinaba escuchar a Troilo acompañando el refinamiento de Fiorentino! Muy musical! Así comencé estudiando bandoneón en mi barrio de Lugano por unos pocos meses hasta que una tía hermana de mi madre y mi tío flautista al parecer lo estaban convenciendo a este de que me impartiera clases de flauta.

Este tío materno no era nada menos que Domingo Rulio -gran virtuoso de la flauta!- y quien era solista en ese entonces de la Filarmónica de Buenos Aires.

Al principio se mostraba renuente con la idea, pero luego a instancias e insistencias de su hermana (siempre hay una tía en la familia, al decir de Cortázar) me prestó un instrumento que tenía guardado. Quedé fascinado con todo! Era para mí una maravilla y una reliquia y un placer que jamás se separó de mí!

Pasaron unos días y comenzó a escucharme lo que ya había empezado a impartirme como primeras lecciones anotadas en un cuaderno pentagramado. A partir de ese entonces comenzó la relación con mi tío materno. Me infundió mucha confianza en mí mismo. A mi tío Rulio le debo el haberme descubierto en mi condición de músico además de las grandiosas enseñanzas desde el punto de vista técnico con el instrumento.

En abril de 1972 comencé el conservatorio Manuel de Falla donde Rulio impartía sus clases de flauta. Avanzaba a pasos agigantados con la flauta y con felicidad. Rulio no hacía sino ponerse orgulloso de su sobrino.

Él me presentaba por doquier para tocar lo que me pidieran tocar y yo asentía feliz
Poco después me facilitó un flautín (flauta piccolo) y la fascinación mía y la de él creció aún más! Comencé a estudiar el flautín…

No hacía más que presentarme ante los directores y músicos para que escucharán tocar a su sobrino. Orgulloso el tío. Orgulloso yo por mi nueva etapa! Contaba yo mis trece años en ese entonces.

Waldo de los Ríos se presentaba por última vez en el Luna Park el 9 de septiembre de 1973. Hacía falta una flauta en el plantel y Rulio me llevo para ir a tocar con él. Yo estaba más que feliz. A decir verdad mi debut en orquesta sinfónica fue el 9-9-73 con Waldo de los Ríos.

Al año siguiente hubo la posibilidad de agrandar el plantel de la Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires, y habida cuenta de todas las audiciones realizadas por mí ante El Mtro. Calderón, el Mtro. Sivieri y cuanto músico profesor de orquesta se pusiera delante, fuí incluido en la Orquesta como miembro interino.

No se hicieron esperar títulos de obras donde yo participaba como solista con el flautín. Allí podía lucirme como solista. Me encantaba hacerlo. Nunca el piccolo deja de ser solista en un puesto de esa naturaleza: Daphnis y Chloé de Ravel, Copellia, de Delibes, Tchaikovsky 4ta. sinfonía, etc. son títulos que frecuentábamos. Estaba Feliz.

Estuve seis años en la OFBA hasta que gane por concurso una beca para ir a Berlín a estudiar en la Fundación Karajan en 1980-1981.

Terminado ese periodo volví para casarme con quién había sido mi novia antes de salir de Buenos Aires y la madre mi hijo mayor. Luego volvimos al país
Pero hete aquí que casado necesitaba estabilidad económica…que aún no tenia.

La orquesta Estable del Teatro Colón me ofreció tocar como flauta solista en el cargo que acababa de dejar el maestro Iannelli y allí estuve tocando como solista suplente desde 1982 a 1983.

Es allí en 1983 cuando me presenté a la orquesta sinfónica nacional y quede en el puesto de suplente solista por un año y medio.

Se abrió luego la posibilidad de presentarme al puesto de Solista B en la orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires. Así lo hice donde me presenté y donde hasta el día de hoy me encuentro tocando.

Baldini: Imagino que has tenido a lo largo de los años varios discípulos, seguidores, alumnos en varias diferentes etapas de sus vidas. Qué consejo le darías a alguien que es prometedor, pero que necesita ese empuje para convertirse realmente en un gran intérprete?

