Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra’s debut in Barcelona
When the Mexican Alondra de la Parra (New York, 1980) considered becoming a conductor, she remembered that “they were all men, old and European”.
“I’m happy that now young women who want to devote themselves to this profession have references and don’t see it as strange as I do, because equality is natural and we have to come back to it”.
That’s what she said during the press conference held last February to announce her Barcelona debut leading the city’s orchestra. The two concerts she gave were part of the Festival Emergents where works by Lili Boulanger, Robert Schumann and Igor Stravinsky (“The Rite of Spring”) were performed.
Now, the prestigious Latin American conductor is making her Barcelona debut on an international tour with Die Deutsche Kammerphilhamonie Bremen, an orchestra she knows well from her performance with them in the 2017-18 season. Alongside award-winning young violinist María Dueñas, they will perform Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, Ginastera’s Variaciones concertantes and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7.
“I love Barcelona. I’ve been here for months for a new work that I’ve been developing for six years called Silence of sound […] And the conclusion I came to is that Catalonia is a mega-fertile land for art,” the Mexican told a press conference last month.
Having conducted more than 100 orchestras in 22 countries, De la Parra is today one of the most prestigious conductors at the international level, with the merit of being a woman and Latin American in a world dominated by white and European men.
A passion for music
Raised in Mexico, she is lucky that her parents take her to many concerts: opera, symphonic music, popular music, and it immediately appears to her that she wants to devote herself to music.
“In Mexico we have rancheras, we listen to merengue, cumbia, son, salsa… And I listened to everything, I was exposed to all kinds of music, the yucateco son, the its veracruzano and also to all the tradition of Yucatan songs, because my family, my aunts, my grandmothers and my grandfathers, they all sang, they sang in front of the piano, with the guitar, etc. So , for me, music has always been a part of life,” she explained in a recent interview with RTVE.
At the age of seven he began to study the piano and at 13 he did the same with the cello. Later, she studied composition at the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Musicales (CIEM) in Mexico, and thanks to her efforts and dedication, she was able to enter the Manhattan School of Music in New York as a scholarship holder (she was nineteen at the time), where she completed her piano degree under the tutelage of Jeffrey Cohen. She went on to obtain a master’s degree in orchestral conducting, this time under the tutelage of Kenneth Kiesler. In both cases, he graduated with honors.
She has conducted more than 100 of the most prestigious orchestras in the world, including the Orchester de Paris, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and is the founder and artistic director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. , as well as music director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Australia.