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How are you, Christian Vasquez?

Laura from Germany and intern at the TPO met Christian Vásquez just right after rehearsing with the orchestra on Wednesday. The conductor of the opening concert had a short talk with her about the Nordic people, the concert and the moment he realized that music should play a big role in his life.


1. How are you doing? How was your day so far?

I am so happy to be here again after almost two years now. This orchestra is so special for me, since they were the first ones who invited me as a conductor, outside of Venezuela. They are very exceptional guys, not just the musical ability but also their characters and big hearts.


2. Talking already about the Finnish people: What do you like about the people in the North?

My relationship with the Nordic countries is very special. The people are so warm, friendly and relaxed. Of course, at the beginning they are not like that. But when you start your relationship and they know you better, everything starts to change, and they open up.


Christian Vasquez harjoituksissa

Rehearsals at the Concert Hall.

3. Coming to the concert and music: Can you tell us a bit more?

It is a very special opening concert. We play – I think– the most famous symphony, Mahler´s no. 5. And especially the Adagietto, which Mahler wrote for his wife Alma, is very emotional. All in all it´s a challenge because it´s a long symphony and not easy to play. Everybody has to be well prepared, but we rehearsed very hard the last three days and I am 100 percent sure that the orchestra will play so well.

We also play Tchaikovsky´s Variations on a Rococo with Andrei Ioniță, the soloist, and he is amazing. It´s not an easy piece for the soloist, since every variation is more complicated than the last one. But he plays it so wel

Of course, we open the concert with Mascagni´s Intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana, it´s very short but so touching. It´s such a beautiful program, the audience can be excited. And maybe they will cry out of happiness, let´s see what happens.


4. As last, but personal, question: When did you realize, that music is such a big part in your life? Is there a specific moment or person?

I think it was in 1998, I was 13 or 14 years old, when I started in the National Children´s Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. The teachers from the orchestra were going to all the cities in Venezuela and look for the most talented children. I grew up in a small city called San Sebastián de los Reyes and in that time, I was the only child from that city – besides 200 other musicians – representing the orchestra. Then I met José Antonio Abreu, he was my conducting teacher. I saw the rehearsals with him, and I said to myself that I want to become a musician, I want this for my life.


Thank you Christian Vásquez for your time and answers. We wish you a wonderful concert and a good time with the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra.