To inaugurate the new brand image on this occasion, we wanted to have an oboist friend of the brand. This is Javier Pérez Castillo, co-principal oboe of the Oviedo Filarmonia. An excellent oboist who also has a beautiful and well-worked Instagram profile.
Today we are going to ask Javier some questions in this interview:
- When did you start playing the oboe? Well, I started playing the oboe at the age of 8, which was when they gave it to me in the town band, while I was studying music theory.
- Why did you choose this instrument? Curiously, I did not choose it, it chose it for me … I wanted the saxophone which was what my father played in the band, and since I saw him playing at home I wanted one just the same; when they assigned the instruments, they needed an oboe for the band, and they gave it to me. At first I did not like it because it was difficult and very delicate; later it conquered me … You could say that I play the oboe by coincidence!
- How much time do you spend playing the oboe daily? Well, on a normal day, I usually play the 4 hours of rehearsal with the orchestra and in the afternoons I usually dedicate some time to it, for personal study, or to review something about the program I played that week, retouching reeds etc … I would say that at least a couple of hours more … I also combine this time with the English horn, since my place in the Oviedo Filarmonia includes it.
- Is there an oboist who inspires you in a especial way? Holliger has always amazed me! I am from the generation where there was no internet or social networks or Spotify, almost all the CDs that I could have access to at that time were almost all their own, and I was amazed at his capacity and technique. I think it is an inspiration and a reference for anyone who plays the oboe: his passion, dedication … And of the current oboists, one person that I greatly admire is Juan Manuel Gonzalez-Lumbreras, sadly he deceased a few years ago, but I had the opportunity to meet him in a course many years ago and I was fascinated by his way of playing, of making music, the passion he had for the oboe … we connected very well and became very good friends and we learned so much from him listening to him play as with the endless conversations I had with him about a thousand things. He was a very special person and oboist of whom I have fond memories.
- Of all your achievements as an oboist, which one would you choose? Well, without any doubt I think what I am most proud of is being able to dedicate myself to what I really like, which is playing in a symphony orchestra. As a child I dreamed of it and with effort, dedication and study I have been able to achieve it. For me it is a great privilege, because if you think about the orchestras that there are in Spain, at an average of 2-3 oboes, there are not many oboists who have the great luck to play in one of those orchestras …
- What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in the music world and wants to become a professional oboist? I would recommend a good dose of patience to break many reeds haha! Now seriously, the best recommendation is always to put passion into what you do: if you really like something, go for it! The world of music has always been very sacrificed: many hours, many years, many frustrations … And the oboe is a really complicated instrument, difficult, the reeds help little, they are always a continuous fight and a suffering, but in the end , when you sit down every morning in the orchestra chair (in my case) and you start to play, all that effort of years has been completely worth it!
- Can you tell us an anecdote about your career as an oboist? I have many haha! After so many years, many anecdotes accumulate of all kinds: from leaving the good reeds at home (it has only happened twice and in rehearsals …), making a mistake at a concert and putting one that is not what I had ready, drop the oboe on stage while we are warming up before the concert … You learn to muddle through everything! A very curious anecdote was on a tour of Japan in 2007, a lyrical gala with Edita Gruberova, at the end of the concert there was about 20 minutes of applause, and they did not stop! When we finished, it took us a long time to get out of the auditorium because there was a huge queue of public wanting autographs from the musicians in their hand shows. We looked like a famous rock group!
- We know that you are currently a co-principal oboe of the Oviedo Filarmonia. Can you tell us about your previous experiences as an oboist? Well, my previous experiences are almost all as a student, because I got the place quite young, at 21, shortly after finishing my degree, so almost all the important experiences I have are already being in the orchestra. Even about a year and a half ago I was playing as Soloist Aid in the Castillo y Leon Symphony Orchestra, it was after having obtained the place in the Oviedo Filarmonia.
- Tell us about the Oviedo Filarmonia, what do you like most about working with this orchestra? Of this orchestra I can only speak wonders. We are a small-big family. Many of the members came together when it was formed 20 years ago and we have a very special bond. Right now we are living a stage with Lucas Macías with great enthusiasm! It has given the orchestra a fresh air and a desire to make music that shows a lot! Without a doubt, being able to enjoy his talent not only oboistic, but also directing and making music is a real privilege! In addition, the cultural and musical offer in Oviedo is impressive, which allows us to participate in both symphonic and opera and zarzuela seasons, making it a very versatile orchestra.
- Anything you want to share with Medina Reeds readers? Well, in these difficult times that we are running, I wish all readers the best of health and encouragement to cope with this situation as well as possible. Music heals the soul, so listening to good music will undoubtedly make us a little happier!
Thank you very much for being part of this interview Javier!