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Meet the Musicians of Tomorrow

6 Jul 2017

We caught up with three London Sinfonietta Academy participants ahead of this week's five day course which gives young performers and conductors the opportunity to train with our world-class musicians. Meet Melissa Young (clarinet), David Lopez (violin) and Manu Brazo (saxophone). 

 
Melissa Youngs

Melissa Young

1. Why did you decide to apply to the London Sinfonietta Academy?
To set myself the challenge of becoming a more confident and outgoing performer. Also for the opportunity to cover some great contemporary repertoire that I wouldn't otherwise get the chance to play.

2. What do you regard as your greatest artistic achievement?
Playing Eb clarinet in Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe, conducted by Bernard Haitink. It was the first time I had played Eb in an orchestra and I was terrified! I learned so much in the week of rehearsals and was so happy with the performance. He is incredibly inspirational and it is an experience I will never forget.

3. What do you fear?
I should probably pre-warn you that I'm quite a nervous person! So fairly normal things like birds, heights, failure, death, etc., but also a few oddities like misshapen fruit/vegetables, singing in front of anyone, and falling onto tube tracks.  

4. Which piece of music has the biggest effect on you?
Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. It was the piece that made me want to play in an orchestra, and showed 12 year old Melissa that not all classical music sounds like Mozart.

5. What’s the most unusual performance you’ve been a part of?
Nothing too unusual, though I played in a new chamber piece not long ago that involved foot stomping and screaming, and the violinist had to 'woof'.

6. What’s currently on your coffee table at home?
Reeds, a postcard from Chile, a sketchbook, pencils, and a book of dog photography.

7. What was the first recording you ever bought?
Not entirely sure, but probably Steps' first album on cassette tape. I wish it was something a bit more dignified!

8. Describe yourself in three words.
Perfectionist, introvert, sarcastic

9. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My clarinet teacher the year before starting music college. I was extremely shy and wouldn't talk to anyone, and he pushed me to join ensembles, perform more, and just generally come out of my shell. If it wasn't for him I definitely wouldn't have the confidence to audition for opportunities like this.

10. Tell us your best musical joke.
Why was the former conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic always first off the plane?
Because he only had Karajan luggage.

 
David Lopez Image

David Lopez

1. What are you most looking forward to about London Sinfonietta Academy?
I'm looking forward to the Side-by-Side part of the Academy, I can't wait to play with the musicians from the London Sinfonietta. 

2. What do you regard as your greatest artistic achievement?
Playing Beethoven's 5th Symphony and Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste at the Vienna Musikverein

3. What do you fear?
Certain political figures and how they may be affecting the environment of the planet. 

4. Which piece of music has the biggest effect on you?
Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht

5. What’s the most unusual performance you’ve been a part of?
Boulez's Domaines for clarinet and varied ensemble

6. What’s currently on your coffee table at home?
A couple of coffee cups, Stravinsky's Three Pieces for String quartet and a book by Fitzgerald. 

7. What was the first recording you ever bought?
Janine Jansen's recording of the Schubert Quintet 

8. Describe yourself in three words.
Keen, hard-working.

9. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My parents, because they always do the best to point me in the best direction possible.

10. Tell us your best musical joke.
You have probably heard them all before and it would surely involve a viola. 

 
Manu Brazo Image

Manu Brazo

1. What are you most looking forward to about London Sinfonietta Academy?
I am really looking forward to working with all the teachers at the Sinfonietta Academy, I think it will be very inspiring, as well as sharing this experience with the fantastic young players that will be joining me. 

2. What do you regard as your greatest artistic achievement?
Playing in a orchestra, as a soloist or in the woodwind section. It was my dream, and it was last year when I was lucky enough to play in a orchestra. Since then I have played four times, two as a soloist and two in the woodwind section. I believe that making music like that, sharing it with so many people enjoying...has been my greatest artistic achievement.

3. What do you fear?
I used to think that darkness was what I fear the most when I was a child, although, nowadays I would say a bad reed during a performance. That is really scary.

4. Which piece of music has the biggest effect on you?
Henri Tomasi’s Saxophone Concerto.

5. What’s the most unusual performance you’ve been a part of?
Probably, one of the many performances I did with my Pop-Rock band (Por La Borda) in Spain. Many strange things used to happen to us all during our concerts.

6. What’s currently on your coffee table at home?
Reeds, reed cases and more reeds. I also have scores, a laptop and some pens and pencils, but there are reeds everywhere.

7. What was the first recording you ever bought?
A CD called SAXOPHONE CLASSICS by the French saxophone quartet DIASTEMA.

8. Describe yourself in three words.
Persevering, flexible and spontaneous.

9. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
It is very difficult to say only one person, I would say my parents and my saxophone teachers (Juan Jimenez, Kyle Horch and Alfonso Romero).

10. Tell us your best musical joke.
I’m sorry trombone players but:

What is the dynamic range of a bass trombone?
On or off.