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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Nathanael Espinoza; ‘I want classical music to be on the ‘playlist’ of any young person’

Last August he shared the stage with Placido Domingoin a presentation that he described as “very intense, very cool”, referring to the tenor as “a legend that is alive”.

Nathanael Espinoza (Ensenada, Baja California, 1979) is the artistic director and founder of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Desert, Coahuila de Zaragoza, a group that has accompanied singers such as Nadine Sierra, Javier Camarena and Andrea Bocelli.

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His musical approach began with the guitar, then came the cello and finally to the orchestral direction, a trench in which he seeks to break stereotypes that are held about an orchestra conductor and classical music:

“I want classical music to be an option on any young person’s playlist,” he said.

Nathanael Espinoza Photography

And it is that the musician can be seen conducting the same thing with a gala suit than with a t-shirt and jeans, because he assures:

“I want to project myself as a person who has a trade, probably very unique but that is still a job like that of a mechanic, a doctor or a communicator. What I am looking for is to de-label academic music, so I start with my visual communication; In this way, what I like to communicate is that I am a father, a musician, I love art, cooking and wine, so: honest ”he declared.

Among his next presentations is the Sanremo International Guitar Festival, in Italy. Will be on november to participate in the premiere for guitar and orchestra of the work by Guillermo Diego.

“At this festival we were invited to premiere a Mexican play; We will be performing with maestro Martín Madrigal, a great guitarist. I will be in charge of conducting the San Remo Symphony ”he exclaimed.

How did you get to the orchestral direction?

“After many years, when I was able to decide what to do with my life, as a young man early. I am from Ensenada, Baja California, and I came to Saltillo at the age of 16 to study a degree in music with a specialty in instrument. I arrived playing guitar, in the specialty of classical guitar and then I moved to the cello, where I finished my eight-year career; then my interest in orchestral conducting began. I was fortunate to meet a conductor who nurtured me with these things and that was when I made the decision to explore this career.” he commented he.

“I was not sure that I was going to be an orchestra conductor, rather, one thing led me to another. Then I went to Eastern Europe to study orchestra conducting, I studied in New York, I was also in Mexico City. It wasn’t something I originally planned.” said the musician.

How did the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Desert arise? Why the name?

“The orchestra arises on the initiative of a server, Saltillo lacked a professional symphonic expression, and my first flag was: we are going to create this project because it does not exist, because there is a need, because for me academic music goes beyond something playful : It would have to be seen as part of the basic cultural basket of human beings. That was how, let’s say, that I and a group of very enthusiastic people began to walk the path of building this beautiful project, which has given so much to the state and now to the country

“Honestly, like any government, the logical thing is that the orchestra would have been called the Coahuila State Symphony Orchestra or Coahuila State Philharmonic Orchestra, but it turns out that those names were registered and we couldn’t use them (laughs), which in that At that moment it was very powerful for me because it was something of identity and I wanted it to have strong roots with the state. We proposed several ideas, including this one, and it was the one that won, because it had a magic, a certain attraction, and we were also in the desert, so that remained: Philharmonic Orchestra of the Desert, Coahuila de Zaragoza, but it identifies more as the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Desert” he stressed.

Nathanael Espinoza

Do you think that over the years the figure of the orchestra conductor has changed?

“Yes, there is a generation of orchestra directors that is already moving away from the model that existed, even not only the directors but the orchestras themselves. Also the figure of the academic musician was super neat and they would rehearse in a suit, so the least you expected is that they wore tails to the concert; all that has evolved and it seems to me that for the better, because I think that at some point in history academic music began to distance itself from people and, for some reason, it was labeled as if it were for a certain social stratum or intellectual level”

“Without sounding populist or anything, we have to understand that academic music in its time was popular, because it was what it was. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that popular entertainment today, for example, the cinema, used to be going to the opera. At some point along the way we got lost and began to think that it was for a certain elite, which is why young directors, or not so old ones, want to bring academic music closer to whoever wants to receive it, without needing anything more than the desire to want approach her” Spinoza said.

And the perspective of the people on academic music?

“I think we are walking little by little there. I want academic music, classical music to be an option within a play list of any young man. So, for me it is important how I communicate in my concerts, what is my communication of myself with society, of the orchestra that I have the honor of directing, how is the communication of the orchestra with the public, and it seems to me that it is there , in my opinion, where we can begin to convene new audiences”

“I encourage and instruct my team that the communication of the orchestra has to be the way to sell a concert, to invite, to convene. It has to be very friendly and it has to be as unpretentious as possible: we are talking about convening a Russian music concert, by Tchaikovsky, so we have to find the elements so that people want to come to the concert, to try and have a symphonic experience. I think it’s a matter of communication and we are in a time where we are very visual, so we have that we direct our trade, our work, to really what young people, children and adults can consume” he said.


grouping with trajectory

Since the founding of the Desert Philharmonic Orchestrain January 2015, is directed by Nathanael Espinoza and its headquarters are the Fernando Soler City Theater, in Saltillo, Coahuila. The orchestra has been invited to Nuevo León, Colima, Zacatecas and Mexico City; In addition to having been directed by prominent guest directors such as Eugene Kohn, Leo Brouwer, Diego Nasser, among others. Similarly, he has alternated with instrumentalists such as Horacio Franco, Myroslava Khomik, Álvaro Bitrán and Martín Madrigal.


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Reference from www.milenio.com

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