Fernando Buide, Professor of Composition at CSM Galicia, is one of the most active composers on the current national scene. In fact, during the 2015-2015 season he was the Spanish composer most programmed by professional symphony orchestras in Spain. Compostelano doctor from Yale University, has also passed through Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the conservatories of Oviedo and Santiago de Compostela.
Among others, he has been awarded the AEOS-BBVA Prize in its seventh edition, the Michael Friedmann Prize for Research at Yale University or the Harry Archer Prize for Orchestral Composition (2006). Fernando Buide has also been a composer in residence at the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome. We have discussed his career, his projects and his immediate future with Fernando Buide, Professor of Composition at CSM Galicia.
Fernando, what is music for you?
It is one of the most authentic ways we have to communicate and express ourselves. Music serves to move us, to laugh, to cry, also to experiment, but above all to create community and relate as a society.
What projects are you currently focused on?
I am in the final stretch of the preparation of an opera that we premiered in November with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia directed by Paul Daniel and staged by Marta Pazos. It is titled “A Amnesia de Clío” and the script is by Fernando Epelde. In the cast we will have several great singers such as Raquel Lojendio, Marina Pardo or Sebastiá Peris.
My next project will be a concert for organ and orchestra commissioned by the National Orchestra of Spain and will premiere in Madrid in February, with Juan de la Rubia on the organ and Diego Etxebarria at the head of the National Orchestra.
What moments in your career have marked you in some special way?
Perhaps my first orchestral premiere with the Pittsburgh Symphony when I was a student in the United States. Also the first time that I worked in my country with the Galician Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Libor Pesek, because of the affection with which I was received by the musicians of a formation that I admired as a child.
If I have to remember any of the places where I have lived and worked, my stay at the Academia de España in Rome was a fantastic time.
I think that the main attraction of this new center is to have professionals who maintain a constant musical activity that they then transfer and share with the students. Learning from professional experience in the classroom is essential for training as musicians.
How are you off stage?
I’m very normal. I try that my passion for music does not end up occupying all my living space.
What are your sources of inspiration?
Musicians are sensitive to any stimulus we encounter, including the smallest and most fleeting details. Any music you listen to ends up becoming part of your personal imagination, although obviously those you receive as a child are the ones that end up defining and marking you the most.
I always try to stay open to other artistic disciplines that offer me different points of view. For example, the opportunity to work with a playwright and a stage director during the entire process of composing the opera in which I am immersed was very enriching.
What do you think are the strengths of today’s composers?
There is such a wide variety of creators that I believe that wealth is one of the greatest advantages of our time. Fortunately, as in the recent past, there are no dominant schools that impose their aesthetic criteria from festivals or university centers and conservatories. I think the academicism of past decades is being overcome.
Fernando Buide, CSM Galicia Composing professor
Let’s talk about CSM Galicia … Was a new Superior Music Center in Galicia necessary?
This center is conceived as a space where its teachers maintain an intense artistic activity in contact with the professional world of interpretation or creation. I think that the main attraction of this new center is to have professionals who maintain a constant musical activity that they then transfer and share with the students. Learning from professional experience in the classroom is essential for training as musicians, something that does not always happen that way.
What would you say to reluctant students to opt for private music training?
When you are trained as a musician, you should try to find those references that you think can contribute the most and stimulate you as such. A dynamic center with excellent teachers is the natural place that any young musician with concerns should look for.
A dynamic center with excellent teachers is the natural place that any young musician with concerns should look for.
What advice would Fernando Buide give to musicians beginning their higher studies next year?
The upper grade is a long road that requires tenacity and constant work. Always be ready to learn and try to discover in other musicians what they can give us, not just compare ourselves to establish who is better.
The musician’s training should be as broad as possible, not restricted to learning a technique. You must have a broad knowledge of different musical, humanistic and also scientific disciplines.
What objectives do you think a musician who seeks excellence should pursue?
Excellence is a constant search that must guide both the student and the professional. It is an unattainable goal that must always be on our horizon. When we make music we must do it with the utmost respect and commitment to those who will be our interlocutors. And never in our career do we stop learning, training and being receptive to any experience that can make us grow as musicians.
What are the most important values that a professional musician should have?
Honesty and constant and tireless work. As I once heard from an artist friend that I admire, first the people, then the music. We must try that, as far as possible, our activity as musicians helps to build a healthier society.
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