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.

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.