Dear public,

We continue with a new entry in this section dedicated to giving you a better understanding of everything that does not “sound” on stage, but makes up the sound and character of this project that is Iberian Sinfonietta .

A couple of entries ago, we knew the concertmaster, then the head of the trumpet section. Today we will dedicate ourselves to learning about the improvement of the head of the cello section, Cristóbal Prieto Ortiz . We leave you with our conversation.

Tell us about yourself and your arrival at Iberian Sinfonietta

On a professional level, I have been living in Malaga for more than 10 years and I have been lucky enough to collaborate with important young orchestras such as the National Youth Orchestra of Spain (JONDE) and the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO). Currently, I continue to collaborate with professional orchestras, making it compatible with my position as a cello teacher at the "Manuel Carra" Professional Conservatory of Music in Malaga.

On a personal level, I am from Cuenca, father of two girls whom I love very much, and a lover of chamber music. I have sung for more than 25 years in chamber choirs, being able to learn from the experience of listening to your colleagues to achieve a common result. That's what I enjoy most: making music with colleagues I admire on a professional and human level. One of those companions is Juan Jesús Navarro, assistant concertmaster of the Iberian Sinfonietta , companion of the Spinto Quartet and good friend, who
He spoke very well to me about the functioning of the orchestra, its good atmosphere and the serious and organized work of its director, Juan Paulo Gómez. So I decided to go in search of the director to show him my interest in collaborating with his project. A project that, without knowing it in depth, already got me hooked on making programs with a string orchestra, one of the groups that most attracts me.

Your assessment of the project

Iberian Sinfonietta was already formed when I arrived and, as I mentioned in the previous point, it had good references on a technical, stylistic and human level. It is a stable human group well organized by the director, Juan Paulo Gómez : with a program planned for one year, organization of scores with time to prepare them, reduced but intensive and well-used rehearsal time, etc. Now, as a member of the orchestra, I have been able to learn more about the work of the orchestra. To highlight: first, the work of disseminating repertoire less heard live that expands the listener's musical horizon; and second, its approach to the public. I personally love the "vivas" program notes that we make at each of the concerts: explained live in a very entertaining way by our pedagogical coordinator, Jorge Rodríguez Morata . Without forgetting that on the Iberian Sinfonietta website you can find
Before each concert, information about the pieces we will perform for each concert.

It is worth highlighting the support work that the Iberian Sinfonietta has with the new generations of musicians: supporting the composers, collaborating with the “Ramón Roldán” Composition Competition to premiere the winning piece with the orchestra; and support for soloists, awarding a concert with the orchestra for first prize in competitions such as the Intercentros Melómano Competition or the "Ciudad de Estepona" Young Performers Competition . Also, I think it is important to the project that the concerts are free, since they provide the public with easy access to quality cultural activities that foster their love for music. Especially in towns outside of Malaga. For me, not having to travel to Malaga to have quality classical music is something fundamental: putting quality music close to the citizen, free, without travel and in large spaces with large capacity to reach the maximum number of people.

How do you focus your work?

As soloist of the cello section I must be an example for my colleagues. An intermediary between the director and the rest of the section who guides and connects the director's intentions with each of my section colleagues. That entails a great responsibility and my obligation is to respond with good preparation of the repertoire at home, on a technical and stylistic level, knowing and researching the works to be performed but at the same time open to any indication that the director decides for us. For me, perfection at an individual technical level is essential but on the day of rehearsal my focus of attention is not on me, but on the director and my colleagues, on joining
them: listen to them, feel them and communicate with them to forge a group that rows in the same direction. It is the essence of chamber music, as if it were a string quartet.

What do you ask for Iberian Sinfonietta in 2023?

I ask you to continue working on your objectives, with that clear and informative direction that characterizes you. With doses of good work and professionalism to bring classical music closer to society. Promote culture and continue insisting that music is fundamental for human beings, among many reasons, due to the sensitivity that music develops in people, especially classical music. I am sure that 2023 will be a year that will continue that “in crescendo” dynamic that the orchestra is having: with the intention of improving every day, the growing audience attendance, a greater social presence on networks, symphony orchestra programs and those good recordings that show our work. And finally, I ask this new year for more support to be able to offer our work to more locations. As a musician, when a program is well prepared I like to be able to offer it to as many people as possible. With the cooking simile, it would be as if a chef created a dish only for a dinner and had to change his menu every day. This would be unthinkable not only because of the amount of work it would entail, but also because of the helplessness that the chef would suffer when thinking that the creation of which he feels proud could not be shared with more people and he would have to “shelve” it. careful dish from one day to the next. Therefore, I think that offering more places to offer the same concert program should be promoted. We know that it is difficult to match dates and concerts, but we have seen that it is possible with projects such as musicals, operas, tours, etc. When a music band releases a new album, taking it on tour for years with the same project is common. They are examples of getting the most out of work and perfecting a product to share it with the highest quality and to the largest possible audience. And to give more ideas: participating in festivals, traveling and getting to know other orchestras with similar characteristics would be something great to start developing.

Something you want to add

I can only thank the person responsible for this project, our director Juan Paulo Gómez , for having trusted me for the Iberian Sinfonietta . I am very proud to be part of this orchestra: sharing music with friends is one of the things that make me happiest in this world.

May the music continue to play and let us continue to enjoy being able to show it in this special way. Iberian Sinfonietta is a project with its own identity to which I predict a long and wonderful future.

Jorge Rodríguez Morata
Pedagogical content coordinator

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