Portillo International Music Academy Festival: an example of musical creation and integral training


The Accademia Internazionale di Musica Portillo Festival ends this Monday, for a week 52 young musicians from Latin American countries, the United States and Austria have been at the Hotel Ski Portillo since Saturday the 14th, sharing an intense itinerary of rehearsals in a week and music concerts.

Since 2019, the Portillo International Music Academy Festival has been directed by the outstanding conductor and violinist Alejandra Urrutia. A unique training instance in Chile, which allows musicians from different countries to share and fully focus on musical development for one week.

“I am extremely happy to be able to do this festival in person again and I personally think it is a unique festival because it focuses on the whole holistic part of what a musician is, not only in the musical part but we also pay attention to the physical aspect awareness, leadership, coaching, which I believe are essential tools for musicians and leaders these days”, expressed Alejandra Urrutia at The meter.

In winter the Hotel Ski Portillo receives athletes who love the snow but in summer musicians also arrive with long training days. The young people start the day early with yoga lessons from Professor Juan Pablo Jara and then begin rehearsals in quartets and quintets with different teachers specialized in their areas.

“This festival is quite good, I like it because one thing is the landscape and another important thing is the amount of music that is played all day long. It is exhausting but at the same time it is super enriching, working with the wind of different teachers”, commented the Chilean flautist Sebastián Rodríguez.

Song of the earth Gustav Malher

Sebastián had already been selected at the Portillo Festival but decided to re-enter for the experience of meeting new musicians and meeting other colleagues.

“There are challenges for everything. In my case, it’s meeting new people. In my group, for example, we are four Colombian classmates, so this allows me to get to know them, to know how to listen to them and understand them musically, and to achieve a fusion between our musical ideas and those of the teachers, ”explained the bagpiper.

A few minutes before dinner, Sebastián greets Luis Querales, a Venezuelan bassoonist who plays in Argentina’s San Juan Symphony Orchestra, although they don’t play in the same quintet they had shared before.

“It seems to me that this particular festival has something that I really like, first is the environment and second is the approach, which is the tranquility that you have as a person, it’s not like ‘you have to exploit it by playing playing and playing’, you they leave room to breathe,” he says.

A similar opinion was shared by the Mexican violinist Viridiana Hernández.

“Chileans are very lucky to have this program and even more with this seriousness which is not a toxic seriousness, it is not a seriousness that hurts you but rather a commitment to create for the sake of creating and for the love we have for what we do,” said Hernández, who is attending the festival for the third time.

In the hotel, violins, flutes, oboes, cellos and other instruments can be heard in the lounges, in the gym, in the corridors and even in the rooms. The mountains and the Laguna del Inca are the landscape that accompanies the musicians during rehearsals and concerts.

A novelty of this year’s edition is that after two virtual editions they were able to return to discuss and also select young musicians not only from Latin America but also from around the world. Austrian violinist Leonie Raß said that “this is a completely different experience and a great way to get to know people better”.

“The yoga classes and coaching have helped me a lot, it’s a new experience for me but still very educational,” she added.

In this sense, the creator and director of the festival has argued that “the idea of ​​the Academy is that young people feel comfortable playing, I’m a musician so I know what it means to be on stage playing and get nervous. “

“You won’t always deal with it, but how you deal with that situation is what can change your life. So the idea of ​​this festival is that we give the musicians tools so that they feel comfortable and that being a space in that they feel safe, cared for and on the other that there is healthy competition,” he added.

During the training, the musicians prepare for two appointments which will take place on 23 and 24 January at the Teatro Comunale, where they will play the Song of the earth by Gustav Malher, accompanied by tenor Javier Wibel and baritone Patricio Sabaté, conducted by Alejandra Urrutia.

Urrutia explained that this year the choice of the symphony is not random but has to do with what

“This year we put a lot of emphasis on climate change and nature. This song is called the song of the earth So what we want is for young people to have the opportunity and feel environmentally aware,” he concluded.

Tickets are on sale on the theater page.

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