March 19, 1991
Born into a family of musicians in Madrid. He studied at the Queen Sofia College of Music under Prof. Natalia Shakhovskaya. He completed advanced studies at the Kronberg Academy under the supervision of Frans Helmerson. He was a prize winner at the 5th Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki (2013, second prize), and the same year he was awarded a prize by the Edmond de Rothschild banking firm at the Gstaad Musical Summits Festival (Switzerland). His accomplishments as a prize winner enabled him to record an album with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra on ONYX Classics. His second album was with the Kremerata Baltica. He has performed as soloist with many leading orchestras in Spain, Finland, Germany, and Russia. He participates in the festivals of Verbier, Santander, Kronberg, and Florence among others. He plays the “Lord Aylesford” cello made by Stradivarius in 1696 provided by the Nippon Music Foundation.
Which people would you invite as guests to your dream dinner party?
Beethoven, Schumann and Stradivarius.
What is your favorite meal?
I love big meals! I love Cheeseburgers (the ideal burger is: Bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce, medium rare always!) and Italian and Mexican food.
Do you have a favorite motto or proverb that you live your life by?
Live, laugh, love and work hard.
Which person or people inspire you the most?
Puff! I don't think I could name them all, we are so lucky that we have such incredible artists around. Janine Jansen, Maria Joao Pires, Martha Argerich... my list is way too long! But I can say, to make the list shorter, that in the past months I have found myself listening most to Gidon Kremer, Christoph Eschenbach and Daniil Trifonov. Three incredible artists that inspire me every day.
If you were 80 years old, what advice would you give to young people today?
Professionally I would tell them, that if they believe in something strongly enough, don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done, sometimes it is good to go away from the "marked path" to learn and improve. Also, I would tell them to value very much those special loved ones, because life has big ups and downs and those people are, after all, the most important thing we have.
What would you like people to say about you?
This question makes me a bit uncomfortable! But I think I would want them to say that I am a good person.
How do you overcome the stage fright? / What is your ritual before going on stage?
Stage fright: I think nerves and tension are unavoidable, whenever you are on stage there is always a certain amount of stress, sometimes more sometimes less. I think it slowly gets better after years performing. Experience is really key here. I think the beginning of the concert is always the most difficult, and the fastest you can manage to feel comfortable, the better, so you can focus in what really matters - the music! What I find very helpful is to visualize yourself on stage playing and feeling good, to imagine that feeling when you practice or when you are in bed about to sleep. After, if you happen to be nervous during the concert, you can easily access the feeling that you “rehearsed.”
When you perform... who are you playing for?
If there is someone that I know in the audience, I usually play thinking that I’m playing for them. What I look for the most, is communication with the audience, if that connection happens, then both ends of the performance, the performer and listener will enjoy it very much. If that connection doesn’t happen, then the purpose of music haven’t been achieved, and that is quite upsetting for me. But who knows, sometimes you are lucky and something magical happens in the hall. I guess, that is for what we musicians devote our lives to, those rare and sacred moments.
What job would you least like to do?
I enjoy very much having my own schedule. I think a job that would take that away would make me unhappy.
What's the "most played" non-classical track on your phone?
Jay Z: The Black Album.
You are on a desert island and can bring only 3 items, what do you bring?
Well hopefully they have internet in that island! I would bring my iPhone with some nice headphones, music is essential, my favorite TV shows (friends, the wire, sopranos, breaking bad etc) and a fast vehicle in which to travel around and have some fun (now that no one is watching!).
What is your favorite noise/sound? What is the most annoying noise for you?
I love cars, so my favorite noise? The noise from a great car engine. Most annoying sound, probably an alarm that doesn’t stop.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Since I'm getting older, my city Madrid is growing deeper and deeper on me. It is such a beautiful city! Also I’m crazily in love with Paris.
What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word Tchaikovsky?
What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word competition?
Tchaikovsky. What were you expecting ? It has mostly been the only thing in my head for the last few months!
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