3 years ago

Next Level Journals Strings Summer 2015


28Repertoireis theGreatestTeacherRoberto DiazI have always been interestedin a number of things andnever dedicated to just one.Fortunately, I began workingprofessionally right afterfinishing music school at theCurtis Institute of Music. Myfirst job was with the MinnesotaOrchestra and I began teachingwhile also playing a few soloconcerts and recitals. After thatI formed a string trio, called theDiaz trio with my brother Andreson cello and Andrés Cárdeneson violin. I also had the pleasureof being a member of the BostonSymphony and principal violaof both the National Symphonyand Philadelphia Orchestra.More recently, administration hasbecome a big part of my life asthe President of Curtis. I have

29always been interested, curious, and happy toexperiment with and try new things and this hasserved me well. I have had to balance all thesedifferent roles and parts of my life.To me, life is about balance and compromise andI have learned to be completely involved in whatI am doing at that exact moment. Otherwise I donot practice well, teach well, and if distractedwhile at home, from my family or kids, I won’t dothat well either. It takes getting used to being ableto concentrate on the task at hand, so I can get alot done efficiently. For instance, running a schooltruly takes full dedication and commitment. I willgo from teaching a lesson, to a board meeting, orfrom a staff meeting, to a rehearsal and have toswitch gears instantly.President of the Curtis Institute of MusicI am the president of a school but never thoughtit was something that would happen. But it justdeveloped. The board members seemed tothink there were certain skills required that I’dacquired along the way and I viewed it as anadventure. And here I am 10 years later stillat it. It has been an unbelievable learningexperience, and it is perfect as it combines mylove of music and working with people.Classical Music is my Love out of all the Musicin the WorldClassical music is so important to me becauseever since I was conscious it has been a partof my life. My parents are both musicians, myfather a viola player and my mother a pianist.They never really demanded that we becomemusicians, but they did insist that we studymusic because they believed it would benefitus in everyday life. I grew up hearing my fatherpracticing concertos and he was the principalviolist of the Chilean Chamber Orchestra andhad a string quartet, called the Quartet of Chile.This made it so I grew up listening to quartetsby Beethoven, Mozart, Debussy, and all thefantastic music written for string quartet, which Ifeel is some of the greatest music ever written. Iwas raised hearing this before I even really knewwhat it was. It was part of our home life. Then asI grew, I began to appreciate it more and more.Progressing as a music student, that appreciationfor the music developed more foundationalknowledge behind it. All of a sudden I washooked. Having access, to any music, was key tobuilding interest and a love for it eventually, andinevitably making it my career.InspirationTimes EvolveI did not begin on the Viola. I’m originally fromChile, and when I was growing up in Chile therewas no such thing as a youth orchestra and noteven really a need for young violists. Everyoneeither learned violin, cello, piano, or guitar.However nowadays in Chile, they have over1,000 youth orchestras. And there are youngpeople playing the viola, which is wonderful.Almost everyone loves music, almost everybodysings, it is just something that is very natural andis very much a part of us. Almost everybody has