California, Christian Baldini, Concerto, Experimental, Judy Kang, Korea, Uncategorized, violin

Judy Kang in Conversation with Christian Baldini

After a long pandemic pause, the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra will finally return to Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center in Davis California on October 15, 2021. Our opening program will be a short noon concert featuring a new work by Iranian composer Aida Shirazi, as well as Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with the extraordinary Judy Kang. I had the pleasure of asking Judy some questions, and below are her very thoughtful answers:

Christian Baldini: Judy, welcome, I am so excited to be performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto with you as our wonderful soloist. You and I have known each other virtually for a long time, we have connected, interviewed, even performed remotely, but this is our first “in person” performance. Are you excited about this? What are some of the things you look forward to the most?

Judy Kang: Thanks so much for inviting me to perform this masterpiece. I’m so excited about it and working/meeting in person with you as well!
I look forward to getting back to the stage after the long “break”, getting back into the groove and having the privilege to play one of my all time favourites, I’m very grateful.
It’s exciting to play for a live audience again, “getting lost” and being in the moment, letting go, and embracing the unknown. The exchange of energy in the room and inspiration  pulled from the audience will be magical and something I realize that I miss deeply. One thing during the pandemic that really struck me was the realization and challenge to feel those things alone in a room recording in front of a camera even if there is an audience on the other side. The collaborations werent the same either though absolutely grateful it was possible to have. It will be wonderful to collaborate in the same room!

CB: What are some of the aspects of the Sibelius Violin Concerto that you like the most? What is so special about it in your view? What would you recommend to people who don’t know the piece, what should they listen for?

JK: I love the overall vibe of the work; the emotion that it provokes and displays. I love how it’s orchestrated and the way it’s structured. The virtuosity and passion the composer has allowed for both the soloist and orchestra. It’s so fun to play. What I find special about this work is that it has such richness and depth to it but it really penetrates to our emotion which doesnt necessarily require a type of intellectual understanding. The piece has a lot of tension underneath the surface. It’s cool and icy but hot and intense below. Listen for the way it builds to climax and how it moves away from the tension to warmer and more passionate places.
Listen to how the rhythm of the orchestra in the last movement is foundational to keeping up a consistency of excitement and intensity and how the violin plays and reacts to it and also in a way is improvisatory in essence over that rhythmic base. Let the music take you to where ever your mind and spirit wants.

CB: Tell me about your training as a violinist. You have been mentored by some of the foremost violinists of our time, and you’ve also developed a remarkable career as a soloist. What are some aspects of different “schools” of violin playing that you have incorporated and/or rejected? How did it all come into place for you?

JK: I was mostly exposed to a lot of the old Russian school of playing. I had very interesting training growing up. My professors from childhood gave me much freedom to express and allowed me to express myself. I felt free to do so. It felt very natural and organic. My first professor when I was at The Curtis Institute was extremely strict in contrast and I felt for the first time a loss of that freedom. The silver lining is that I adapted to learning things very quickly.

CB: You have also played the violin with Lady Gaga all over the world. You are allegedly the only living musician (according to the New York Times) to have played under both Pierre Boulez and Lady Gaga. How does this type of flexibility, desire and willingness to participate in crossover classical/pop music performances come into being?

JK: I’ve always felt a sense of fun and creativity in making up melodies as a kid. Instead of playing scales I would make up random tunes or would imitate a song or piece I heard that I wanted to learn eventually. I grew up listening to pop and top40. It was a type of therapeutic “easy” listening for me. My love for improv and collaborations opened opportunities to jam and work with all types of artists. I never thought or had planned to make a “career” outside of classical to be honest. It was more so an outlet for me to be spontaneous, and for self creativity and expression. Again, a form of therapy perhaps.

CB: If you had to name four or five of your favorite violinists (from any era), who would they be?

JK: I grew up listening to Heifetz Milstein Elman  Rabin Kreisler… they were and are a huge influence.

CB: Are there any dream/impossible performances you’d like to be a part of? (this could be playing in a string quartet with Mozart, or in a jazz combo with Miles Davis)

JK: any of the above mentioned violinists, Jacqueline dupre, Glenn Gould, Eddie hazel, Paganini, Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Beethoven, Mozart, Schostakovich, Debussy, Gershwin, Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley, Elliott Smith, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Thom Yorke, Sarah Mclachlan.

CB: If you had an unlimited budget to put together a summer festival, what would you do? You could invite artists, orchestras, chamber music groups, dancers, from all over the world. A whole month of events all curated by you. What would this look like?

