JP Jofre, bandoneon player

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music and who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

The feelings and emotions music can generate in one’s mind and soul inspired me to pursue a career in music.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

The hardest day was when I walked out of my home to be able to accomplish my dream of being a professional musician.

Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?

Every recording has something special. If I had to mention just one, it would be my latest recording with the London Symphony Orchestra and clarinettist Seunghee Lee of my double concerto. Here the link for the concerto: with LSO

I’m honoured to be performing my double concerto on Thursday 29 September at the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival with one the best clarinettist in the world as Julian Bliss, who is also a dear friend. Same goes for cello master Guy Johnston, he has one the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard on the cello. I deeply thank pianist Kathryn Stott who programmed my music with them at the Australian Chamber Music Festival, that’s how we got to know each other.

Which particular works/composers do you think you perform best?

My own works. Since I was very young, I started composing unconsciously in the most innocent way. Composing and performing my own music has always been the most natural way of making music for me. I loved learning Bach and Piazzolla or Messiaen, to name a few, but when I perform my own music, I feel 100 percent fulfilled.

What do you do off-stage that provides inspiration on stage?

I fully live my life; I connect with people and learn from people I admire and love. I open my heart to everyone. Family and friends are the most important source of inspiration to create.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

I always perform my own music. I feel very lucky and blessed this way. It took me 20 years of very hard work to get to this point in my life.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

Any place/venue is important as long as I can pass my message with my music. I love spaces where the sound vibrates and projects. I prefer reverberance over dryness acoustically speaking.

What do you feel needs to be done to grow classical music’s audiences?

We need support from the industries that influence the market, like movies, television, radios, etc. We also need new ideas and new music that represents today’s life, not the life of 300 hundred years ago. I love Bach, but we cannot pretend everybody loves Bach. He was a genius composer that created music every day; something tells me that if he was alive today, he would still be creating new music, not playing the same pieces everybody repeats every day. Let’s not forget that when Mozart was alive, the audiences at that time were always open to listening to new music. Almost all of the performances were “world premieres”. Nowadays, most people don’t go to concerts unless they have heard the music before. I believe colleges, conservatories, and universities are not helping much. And perhaps teachers as well, very few teachers encourage the students to attend live concerts and explore new ideas leaving the kids just repeating the same music and practicing isolated at home.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

Performing my music with Kathryn Stott, Guy Johnston, Karen Gomyo and Kees Boersma in Australia was a memorable performance not only for how beautifully we blended each other, also because of the amount of high calibre performers that attended our concert. One makes music for everyone but having the blessing of world class musicians encourage me to keep writing new music.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

Be happy, help others, have your own voice and rock it.

What advice would you give to young/aspiring musicians?

Be happy, kind, help others, have your own voice, and never compare yourself to anybody. You are unique and music is not a competition.

What’s the one thing in the music industry we’re not talking about that you think we should be?

The need for established institutions to take more artistic risk, and for their financial backers to encourage that vision, encompassing diversity and eagerness to explore and embrace other cultures.

What’s next? Where would you like to be in 10 years?

I’d like to be doing what I am doing now. Composing and performing with the people I feel good working with, always developing new repertoire.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I do not believe in perfect happiness, we all struggle, and life is tough for everybody in different ways and that is just fine. Being surrounded by good people with good energy of course is a plus.

What is your most treasured possession?

I do not believe in material possessions.

JP Jofre performs at this year’s Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival in a concert on 29th September. Further information

Juan Pablo Jofre Romarion aka JP Jofre, is an award-winning bandoneon player and composer. Mr. Jofre has been repeatedly highlighted by the New York Times and praised as one of today’s leading artists by Great Performers at Lincoln Center. His music has been recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, 16 Grammy winner Paquito D’ Rivera, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and choreographed/performed by ballet-star Herman Cornejo (Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theatre) among others. He has performed and given lectures at Google Talks, TEDtalks, The Juilliard School of Music, The New School, etc.

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