Today we travel to Venezuela to interview a fantastic oboist whom we have met thanks to Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/andresjcoboe/). His name is Andrés Córdova and he is the first oboe in the Simón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela, he is also part of the Cantabile Quintet.
We want to know you better Andrés, so here there are our questions:
- When did you start playing the oboe?
I was 11 years old when I started playing the oboe, 7 years ago.
- Why did you choose this instrument?
At first I wanted to be a flute player, but my music initiation teacher at the time recommended this wonderful instrument that I did not know, and today I am still grateful to him.
- How much time do you spend daily playing the oboe?
Between rehearsals with my orchestra, teaching, making chamber music and my individual study, I spend about 9 hours a day.
- Is there any oboist who inspires you in a especial way?
Great references of the instrument such as François Leleux, Jonathan Kelly, Albrecht Mayer, Ramón Ortega and some Venezuelan colleagues.
- Of all your achievements as an oboist, which one would you choose?
I think that representing my country as the first oboe of its most important orchestra in some of the best venues in the world is one of the most gratifying things I have stayed with so far.
- What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in the world of music and wants to be a professional oboist?
Having a lot of patience, this requires many sacrifices that are always worth it in the end. Also understand that we all have different rhythms to achieve it, and for me the most important thing is to never stop enjoying what you do to the fullest.
- Can you tell us an anecdote from your career as an oboist?
The oboists are always full of many anecdotes, cracked oboe reeds, accidents with the instrument, among others. At this time I remember a day when I had a concert with the orchestra and a recital with other oboists at the same time. It was quite a journey to finish the concert with the orchestra and run to the other theater while changing clothes on the way to play the romances of R. Schumann. In the end there was a good result in both concerts, but it’s something I don’t expect to repeat.
- We have seen through your stories that you have traveled around the world, which country has impressed you the most?
Russia undoubtedly, especially due to the weather, being in temperatures down to -5 ° was something new for me, and for my reeds. However, the concerts at the Zaryadye Concert Hall in Moscow and the Mariinsky theater in Saint Petersburg were a great experience that I would love to repeat again soon.
- Tell us about your personal projects: your experience in the Simón Bolívar Orchestra in Venezuela or in the Cantabile Quintet.
Being in the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra by maestro Gustavo Dudamel is a dream that many of us have as children in our country. Sharing daily with such good musicians and people is without any doubt a great experience full of many learning and enjoyment.
On the other hand, chamber music is what I enjoy most when playing, the Quinteto Cantabile is a group that I decided to form a little over a year ago with great musicians and fellow friends of the orchestra. We have been carrying out several projects in the quintet and soloist format, we hope soon, after all this unfortunate virus crisis, to continue holding our concerts and teaching classes around the country, and even in other countries, and above all, continue enjoying making music together.
- We see that on Instagram you mention @elsistema_ in your bio, can you tell us what this account is about?
It is the account of our National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela. This is the music education program in our country, founded by the teacher José Antonio Abreu. This has what we call “núcleos” that are like the seedbed where a child has the opportunity to access an instrument and the wonderful world of music, at the simple cost of wanting to do so.
At the same time it also has more than 100 youth and children’s orchestras, choirs, and other programs. Being the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, my orchestra, the apex of this whole family.
- Anything else you want to share with the readers of Medina Reeds?
Thank you for the opportunity to have this wonderful chat with you and we hope to share more in the future.
Thank you very much for your time Andrés!