Barile: Quizás parezca fuera de tema mi respuesta pero cada vez qué pasa más el tiempo me voy dando cuenta de que nuestras hormonas son las mejores directores de orquesta de nuestro cuerpo. Y hay que desarrollar más sensibilidad para con ellas. No se equivocan. Quiero decir: Las veces que he emprendido actividades por “cálculo “ no han salido bien. El designio de una idea vale más que la idea misma. Si esta idea resulta “ventajosa“ o no, no importa. El estar feliz con la elección que se tiene es lo mas importante. Es como la madera con la cual uno hace una casa. Ya no es madera solamente cuando el designio fue hacer una casa y ellas la constituyen. Pasado ese periodo cuando la casa esta construida tampoco ES una casa si no contiene espacio hueco dentro para habitarla! ¿De qué sirve?

Vale decir: la “carrera” es una consecuencia de hacer lo que nos gusta. Lo que amamos. Cuidarlo. Protegerlo y enriquecerlo del deterioro es nuestro deber. Pero será un deber con mucho agrado si nuestra elección fue la correcta. Caso contrario una tortura frustrante. Como decirlo? “La carrera” nunca la entendí sino como un “ side effect“, algo que vendrá como un regalo o un premio.

Mi felicidad es mi lujo de estudiar por haber elegido bien lo que me gusta hacer y viendo como solucionar problemas que la música me demanda.

Si abordamos una tarea con el deseo de aplauso exterior será tan débil y agotadora la vida como pobre el resultado: la agónica infelicidad mendiga de un aplauso.
La aprobación exterior será por supuesto bienvenida pero no como una demanda interior que impele a reptar en lugar de caminar para lograr aprobación externa.

Baldini: Qué palabras tan sabias! Y… si tuvieras una máquina del tiempo, cambiarías algo de cómo ha sido tu exitosísima trayectoria profesional? Preguntado de otra manera: qué consejo le darías al Claudio Barile en sus años de adolescencia? Qué debería hacer distinto o mejor?

Barile: Haber confiado más aún en mis instintos. La razón consciente ciertamente nos sirve siempre para trazar todo método a llevar a cabo. Muchas veces el método por mí elegido me ha seducido grandemente. Perdiendo yo la mira del objetivo. En mi cabeza lucía bien. Pero en la práctica no. Valía lo que empíricamente me demostraban los malos resultados. Y entonces confundí el método elegido por mí con el “para qué“ seguir en esto o lo otro. Lo hacía de modo experimental sabiendo que si no funcionaba volvía para atrás. Pero a veces me he detenido más de la cuenta en esas pruebas. Hablo tanto de mi técnica instrumental, de mi alimentación y de mi modo de vida, etc

Baldini: Han habido personas, ya sean maestros, colegas, artistas con los que has trabajado que te han inspirado de manera particularmente especial? Quienes son esas personas que te han definido como artista?

Barile: Luego de que la música me impacte de modo superlativo los pensadores son los que más generaron en mí una conducta o la estética a seguir. Me ayudaron a perseguir mi alquimia. También diría a poder ser crítico y a tener fuerzas morales para no flaquear a la hora de abrirme yo mismo de determinados dogmas en la enseñanza sea del Conservatorio o de quiénes fueron mis Maestros posteriores. A partir de ellos es que nunca hube de sentirme solo en la búsqueda. A poder saber frustrarme con los experimentos, con el amor o con la gente que conocía.

Dejamos de sentirnos solos al conocer el desenlace que tuvo en su vida Kierkegaard, los desencantos no correspondidos de Nietzsche, saber algún detalle picante e intratable de Jantipa (la esposa de Sócrates) o el fatal desenlace de Werther… Leer ha sido y es mi salvación y mi liberación. No para asentir en todo lo que he leído (repito) sino para ser aún más crítico. Sabido es ya y curioso que nos vamos quedando más ajustados en cuanto a felicidad se refiera luego de ser más conscientes de un hecho. Pero no podemos ya dar un paso para atrás al despejarse el camino. “Ya no somos la misma persona tan luego haber terminado un libro“ decía Sabato… y con justa razón .

