Interview with Carolina Prado, oboist of the month.
Today we are interviewing Carolina Prado, a wonderful oboist, how do we know? Because we met her talent walking around Madrid, just this Christmas when she was playing ‘Silent Night’ with a fellow oboist and we loved it! You can watch the video here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CmtSp-0II7m/?hl=en.
We want to get to know you better Carolina so we thank you for your time, here are our questions!
Interview with Carolina Prado, oboist of the month.
1. When exactly did you start playing the oboe?
When I was about 13 years old, I started when I was 11 or 12 at the “núcleo” in my city (denomination for musical schools that work with the philosophy of the National System of Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela) and in that season I studied theory and solfeggio, singing, recorder and then I chose the oboe.
2. Why did you choose this instrument?
Initially I went through several instruments before finding the oboe and one of the things that defined my choice was listening to the oboist of the professional orchestra and I loved the sound of the instrument, I must also admit that small comments like that it had a good embouchure influenced me -although I didn’t know much at the time if that was true.
3. How much time do you dedicate daily to the oboe?
It depends on my musical commitments, the minimum I try to dedicate is 30 minutes to beers and 1 hour and a half to study, but this has varied a lot depending on the moment of my life in which I have found myself; in the university I studied around 3, 4 hours a day and in other moments I practically concentrated on playing in ensembles and other groups.
I believe that the conservatory should be a space in which we learn to be more assertive about what things and how we should study them. In a way that brings us closer to the demands of the professional world in which there is probably not so much time to devote to a single repertoire. So I really appreciate the company of my teacher Ricardo Riveiro, who has pushed me both technically and mentally throughout my training.
4. Is there an oboist or musician who inspires you in a special way?
H. Holliger has always inspired me a lot on a technical and musical level, it is incredible to see the amount of recorded music he has, which in large part made it possible to expand the technique and repertoire of the instrument.
I also admire the profession of the teachers, especially my teacher Ricardo Riveiro because he is an artist who loves to study, who is married to learning and who, in terms of my training as an oboist, not only instructed me in my oboist training but also contributed a lot to my human growth.
5. What feelings would you say the sound of the oboe transmits to you?
For me the oboe can be as flexible as the oboist’s search, however I believe that the lyrical, the expressiveness prevails. Somehow I think that the feeling that most invites me is one of introspection and hope.
6. What do you find most difficult about playing the oboe?
To play organically, to be able to express and enjoy the moments above the pressure of facing an audience, jury or difficult piece.
7. Have you experienced any curious anecdote related to your studies as an oboist?
Perhaps one of the most important that I have experienced, and that in different stages of my life I have gone through again in a different way, is the very act of playing the oboe and being an oboist. In one class I remember feeling very unmotivated because I was comparing myself with other oboists of my age and I considered that they were playing more complex repertoires than mine or that they were advancing faster than me; I told my teacher how that made me feel and that I wanted to quit the oboe. He told me about a person who had quit the oboe because of the same feeling and although he was a good musician, he didn’t see his strengths and decided (from where I understand it today) not to see them either.
At that moment I remember that I was very surprised by the story (he also told it in a very touching way) and I understood at that moment that music is something that I feel very much mine, that is to say my space, that I do it because I decide to do it every day and because to this day it continues to generate a lot of learning and significant experiences, that everything else comes as a consequence. If I want to play a complex repertoire I know what I can and must do for it, if I feel that I failed because my reeds did not work for me, I can anticipate the commitments and prepare them. The oboe has taught me to be in constant observation to be able to know what is working for me and what is not; that every day I decide to continue because I grow and because I like it.
8. What is the most important thing for you in the oboe reeds?
Flexibility, I look for oboe reeds that allow me to blow without generating so much tension in my body and at the same time have a contrasting range of dynamics.
9. We love the name of your Instagram: @lachicadeloboe, how do the networks help you in your musical career?
It is a reminder of the accomplishments I have received in my musical and therefore personal career, it also reminds me that I should showcase my work more hahaha.
10. Anything you would like to share with Medina Reeds readers?
I consider it important that we find our motivations to continue in our profession, references that inspire us, teachers, people who invite us to learn, enjoy music and continue, even if we don’t know where to go.
Thank you so much for your time Carolina!