I have lived in Spain since 2003, when I moved there to work for the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife. After four years with them, I began my current job as principal cellist of the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada. The Orquesta Ciudad de Granada is a classical-sized orchestra based in the city where the composer Manuel de Falla lived and worked many years. The city is most well-known for the Alhambra, but also hosts a strong population of artists, musicians, composers, and writers. The orchestra is broadcast frequently on Spanish national public radio, tours regularly around Spain, and has made several recordings. Our forty members form a kind of “United Nations,” with many countries besides Spain represented, including Germany, the USA, Canada, Brazil, Cuba, Chile, France, Finland, Poland, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Switzerland.
The year after I arrived in Granada, I was approached by other musicians to form a contemporary music group, and the Ensemble neoArs Sonora was born. It is still alive and kicking ten years later, despite a significant economic crisis that the country is still crawling out of. Spain is a country with diverse cultures and languages contained within its borders, and the contemporary music of each region also reflects this diversity. Our group has recorded four CDs featuring important Spanish composers from different regions of Spain. It is a project that we hope to continue over the next several years. The Ensemble neoArs Sonora has also performed in many of the important national festivals and has traveled to France and Israel. We hope to tour more internationally in the coming years.
As most of my family lives in California, I try to visit frequently, and am often able to coordinate my visits with the New Century Chamber Orchestra concerts and the Cabrillo Festival, where I have performed since 2011.