These days, I made an interview with an excellent twenty-three year-old clarinetist from Spain who took part in the 42nd International Jeunesses Musicales Competition held in Belgrade 2012 in the category of clarinet, and left there a very good impression. His name is Emilio Alonso Espasandín.
RL: At the beginning of our interview tell me Emilio something about yourself.
– I was born in A Coruña, a fantastic seaside city in the Spanish autonomous region of Galicia. I began to play the clarinet when I was seven. Nowadays I’m spending a great summer in A Coruña with my family after two years living in Oporto. Apart from playing and listening to music, I like to spend a lot of time with my girlfriend and my buddies sharing good food and drinks. I also love to play pool.
RL: Where did you study clarinet and who were your professors?
– I studied in Galicia until I was 21. My very first teacher, Jesús López, is a very important person in my life and the teacher who made me love the clarinet. I obtained my Degree with Vicente P. Planells in A Coruña, but at the same time I was studying with Beatriz López, the first clarinet of the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, for three years.
In 2011 I moved to Oporto to continue my studies. Right now I’m about to finish my Master’s Degree. My teacher these two years is a remarkable musician, António Saiote. He is known worldwide as a soloist, conductor and professor. Besides, I usually take lessons from Juan Ferrer (principal clarinet of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia).
RL: Do you intend to continue studying?
– Well, this season I will be playing with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia holding a scholarship and I will receive advices from Beatriz again.
RL: You have been involved in competitions. Have you won any awards?
– Yes, I obtained awards at some of the main competitions in Galicia, including two first prizes and two scholarships for my Master’s Degree. Internationally my best accomplishment was being finalist in the International Competition of Belgrade last year.
RL: I know that you often have public performances and you love to play in orchestra.
– Yes. I have had an excellent orchestral training in Galicia in the academies of the two main orchestras, and today I use to play in professional or per service orchestras. I would like to gain a seat in a great one some day… Nowadays I’m involved in a new project in Brussels, the Hulencourt Soloists Chamber Orchestra, apart from playing the next season with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia as I’ve said before.
RL: Which orchestras did you perform as a soloist with?
– As a soloist I performed with the Orquesta Gaos and Orquesta de la EAEM in Spain and Camerata Serbica in Belgrade, and also I played several times with the Clarinet Ensemble leaded by António Saiote.
RL: I know that you recently released the first CD.
– Yes, my first studio CD with the wonderful pianist Gabriel López, called “Clarinete y Siglo XX” (Clarinet and Twentieth Century), was released in 2012. It includes some of the most important works for clarinet of the 20th century: Berg, Debussy, Poulenc, Rozsa, Bozza and Nielsen.
RL: Are you planning to increase your repertoire with my compositions? Tell me what do you think about them.
– Yes, I intend to incorporate a couple of your works into my repertoire. As I have said in my comment at this web, your pieces are nice and I think they could result impressive for the audience due to their virtuosity within an easy language.
RL: What are you going to do in the future?
– I think this season is almost covered with the orchestras (Real Filharmonía and Orquesta Gaos in Galicia and Hulencourt Soloists in Belgium apart from other possible collaborations), but I intend to keep doing auditions and competitions. I have also my projects in recital and chamber music, but we will see…
RL: Tell the readers on which brand of clarinet do you play, what brand of mouthpiece do you have and which reeds do you use?
– I have a couple of Buffet clarinets (my B flat is a RC Prestige and my A is an old but wonderful second handed R13 from 1994), both of them played with barrels made for me by Pablo Pascual. I’m currently playing a Viotto TH mouthpiece and Vandoren 3,5 V12 reeds.
RL: In the end, tell me: Will you come to Belgrade again?
– I hope so, maybe for some concert… I found the city quiet and nice and the people were very kind to me.
RL: Then, see you again in Belgrade and until our new interview for the readers of this site, I wish you all the best and a very successful artistic career.
– Thank you very much. I’m sure we will meet again in the future.