El lenguaje ha formado parte de mí estéticamente hablando. Y no todo concluye en las palabras que uno cubiletea en el cerebro y elige al hablar sino también en el énfasis colocado al decirlas. Me fascina ver la similitud que existe con la música respecto a este punto. Puedo aseverar que leer para asimilar el talento ajeno y el propio ha sido en mí una puerta a la felicidad. Pasado el tiempo aprendemos a creer en nosotros y comenzamos a despegarnos de esas ideas y también sentimos que hubiéramos deseado conocerlos en vida para debatir o intercambiar pareceres.

José Ingenieros (de quien tuve la dicha y honra de ser amigo de una de sus hijas, Amalia) ha sido una visages en mi vida desde mi adolescencia. Nietzsche, Borges, Descartes con su “Discurso” y sus “ Reglas” y su epígono, Spinoza con su “Ética demostrada…”, fueron y son siempre pensadores compañeros de ruta en mi vida.

Karajan fue el director que asimilé desde chico y como instrumentista Rampal, James Galway, Maurice Andre, Heinz Holliger, David Oistrach. En pintura podría decir van Gogh, Bosch, Dalí, Velasquez, Murillo.

Baldini: En tu opinión, cuál es la importancia de la música sinfónica en la actualidad? En muchas oportunidades escuchamos quejas o lamentos acerca del público que va declinando. Te parece que esto tiene relación con la apreciación de la cultura, con el dinero, con la calidad del producto ofrecido, o quizás con otra cosa, y que se debería hacer para remediarlo?

Barile: Hoy día se necesita VER además de escuchar. No alcanza solamente con escuchar. Ha perdido encanto el solo acto de escuchar. ¿Por qué? Acaso porque es más demandante para la concentración. Es más fácil y accesible el poder ver además de escuchar. Y no me refiero solo a la “escena” con la música al tocar sino a la gran herramienta que resultó ser YouTube. Existe una suerte de “comunismo” con la educación y los celulares. Gente rica o de menor condición económica cuenta con idéntica posibilidad de un aparato y acceso al conocimiento. Esto sin duda influye en la cultura y obviamente en la asistencia a los conciertos.

La gente va al concierto promovida a recibir la excitación ya por ver a su ídolo en vivo. No para “conocer” o escuchar la obra. Es otra la curiosidad. Por otro lado a su vez Gracias a esta posibilidad el oyente argentino está más “aggiornado “ que hace pocos años en reconocer y NO decepcionarse más ante la posibilidad de escuchar en vivo un concierto. O sea de ver realmente el sudar y pifiar a un grande o que la orquesta lo tape a tal cantante o que hubiera de haber tenido algún furcio durante el concierto. Esto hoy día no ocurre y cada vez es es más común “la mugre“ permitida durante las performances. Digamos que Hoy es más culto el oyente gracias al vivo grabado del YouTube y el fácil acceso a ver/ oír. Y lo desmañado está en boga hace años y va creciendo. Antes el fotógrafo y la familia se preparaban horas antes para una buena foto. Hoy día eso es menos común. Casi en menor escala o no existe.

Baldini: Muchas gracias, Claudio. Desde ya, es un verdadero gusto poder tratar estos temas tan profundos con vos, y me da mucho placer poder ser el vehículo de transmisión para realizar tu visión con este hermoso concierto de Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach junto a la querida Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires y vos. Nuestro público estará seguramente muy agradecido!

Barile: el agradecido soy yo y más aún saber que contaré con todo tu probado refinamiento en los autores clásicos y así trabajáremos juntos para lograr lo que esta obra requiere. Muchas Gracias a vos, Maestro!