Jk: the possibilities are endless. When you get artists together it becomes a conglomerate of unknown possibilities. And without a budget, it’s about utilizing the means to re-create and build from authenticity and from what’s within. Somehow I feel that the lack of creates more a sense of raw creativity and I find beauty in it. It’s about balancing the two things I suppose. I would love an environment that allows for freedom without rules within boundaries. For collaborations and a space to freely express and another space that challenges one another to expand and go to the unknown places without judgement or a sense of pressure. An atmosphere where we are allowed and inspired to discover and embrace the deep parts of ourselves and where vulnerability is a warm and welcoming thing. A space to be unsafe. It would be a world, if you will, for us, as individuals, creators, and a community via relationships, to create and utilize art as a means of understanding ourselves, one another, allowing growth and ultimately, healing.

Judy Kang, courtesy photo

The New York Times hailed, “Judy Kang, a Canadian violinist and most likely the only musician to have worked with both Pierre Boulez and Lady Gaga, was featured in Brahms’s Violin Concerto. Ms. Kang, who drew whoops from the audience before playing a single note, offered a lean, focused sound, pinpoint intonation and expressively molded phrasing. Every line seemed to mean something personal in what amounted to an amorous serenade.” 

Judy Kang is not your quintessential artist. She has established herself internationally as a solo violinist and chamber musician in the classical world as well as featured guest artist and prominent collaborator in the world of pop, indie, jazz, and hip hop. A multi faceted artist evolving outside of her formal classical training, Judy has set herself apart from others through her work as a singer/songwriter, producer, composer, and arranger. Born a rebel to tradition, rules, and conformity, she discovered an artistic freedom and a sense of individuality through creation and improv at about the age of 7. Judy continues to defy and break the constraints of boundaries improvising, jamming, co-writing, producing, and performing with bands and artists from Alaskan prog rock band Portugal.The Man to such powerhouses as Lady Gaga. 
 
Born and raised in Canada to a single mother, her career in violin began at the age of four, winning competitions and performing publicly in recitals. Judy’s unusual gift was recognized immediately having instantly learned and memorized a piece at her first lesson. By age six, she made her solo orchestral debut and at age ten, she burst onto the classical music scene in a nationally acclaimed televised performance as soloist with the National Arts Center Orchestra. The Ottawa Citizen proclaimed, “If there was a star tonight, it was Judy Kang. Blessed with a gift for the violin that is exceptional, she moves about the instrument at her disposal with an ease that is awe-inspiring.” A year later and with a fractured wrist at the time (from a volleyball game), Judy auditioned and subsequently accepted a full scholarship to attend the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. At 17, she graduated with a bachelor in music as the youngest graduate in Curtis’ history. Shortly after graduation, she captured the grand prize as well as the “Best Interpretation” award at the CBC Competition for Young Performers, Canada’s most esteemed competition. At the age of 19, Judy was granted the Lily Foldes Scholarship from the Juilliard School where she earned her master’s degree with high honors. Additionally, she was the first recipient on full scholarship of the Artist Diploma from the Manhattan School of Music, which holds the distinction as the highest level of education, above all other programs.

Since her first solo appearance at age four in her native Edmonton, Canada, Judy has toured six continents across North and South America, Europe, the Soviet Union, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the Caribbean Islands. She has performed with all the major orchestras and ensembles of Canada and those of US, Europe and Asia. Further, she performed in recital and chamber music to diverse audiences in prestigious venues including Tokyo Suntory Hall, Lincoln Center, Royal Festival Hall, Schubert Hall in Vienna as well as at the Metropolitan and Guggenheim Museums in New York, to name a few. Judy made her critically acclaimed debut to a sold out audience in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Having achieved a level of pop culture status as “Lady Gaga’s violinist/nurse Judy,” she was personally selected by the iconic sensation as her solo violinist on the “MonsterBall” world tour in 2010-11, the biggest selling debut tour in history. Judy performed in sold out venues for millions worldwide. In the midst of touring Europe, she flew to NYC for less than 30 hours to perform as soloist of Brahms’ Violin Concerto at Stern Hall at Carnegie Hall, garnering rave reviews from the New York Times as well as other publications. She appeared on the Emmy award winning HBO special “Lady Gaga Presents: The MonsterBall World Tour Live from Madison Square Garden.” Judy was also featured alongside Lady Gaga on American Idol playing the violin solo of her hit single, “Alejandro.” 

A member of the acoustic trio of Academy award winning film composer and groundbreaker of electronic music, Ryuichi Sakamoto, they have toured Europe and Asia in sold out shows and have released two albums on the Decca label to much celebration. As a producer and writer for diverse artists, she co-wrote, produced, and arranged a song for singer Antoniette Costa whose music video garnered over 65,000 views in the first 48 hours following its premiere. She has also toured in collaboration with pianist Chad Lawson for a project entitled “Chopin Variations” which consists of revisiting his piano masterpieces in modern trio form.

