Oboist of the month of December: Daniel Rodríguez Agúndez.
Encuentra la entrevista en español aquí: https://medinareeds.es/oboista-diciembre-daniel-rodriguez-agundez/
Today we interview an oboist who despite his youth has had a great professional career and everything indicates that he will continue to have it. The best thing is that we know him and know that he is not only a great oboist, but also a great person.
Professional career as an oboist of Daniel Rodríguez Agúndez:
Daniel began studying oboe in his hometown: Plasencia, at the García Matos Conservatory, with professors Miguel Ángel Gómez Cáceres de solfeo, and Vicente Pérez Pellicer the oboe specialty.
His first contact with orchestras was in Extremadura, with the Scarlatti Orchestra of Don Benito, the Oscam of Almendralejo and Mérida, and shortly thereafter with the OJEX, the young orchestra of Extremadura, where he was on staff for several years. Shortly after entering he was awarded a scholarship by the OEX.
Around 2011 he began studying with Lucas Macías Navarro, at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. During the study period in Freiburg he won a Praktikum position in the SWR Sinfonieorchester von Baden-Baden und Freiburg, the radio orchestra of the Southwest of Germany. With this orchestra he had the opportunity to travel throughout Germany, and play in many of the best rooms in Europe.
In Freiburg, he also took a master’s degree in interpretation, with Lucas Macías as principal professor, and Florian Hasel as assistant.
He has performed in orchestras such as BandArt, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Dissonances, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, Lucern Festival Orchestra and at festivals such as Krzyżowa-Music in Poland.
Since December 2018, he has been part of the ADDA Simfònica orchestra in Alicante.
Interview with Daniel Rodríguez Agúndez.
- When did you start playing the oboe?
Well, I think I started in 2002, in Plasencia. 2001 or 2002
- Why did you decide to play the oboe?
It was a coincidence. I had been studying guitar for a couple of years in a music school, and it was what I wanted to study at the Conservatory, but when it was my turn to choose an instrument, there were no places. I really liked the bassoon, but my mother suggested that I take the oboe, which was smaller, and that’s how it happened. But I really believe that neither she nor I knew very well what an oboe was.
- How much time do you spend daily practicing and playing the oboe?
It depends. Now that I have rehearsals with the orchestra, in the afternoon I usually shoot reeds, touch up and do some technique and studies. Depending on the week I need more or less time, but it’s usually an hour or two more. As a student in a higher or master’s degree, I believe that four hours a day with constancy would be perfect, but efficiency is more important than quantity.
- Is there an oboist who inspires you in a especial way?
I could name you many, but if I have to name just one, it would be Heinz Holliger. Notice, I think he is criticized a lot for his sound, because the concept of the “sound” of the oboe has changed a lot in recent years; I love it. Holliger is a genius, and I think we owe him, to a large extent, the evolution of the oboe repertoire written from the second half of the 21st century.
- What advice would you give to someone who is starting in the world of music and wants to be a professional oboist?
To listen to a lot of music, of all kinds, styles and instruments. You learn a lot by listening to others. And to play in groups, wind bands, orchestras, groups with friends or wherever. I dedicate myself to music because of the experiences I had as a child in these environments.
- Among all your musical stages: Extremadura, Germany or Alicante, which one do you prefer and why?
How difficult I think I couldn’t choose any, because there isn’t one without the other, I can’t separate them. In Extremadura they were the beginnings. Germany opened my mind, and the doors to a musical environment very different from Spain. That is where I have spent all my years of studies, a fantastic stage. And the same I tell you about my new stage in Alicante; I still learn a little every day, and I feel lucky to be part of the ADDA orchestra.
Lucas Macías Navarro has been one of our oboists of the month, what would you highlight from your studies with him?
I owe Lucas a lot. I have officially studied eight years with him, one in Zaragoza and another seven in Germany. Well, in all those years, I’ve always left his class with the feeling of playing a little better, and very motivated to continue studying. I have not stopped learning from him. He has helped me with the oboe, he has taught me how to interpret the different music, and most importantly, he has taught me with his example, to enjoy making music. He is someone I love very much, and I admire as an example to follow.
- You say that you have a special affection for the OJEX, why is that so?
When I entered the Ojex, I still didn’t know whether I was going to be able to dedicate myself to music or not. My parents are not musicians, and although they have always supported me blindly, the day of the first audition I did for OJEX marked a before and after. I was so little and I was there with my oboe, and we had introduced ourselves a lot. Well, that day I entered the orchestra, and it was the first time we thought that maybe I could have some future as an oboist. After that, I made many friends there, and I had a great time in every encounter. Young orchestras are a shuttle and a great help for young people. Many of my OJEX colleagues have ended up studying music and we dedicate ourselves to it as a profession.
- Can you tell us any anecdote about your career as an oboist?
I will tell you one of those that I will never forget, and from which I curiously learned a lot. Get in situation…
Berlin, Audition for the Karajan Akademie of the Berlin Philharmonic. I had studied as never before, I was wearing a good oboe reed, and the oboe was well adjusted. Everything looked good and I really wanted to show my work. For the first round was the first movement of the concert in C major K. 314 of Mozart. My turn comes, I go on stage and see all my idols sitting there, no one was missing. My audience was Albrech Mayer, Jonathan Kelly, Christoph Hartmann, Andreas Wittmann and Dominik Wollenweber, almost nothing. Well, it was said to play… We started.
The trill: to the stick…
The resolution of the trill: so, so nothing more… The scale comes. The scale? Well, as Rosalía would say, “tra tra”. That was my stake.
The acute C: Oh that acute C… let’s say that it didn’t become a C first, it felt a little sad … a little glissando and to the site.
That’s how my audition began, I didn’t believe it, and I imagine that the poor of the jury either… It would have been about five seconds, and it was already said. I finished the exhibition and left the room.
Well, nothing, I knew that I had touched extremely badly, but still, since they are all great oboists that I admire and respect, I took a deep breath, prepared myself and asked for feedback to all of them, just in case any of your comments It could help in future auditions.
Musically and technically they couldn’t tell me anything but the truth, it wasn’t my day. But Dominik made me a comment that later helped me with my next auditions and concerts. This is what I remember he said:
“You have started very badly, the bad scale, the acute C very low… Then I thought you were going to recover, but no, it has not been better… I know that today was not your best day; musically I can not tell you anything. You have to look for stability so that this does not happen to you today, the way to have control of the situation, and that, no matter where you are and who you play for, you have to give 100 per cent, and thus be able to enjoy. You must find that stability. “
You learn from everything and sometimes the worse things are then ones from which you learn the most.
You can have a bad day, but let’s not forget that the road is long and you don’t have to give up. That search that Dominik was talking about and that Lucas has told me about in many occasions, is a work of his own that no one can do for you, and that in each person I imagine will give different paths for the same purpose. With hard work, perseverance and a bit of optimism and luck, you can go far.
- Anything you want to share with the readers of Medina Reeds?
Well, I wanted to thank you for offering me to be the oboist of the month, it is a privilege. And to Michel Ángel Medina for his cordiality and work, and his oboe reeds! That on more than one occasion they have saved me from a hurry.