6602 CLAUDIO BARILE Foto Carlos Furman SMOKING SONRIENTE
Claudio Barile – Copyright Carlos Furman

 

Claudio Barile

Flauta

Nació en Buenos Aires y ha desarrollado una extensa y exitosa carrera en Sudamérica, Europa y Estados Unidos como uno de los mayores exponentes del medio musical argentino.

Sus profesores han sido Domingo Rulio en Argentina, Karlheinz Zöller en Alemania, y Nadine Asin y Sir James Galway en Estados Unidos.

Desde 1984 es flauta solista principal de la Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires, que integra desde 1974. En reiteradas oportunidades se ha presentado en actuaciones como solista dentro del ciclo de abono que la orquesta realiza en el Teatro Colón.

Sus actuaciones como solista con la Camerata Bariloche han incluido escenarios de Sudamérica, Europa y Estados Unidos -donde se presentó en el histórico Carnegie Hall en Nueva York-. Con dicho conjunto ha grabado Impresiones de la Puna de Alberto Ginastera para el sello Dorian en Nueva York.

Activo intérprete de música de cámara, ha sido miembro fundador del “Quadro Barroco” (donde ejecuta flauta barroca), del Quinteto Filarmónico de Buenos Aires y del Ensamble Instrumental de Buenos Aires.

Ha sido merecedor en tres oportunidades del Premio Konex: en 1999 con el Diploma al Mérito en la categoría Instrumentista de Madera; en 2009 con el Diploma al Mérito en la categoría Conjunto de Cámara con el Quinteto Filarmónico de Buenos Aires, y en 2009 con el Konex de Platino como Instrumentista de Viento.

Realizó recitales en la “Sir James Galway International Flute Convention & Masterclass” en Weggis (Suiza) y en la convención anual National Flute Association en Charlotte (Carolina del Norte, EE.UU.)

En 2012 combinó una invitación para dictar una clase magistral en la Trinity Chamber Concerts (San Francisco), con una semana de clases magistrales de Piazzolla, dos conciertos en la Texas Tech University y otra presentación junto a la Orquesta Sinfónica de Ridgewood (Nueva Jersey), ejecutando el Concierto para flauta de Khachaturian.

Fue galardonado con el Premio Carlos Gardel, “Mejor Álbum de Música Clásica” 2012, por sus grabaciones de Seis Estudios para flauta sola e Historia del Tango -ambas obras de Ástor Piazzolla- y París desde aquí de Daniel Binelli.

En 2013 fue invitado por The National Flute Association para la 41º Convención de Flautistas desarrollada en Nueva Orleans. En 2018 por la Convención de la Asociación de Flautistas de España en Valencia.

Concerto, Music, piano, Symphony Orchestra, Uncategorized

Soloist Profile: Erica Mineo in Conversation with Christian Baldini

Erica Mineo will perform Schumann’s Piano Concerto as our soloist with the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra on June 1 in a program that will also include Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, and a new piece by Daniel Godsil. Click here for more details.

Christian Baldini: Erica, first of all congratulations on winning the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. There was a competitive pool of applicants, and the jury’s decision was unanimously in your favor. At your age, you have already quite a few important accomplishments behind you. Please tell us how you started with the piano. How and when did you first become interested in music? I understand you also play the violin. Please tell us about it too.

Erica Mineo: Thank you! This opportunity to perform with the symphony is a great honor and a dream come true, and I must give credit to Marilyn Swan, my wonderful piano teacher, and Claire Zheng, an excellent accompanist and an even better friend. I am indebted to them both for all their support and guidance through these months of learning and interpreting the Schumann.

I started piano when I was seven, rather late compared to most of my contemporaries. But I’m thankful I wasn’t ever forced to play an instrument. Cultivating my love for music has been a very organic process. When I was very young, I listened to plenty of Classical music—my parents still have the Mozart CD’s they played when I was a baby! I suppose you could say I’m from a musical family, too. On my father’s side, my grandmother is a jazz singer, and my great-uncle Paul Peek was a rockabilly musician and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee! On my mother’s side, my uncle is a classical music aficionado, and so was my grandfather.