Judy frequently collaborates with esteemed composers and has worked closely with Leon Kirchner, Richard Danielpour, Alexander Goehr, and Pierre Boulez. In response to her well-received performance and collaboration with Pierre Boulez and IRCAM, The New York times wrote, “violinist Judy Kang, who played with assurance and imagination, became the wizardly master of an entire sound environment.

Young people whose only experience of electronic music comes from deafening rock clubs should have heard this performance.” As a student at Juilliard, Judy became well versed in the New York club scene having played to sold out audiences in venues such as Le Poisson Rouge, The Bitter End, Irving Plaza, Mercury Lounge, Pianos, The Living Room, and Bowery Ballroom, among others.

She has performed in front of numerous diplomats and leaders including U.S. President Bill Clinton. Her extensive collaborations include distinguished members of the Guarneri and Emerson Quartets, Beaux Arts Trio, Olafur Arnalds, Lenny Kravitz, Richard Goode, Lynn Harrell, Andre Previn, Claude Frank, Miriam Fried, Emmanuel Ax, and David Geringas, among many others. Her mentors include Sylvia Rosenberg, Robert Mann, Aaron Rosand, Felix Galimir, Lorand Fenyves, James Keene, and Yoko Wong.

Judy has performed at major festivals such as Marlboro, Ravinia, Banff, Orford, Bargemusic, Manchester, Aspen, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Lenaudiere, and the Pablo Casals Festival, as well as at various jazz and pop festivals like Lollapalooza and the Festival Internacional Jazz Barcelona, to name a few. She was also featured in one of three chamber groups selected for the 60th Anniversary Disc from a live performance on Musicians from Marlboro. She is an original founding member of piano quartet “Made in Canada” having toured throughout Canada and was concertmaster and a frequent featured soloist with string ensemble “Sejong”.

Judy’s achievements have garnered her much media attention, frequently appearing on CNN and MTV as well as in myriad print publications including being featured in Chatelaine magazine’s 80 women to watch. Her release of two critically acclaimed CDs have been nominated for the Opus award and the Gemini award in her native Canada. She has won top prizes at prestigious international competitions such as Kreisler, Naumburg, Dong-A, and Carl Nielsen, as well as grand prize several years in a row at the Canadian Music Competition. Having graduated high school at age 15, she was selected as an All American Scholar, honouring the top academically talented students in America as well as being nominated for the United States National Mathematics Award (USNMA).

Judy is frequently heard live and through broadcasts on national and international radio stations such as CBC (Canada), BBC (London) and on WQXR (New York).

Humbled and thankful to have received numerous and continuous support through scholarships and grants from numerous foundations, Judy won the ‘Sylva Gelber’ prize given to the most talented musician under 30. Further, and in recognition of her outstanding achievement and contribution to the arts, she is featured as an accomplished artist and inspiration in a book entitled “Korea and Canada: A Shared History.” The sole artist to be awarded the longest use of an instrument from the Canada Council Instrument Bank, Judy won the use the 1689 “Baumgartner” Stradivarius, through a generous donor.

She frequently donates her time and talents towards charity, benefits, nursing/retirement homes, hospitals, schools, arts education, ministry, and missions. Judy is artistic director for EnoB, a community based nonprofit organization that reaches out to people who are disabled, hospitalized, or suffer from socio-economic disadvantages. She is also an artist ambassador for WorldVision.

Inspired by a deep yearning to delve within and to express pure and raw emotion on her own terms, Judy released a self-titled debut record of original songs on March 5, 2013, fully self written, produced, and recorded. The album takes the listener on her evolving personal journey as an artist, from past to present, through an exploration and experiment of sound, featuring the violin primarily, as well as vocals, and other instruments. The first of many more to come, her record garnered much praise and accolades from the press and artists alike, including MidWest Record saying, “Moving from Juilliard to Lady Gaga as easily as she moves from ambient to a Stradivarius, Kang blows open the stereotypical tiger mom progeny being a hot chick that masters classical violin before puberty. For all the pop chops she has under her young belt, this is a shining example of a wonderful record that many will not know what to make of.” Bob Boilen, host and creator of NPR’s online music show All Songs Considered, describes it as “diverse, unbelievably beautiful, and eclectic.” 

She continues to stretch her artistic boundaries through various projects of her own as well as with her collaborations with other artists.

