“I want to convert the Medellin Philharmonic in one of the best orchestras in Latin America”. This is the premise of new conductor of the orchestra, David Greilsammer, recognized as one of the most daring and adventurous artists in the classical world, who is fine-tuning the details to give two impact concerts. The first is on November 19 and the second on the 26th of this month, both at the Metropolitan Theater.
In a conversation with this newspaper, Greilsammer highlighted that works of universal music by composers such as Mozart, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Berlioz and a contemporary piece by the Colombian Violeta Cruz, are part of the programming of the two concerts.
“Music is a universal language that speaks to all human beings, regardless of gender, race or origin,” says the Israeli pianist and conductor, who also It has been presented in many places around the world, including the Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, among others..
THE NEW CENTURY: How should we approach classical music in these times of so many influences from other genres?
DAVID GREILSAMMER: Music and the arts teach us to be tolerant, to have an open mind, to be understanding. It inspires us every day to be curious, imaginative and receptive to all people. We must never forget that music, in particular, is a universal language that speaks to everyone on our planet, regardless of genre. In my opinion, music should be the symbol of parity and equity, and I believe that today, more than ever, culture should be the way to establish greater equality among all of us.
ENS: How does music contribute to the way of thinking and being of each person?
DG: Music teaches us that all sounds and melodies are equal in their importance. Also in painting, all colors have the same meaning. And for a poet, all words have the same need and weight. I feel the same about humans: whatever our way of being and thinking, we are all the same. For example, when you hear the Requiem of Mozart, you are deeply moved, no matter what your identity, gender or think. Music touches us in the deepest way, because we are human beings, and music teaches us all that as humans we must accept all identities, feelings, all personalities.
ENS: Why did you choose this program, “Believe in music”, to talk about love and life?
DG: For me, equality among all is extremely important, and music can help us understand it better. Each piece of this program has a relationship with this theme. First of all, I am very happy that we are going to give the premiere in Colombia of “Cyanea”, a beautiful piece by the young Colombian composer Violeta Cruz. It is very important to support the work of female composers and give them as many opportunities as possible. For a long time women composers have been ignored and I am very excited about this performance. In addition, one of the trumpet soloists for the “Konzertstück” de Schumann is a woman, and she is one of the most talented musicians in our orchestra, so I am very happy that she will perform as a soloist together with her wonderful colleagues. We will also perform Mozart’s Overture for “La Clemenza di Tito”an opera that explores the human being, it’s amazing that Mozart was able to do that in the 18th century. And lastly, Tchaikovsky, whose beautiful 6th Symphony “Pathetique” will also be performed on this show. Although he could not be understood by the society, he was able to compose the most extraordinary music, but we can feel his sorrow and discouragement in this amazing work.
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ENS: Do you think that music is a determining factor in how an identity is built?
DG: I feel that music can help us better understand who we are. Music can give us strength, and more importantly, music can give us the courage to believe in ourselves.
ENS: What different elements can we find in the works that will be offered at the concerts?
DG: The two pieces that we will perform in this concert are among the most fascinating and breathtaking ever composed in the history of music. These two repertoires were heavily influenced by many different beliefs, traditions and religions, and have a very powerful spiritual aspect to them. The “Picture of an exhibition” Mussorgsky’s is a work strongly inspired by chants. In this concert there are two important sources of inspiration for Orthodox culture: the ancient Byzantine iconography and the prayers and chants that have been sung by Orthodox monks in churches for many centuries. In Mussorgsky’s piece we can find these two elements very clearly: all the music is deeply inspired by Russian Orthodox religion and prayers. But this piece also has other sources of inspiration, for example Jewish music. In Mussorgsky’s time, many artists were inspired by the traditional Jewish repertoire and we can hear it very clearly in this piece. And, of course, we will also interpret the famous “Symphonie Fantastique” of Berlioz, who has so many different sources of inspiration. Even Berlioz himself came from a Catholic family and received a Catholic education. Their “Symphonie Fantastique” it is one of the greatest works of art created in the 19th century and we can find in it many different religious, spiritual and traditional elements. In this piece, Berlioz presents his dreams and hallucinations, and these are so powerful that he finds himself, at the end of the fragment, surrounded by witches, monsters and dark creatures, as part of a demonic “sabbatical ritual”. It is a fascinating encounter between dreams, traditions and spiritual beliefs.
ENS: Do you think that the spirit of music exists in any culture or spiritual belief?
DG: The music is everywhere. And we can see its importance in all cultures, religions and traditions. It is a form of spirituality and even if you are not a religious person, music brings spirituality, holiness and magic into your life.
ENS: What is the relationship between music and spirituality?
DG: I believe that in our lives, especially when we are in a difficult moment, music can bring us peace, beauty and serenity. For me, music and art are very similar to religion, because they can give you the possibility to feel hope. Music is, in my opinion, the most spiritual element of life, because it drives each and every one of us to believe in the beauty of our existence.