I’ve got a funny story about how I ended up playing the violin. My elementary school had an orchestra program in which students chose any instrument they liked. When I was nine, I arbitrarily picked the violin, and it’s stuck with me ever since. With both instruments, I’ve been lucky to have teachers who instill a solid foundation in technique, artistry, and theory while still making music meaningful and ultimately, fun. And ever since my early days with those Mozart CD’s, Classical music has remained an integral part of my life and identity.

CB: Which other activities do you enjoy outside music?

EM: Just like music, I’ve been very passionate about animals, especially cats and horses, ever since I was young. I always knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. Currently, I enjoy volunteering with Yolo County Animal Services (YCAS) and Therapeutic Riding and Off-Track Rehabilitation (TROTR), both in Woodland. I’m also a member of Foal Team—we help take care of the baby equines (and the occasional alpaca) that come through the UCD vet school’s large animal neonatal ICU. I’m an undergraduate volunteer with the Knights Landing One Health Veterinary Clinic as well—our monthly clinic provides in-town veterinary services to the rural community of Knights Landing.

I very much enjoy reading literary classics, especially Shakespeare, and writing poetry. Running and nature photography illustrate my ever-present affinity with the great outdoors. And ever since finding out I’m autistic, I’ve become keenly interested in disability rights and neurodiversity, why we need this variation of brains and minds more than ever in today’s world. As the buttons and pins on my violin case illustrate, I hope to channel this deep passion into promoting disability awareness and acceptance and empowering other autistic people. I’m the co-founder and Vice President of the Autism and Neurodiversity Community at UC Davis, a peer-support group for autistic students.

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CB: We look forward to featuring you as our soloist for the first movement of Schumann’s Piano Concerto. In your opinion, what is so beautiful and remarkable about this piece? Why did you choose to perform it?

EM: The Schumann is such a sensitive, intimate, and yet fiercely determined work, with so many mischievous moments and little conversations with the orchestra. I especially love the back-and-forth parts between the piano and the oboe solo. Here’s a fun fact: the oboist playing these solos, Rose—I mean Professor Baunach—is actually my Physics instructor this quarter! And Claire’s on timpani, and I’ve got several other friends in the strings, winds, and brass. Schumann really fosters collaboration in this concerto. I’ve never really believed the soloist is inherently “better” than the orchestra anyway—one musician does not make a concerto, after all—but here, the piano and orchestra make a true team.

I also can definitely relate to Schumann as a person. While he likely wasn’t autistic, the historical evidence shows he definitely was neurodivergent in some respect. I wonder if his music was like a different kind of language for him, much as it is for me. Music communicates so much more than mere words!

Ms. Swan suggested learning the Schumann about a year ago, since I performed Grieg’s Piano Concerto in high school. I understand Grieg composed his piano concerto after hearing the Schumann, and it’s quite fascinating to see the similarities between the two. Not only the key, A Minor, but also minutiae such as those mischievous oboe solos! These two pieces are quite like siblings, and I’m humbled to have had the opportunity to learn them both.

CB: What is a typical routine for you? How much do you practice your piano and your violin, and how do you balance your music with school activities, and everything else?

EM: You’re absolutely right—fitting music, schoolwork, and pre-vet activities all together is a delicate balancing act. A consistent routine is essential. I usually get up very early in the morning and try to go to bed at a decent hour if I’ve not got a late-night Foal Team shift. Social media does not exist in my vocabulary. Ironically, the academic rigor is not the most difficult aspect of the school day—it’s pacing myself through all the sensory stimuli that accumulates when I’m walking to class and interacting with others. The music building and the Pitzer center are two of my refuges when it gets overwhelming—the little red bench on the second floor of the music building is one of my favorite spots.

