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Erola Masqué - Violin

Interview

1- Who was your first music teacher?

I would say that my first music teachers were my parents, although they are not professional classical musicians, they tried to make me feel surrounded by music from a very young age. I first asked to learn music when I was 7 and I started to play the violin with Coloma Bertran who is a folk music violinist. At the age of 12, I started to study with Quim Térmens who has been my teacher until I was accepted at the college.

2- Is your family musical?

My mother is a teacher in a primary school, and my father does musical shows for family audiences. There is no professional musician in my family, although many of my relatives have studied music for a few years and are great music lovers.

3- In 2020 you were admitted to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London under the tutelage of Stephanie Gonley, where you are currently studying your undergraduate studies. How is this progressing?

In fact, I am currently in Spain finishing my studies, and in September I will come to London to study with Stephanie. I said that I was studying with her because I have been taking lessons with her online.

4- What are your fondest musical memories, privately or performing?

I would say that my most exceptional memories of playing the violin are in some of the chamber groups. This year I have been playing with a string quartet and a clarinet and piano trio, both of which have been very enriching experiences. For me music represents a gift and to be able to share it is inevitably a luxury.
If I had to be specific with any special event. I recently participated in a poetry and performing arts festival where I performed a solo violin piece by Tiersen. Although it is not one of the monumental works of the violin repertoire, I had the opportunity to play it in a remote space, in the middle of the mountain and barefoot. The contact with nature brings me a peace that is indescribable, and that moment was endowed with a very special magic.

5- How often do your practice?

I try studying 5 or 6 hours a day, no matter what day of the week it is. I follow Oistrakh's idea a bit; "Start off in the morning; put the violin away; practice in the afternoon; Put it away; practice at night; put it away; practice before bedtime."I justly think it works better for me to practice for a short period of time (between 30 and 45 minutes), and very often, rather than for a long period of time.

6- Would you consider teaching music in the future?

Absolutely! Pedagogy and musical education are one of my great interests, however I believe that before I become a teacher I have to undoubtedly have many experience in performing so that what I can teach is much more real than mere theories that can be memorised.
The music education system is for me one of the most interesting, and I want to explore it more so that music has the proper place in compulsory education that it deserves.

7- Who would your ideal accompanist be, living or dead?

I feel extremely fortunate to say that my current accompanist, Javier Guitérrez, is a perfect match for me. He is a person who has ceaseless energy, he is a faithful and sincere person, and he is an exceptional talent.
But to mention a couple of others, I would say Evgeny Sinaisky or Itmar Golan among others…

8- How do you balance your time commitments in terms of study, research, performance? What are the biggest sacrifices?

Sometimes it is a big deal to be everywhere you want and give your best all the time. It is a very hard think for me to choose and prioritise what to do and what to leave for later.
I am a person with many interests and I would like to be everywhere at all times. For me the difficult decision is when two great opportunities to learn and grow are put in front of me, even if not in music and I can't do them both or when I have to give up plans with my friends or family for music. At the same time, for me, music is almost always my priority, and it is an enormous reward to be able to enjoy it every day.

9- What advice would you give to music students at the start of their journey?

Try converting music in your life, and you will see what joy is. I think that we should learn to enjoy what we give our lives for, and if we choose music (although we do not want to become professionals), we have to know that music is an art, and it exists to learn, to listen, watch and feel. And if you practice from this point of view, everything becomes much simpler.

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submission June 2021