This month our outstanding oboist in Medina Reeds is a very special person, she is María Calvo, an oboe teacher that combines her profession with an excellent domain of social networks. In its channels (YouTube, blog, Instagram…), sheoffers all kinds of advice from beauty to delicious recipes.
Maria has given us the opportunity to interview her and we could not miss it. Surely you are also looking forward to knowing more about Maria, better known by her followers as Pórpora Porpita.
- When did you start playing the oboe and why did you decide to play this instrument?
Well, since I was little I have been in contact with music. I have photos singing in a choir with three years. With five years I started playing the guitar and with eight years I started in the conservatory playing the piano, but it didn’t fill me up. In my town there was a music band and I started playing the clarinet. And it was the band’s director, Ian Murray, who proposed to change to the oboe because he thought it would go better with me. I will never thank him enough. It was my instrument. I started a little older since my first oboe class was when I was 14 years old. But I made up for it by making enrollment extensions during my studies.
- Can you tell us a little more about your musical training?
I began to study oboe in the music classroom of Aracena (Huelva) with Sara Bishop, teacher of the sinfónica de Sevilla. Later in the conservatory I studied with Professor Quirós until he retired and then I received classes from Eduardo Martínez, soloist of the orchestra ciudad de Granada. I finished the upper degree in the Superior Conservatory of the Balearic Islands where I studied with Pilar Fontalba, soloist of the symphony orchestra of Navarra, I was an entire course in Italy where I studied with Giovanni Caviglia and I got the title of professor and finally I left to do a master at the Hochshule der Kunste in Zürich (Switzerland) where I studied for several years with the Thomas Indermühle.
- Currently you teach at the Conservatory of Music of Jerez de la Frontera, is teaching your vocation? We have not been able to attend any of your classes but we do follow your networks and see that you are wonderful giving tips and explaining 😉
Really, what makes me happier is to play, to get on stage. In front of the public and with my oboe I feel that I move like a fish in the water. But teaching has brought me great satisfaction. Seeing how a student arrives to the class without having seen the instrument before, how they try to make it sound for weeks without success and check how little by little they manage to get melodies from their oboes is very exciting. I keep the contact and relationship with many of my former students and that is very beautiful.
- How much time do you spend daily practicing with the oboe?
Currently less, because over the years we tend to relax. But I will tell you, and to serve as an inspiration for those students who have a hard time studying, that I have locked up myself to practice 12 and up to 14 hours a day at times of maximum technical demand.
- Is there an oboist who inspires you especially?
Thomas Indermühle inspires me tremendously because he brings out some colors to the instrument that are almost magical. That’s why I fought so hard to be admitted to Zürich so I could study with him. Ramón Ortega also inspires me, because I have known him since I was a child and seeing how far he has come makes me believe that everything is possible if you have talent and desire.
- Do you find it easy to combine your oboist career with your work as a communicator through social networks?
Yes, because they have nothing to do one with the other. It is true that perhaps you cannot go to as many events or trips as other influencers do, but in terms of content creation, it is a matter of organizing time well. I always get up at six in the morning to get to everything.
- A difficult one 😉 If you have to choose between the oboe or your beauty products, which one do you prefer?
It i s not difficult. I have it very clear. With the oboe without any doubt. Without the music I would die.
- What advice would you give to someone who is starting in the world of music and wants to be a professional oboist?
To trust their teachers a lot, that sometimes it may seem hard but they want the best for the students, they always enjoy every moment of the teaching process and toendorse the words of one of my teachers: the key to success is “üben, üben, üben” (practice, practice and practice).
- Can you tell us any anecdote that you have lived as an oboe student or teacher?
Phew! I could write a book hahaha I will tell you a funny thing that happened to me as a teacher. I’ve always had a youthful face and when I started teaching, even more. I arrived at a classroom in the middle of the afternoon where I had to teach chamber music and there was a fellow teacher inside. I knocked on the door and looked out and the teacher got up from the chair and gave me a tremendous brawl because I was late. She thought I was a student! That same day, I was in the staff room making some photocopies and the janitor came to scold me because that area was exclusively for teachers in the center. He also thought I was a student! since then I start to dress up more to look older hahahaha.
- Anything you want to share with the readers of Medina Reeds?
First of all thank you very much for the interview, I had a lot of fun doing it. The initiative to disseminate everything possible about the oboe is great. I want to leave my website on the oboe, www.mioboeestuyo.com where I have many scores uploaded, information, opposition agenda etc. Surely it is useful for oboe students and for teachers looking for texts about the history and repertoire of the instrument.
Thank you very much And good reeds!
Once again, thank you very much for taking time to answer these questions and for making us happy with all your tips.