As a busy pre-vet, I do admit I ought to practice music more than I do—usually I snatch an hour or two in between classes, or—as Claire is apt to tell you—occasionally even before lessons. But with such limited time, one learns to make the most of every minute, to focus on those key measures while not losing sight of the entire work. And when I’m not practicing, I’ll get creative—perhaps think about interpretation and intent while walking to class, play some pieces I’m working on to the cats in the YCAS shelter, or have a playlist of passages running (excuse the pun) in my head while I’m on a run.

CB: Is music very important to you? (I imagine it is, when I hear you play!) And why?

EM: The eminent French piano teacher Nadia Boulanger once said, “Do not take up music unless you would rather die than not do so.” This sentiment resonates deeply with me. Classical music is the oxygen for my soul. It’s been the portal to forming meaningful, long-lasting friendships—virtually all my close friends play an instrument or sing. Ultimately, it’s allowed me to feel such profound emotion and expression I never previously thought possible.

And while being autistic does have its challenges as an invisible disability, you can especially see its great strengths in music. My sensitivity to sound becomes an asset in noting the little details, in pieces from my chamber group’s piano quintet to Bach fugues. When I play or hear a piece, I see and feel sparks, waves, and ripples of color in addition to the notes themselves. Thanks to this intersection of autism and musical perception, I not only hear but also experience music as a living, tangible entity.

CB: What are your dreams? Where would you like to see yourself in ten years?

EM: After finishing my undergraduate studies, I plan to attend veterinary school, most likely along the companion animal/equine track. I hope to keep advocating for acceptance of autism and neurodiversity in society, including in music and the veterinary field. And I very much hope to keep playing the piano and violin and sharing these musical masterpieces with others—both humans and non-humans—throughout these years and beyond.  

CB: Thank you very much for your time, and for your very inspiring answers. We look forward to sharing your beautiful musicality with our audience soon!

EM: You’re very welcome! I very much look forward to rehearsing and performing with you and the symphony!

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Erica Mineo, a second-year undergraduate majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Music and Animal Science (Equine), currently studies piano with Marilyn Swan at UC Davis. Erica began her piano studies at age seven with Soh-Ra Kim and Dr. Linda Mazich-Govel in Rancho Palos Verdes. In high school, she studied with Hans Boepple, music professor and former department chair at Santa Clara University. She has enjoyed master classes and sessions with composer Dr. David Ward-Steinman, Bernadene Blaha, Lucille Straub, Nina Scolnik, and Dr. Louise Earhart. Erica performed Mozart’s 9th Piano Concerto as a soloist with the Southwestern Music Festival and Beach Cities Symphony orchestras, and the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Monta Vista High School Chamber Orchestra and the Winchester Orchestra of San Jose. She was a three-time state finalist in the Celia Mendez Beethoven Competition at San Jose State University, and has also earned recognition for performances of Mozart, Bach, Chopin, and Grieg. In 2017, Erica was a Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) Young Artist Guild finalist, and in 2015 earned MTAC Panel Honors for piano and violin. She began studying violin from age nine with Gail Gerding-Mellert, and in high school with Julliard faculty member Li Lin as well as Robin Sharp, SF Chamber Orchestra concertmaster and Stanford faculty member. Erica was the Monta Vista High School Chamber Orchestra concertmaster, and now studies violin with Jolán Friedhoff at UC Davis. As a violinist, Erica enjoys performing chamber music in a piano quintet.

A passionate pre-vet, Erica is keenly interested in pursuing the companion animal/equine track. She is a member of the UC Davis vet school’s Foal Team and the Knights Landing One Health Veterinary Clinic. She also volunteers with Yolo County Animal Services (YCAS) and Therapeutic Riding and Off-Track Rehabilitation (TROTR), both in Woodland. Her other passions include classic literature (especially Shakespeare), writing poetry, running, nature photography, and disability studies.

Erica is also a proudly autistic disability rights advocate, and the co-founder and Vice President of the Autism and Neurodiversity Community at UC Davis, a peer-support group for autistic students. She was invited as a panelist to speak about her experiences as an autistic university student at the UC Davis MIND Institute’s May 31st Neurodiversity Summit.