California, Christian Baldini, composer, Concerto, Conductor, Experimental, Jean Ahn, Korea, Music, Symphony Orchestra, Uncategorized

Composer Jean Ahn in Conversation with Christian Baldini

On February 1, Jean Ahn’s work “Woven Silk”, for haegeum and orchestra will be performed by Korean haegeum virtuoso Soo-yeon Lyuh and the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra as part of the Taproot New Music Festival. I had the chance of asking Jean some questions about her music and training. Her answers are below.
Christian Baldini: Dear Jean, many years have gone by since you were selected as a participating fellow in the first edition of our New Music Festival at UC Davis (nowadays called Taproot New Music Festival). It is wonderful to welcome you back, and to perform one of your compositions, in this case, a Concerto for Haegeum and Orchestra, titled “Woven Silk”, and written for the astonishing Soo-yeon Lyuh, who will be our soloist at our upcoming concert. Could you tell us what it feels like for you to be back, and could you provide some background about your piece?
Jean Ahn: I had my orchesta piece “Lulu, Lulu” played by Maestro Baldini and the UCD Symphony Orchestra. It was a wonderful performance and it definitely helped me get more performance opportunities. The best thing about the UC Davis music festival was the community it built during few days. The whole department, UCD faculty and graduate students were all together with the fellow composers. The discussions were always interesting, to the point, still very comfortable and open. I remember talking a lot more than usual, and we all did!I am so excited to be part of the festival again by sharing “Woven Silk”.
Woven Silk is a tribute to the TWO strings of haeguem. Haeguem is one of the oldest fiddles from Korea. With only two strings, the versatility and the intensity of haegeum is limitless.
After many collaborations with haegeum master Sooyeon Lyuh, I decided to make an orchestra piece, featuring what these strings can do. The motive of the piece is Perfect 5th interval (the usual tuning of the two strings) and string crossing method (explicitly showing the difference of the two strings, a cliche technique in western music, but not in Korean music).

CB: Tell us, where did you grow up, and how did you first become involved with music? When did you decide to become a composer?

JA: I was born in Seoul Korea. My mother was a piano teacher so I started playing the piano at a very young age. However, I hated reading notes, so I memorized everything. Having perfect pitch and learning how to write music boosted my confidence so I was determined to be a composer at age 6 and never changed my mind.CB: What are some of the most important influences to you as a performer, and as a composer?

JA: Up to my Ph.D. degree, I was only interested in being a composer, not a musician. I would write something, give it to a performer, often argue and have unpleasant outcome. After graduation, I became much more involved as a conductor, performer, singer or page turner! That truly changed by writing. Today, I can call myself a musician and I feel so much less insecure about my composition.CB: You have founded Ensemble Ari, a group of Korean musicians in the Bay Area. Could you tell us about the mission and importance of such an ensemble?

JA: I had been organizing many concerts here and there already. In 2014, my friends and I decided to make it more formalized and start an ensemble. It happened naturally. The musicians are all Korean American, so we often collaborate with Korean composers or Korean traditional musicians. Most of our repertoire is western music and our focus is to bridge different culture and different audience. We have collaborated with many different groups, including a children’s choir, an adult choir, an early music ensemble and a poetry group. On January 25th and 26th, we are collaborating with Soprano Rhoslyn Jones and two young singers from the Bay Area Vocal Academy. We are doing all female composers work. Our audience always learn something new through our concerts. It is fun to continuously surprise them.

CB: Thank you for your time, Jean. We look forward to performing your piece at our upcoming concert.

JA: Thank you for this invitation, I very much look forward to the performance!

Jean Ahn

 

Born in Korea, Jean Ahn began to study piano and composition at a very early age.

Her creative output includes works ranging from solo instruments to full orchestra, as well as choral, dance and electroacoustic music. Jean’s music was featured at Aspen Music Festival, June in Buffalo, New Music Miami, IAWM Beijing Congress, SEAMUS, Spark Festival, Women Composers Conference in Australia, New York City Electronic Music Festival, among others. Commissions include works for the SF Bach Choir, Leftcoast Chamber Ensemble, Volti Chamber Choir, SF Choral Artists, Gayaguem Soloist JUL, Locrian Chamber Players, and Pianissimo, among others. Her works have been performed by Oakland Symphony, Earplay, Enhake, Untwelve, Berkeley Symphony, Diablo Valley Symphony, Ensemble Sur Plus, pianist Lisa Moore (Bang on a can), Contemporaneous Ensemble, Invoke String Quartet and others.

Jean’s ongoing research  “Folksong Revisited” has been presented at many conferences.  This collection shows her vision to introduce Korean songs and techniques to professional performers in the US. Jean has also studied electronic music at CNMAT and has been working on hyper-koto series that exaggerate gestures from Asian traditional music.

She finished her B.A. and M.M. at Seoul National University and Ph.D at UC Berkeley where her teachers included Edmund Campion, Cindy Cox, David Wessel, Jorge Liederman and Richard Felciano.

She is the director of Ensemble ARI and Lecturer at UC Berkeley. www.jeanahn.com

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

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.