Versatility defines the work of Natanael Espinoza (Baja California, 1979), the director and founder of the Coahuila Desert Philharmonic Orchestra (OFDC).
As an orchestra leader and cellist, he has appeared on stage together with Plácido Domingo and the Orchestra Sinfonica di San Remo and carries out projects in popular genres with symphonic arrangements with artists such as Los Angeles Azules, Yayo González and Paté de Fuá, among others.
“It gives me great pleasure to make music without clichés for every taste, without forgetting the academic part and always opening myself up to other musical genres,” he says MILLENNIUM.
In keeping with this idea, the musician will conduct a private concert with the Minería Symphony Orchestra at Chapultepec Castle on September 19th and a Mexican gala with the Mariachi Gama 1000 on the 28th.
How do you experience the fusion of sounds on stage?
You live just like the public. It’s like talking about Mexico and September, it’s something you can’t separate; People enjoy it. Although we devote ourselves to listening to all kinds of music all year round, in September you definitely hear Moncayo’s “Huapango”. You hear mariachi music and a lot of songs that make our hearts sing, and I think there’s a very important connection here to every person’s Mexicanism, which I find very endearing. I swear I live it as a Mexican, not as a musician, because it’s something that I enjoy and that reminds me of my roots and my beloved Mexico.
What does the preparation for these concerts look like?
They are prepared like everyone else, both academic and popular; That means I already have the music in my possession, the symphonic arrangements that I need to read and study with my orchestra in preparation for putting 70 musicians and a mariachi on the same street, on the same channel. I am lucky to have Mariachi Gama 1000 on this occasion, which has worked with many orchestras, so understands the language and knows how to work. It is a group sometimes thought to be as complex as a symphony orchestra.
Two scientific lectures will take place in October.
On the 26th we have the seasonal concert with the Desert Philharmonic Orchestra, a super academic one. We are dealing with Anton Bruckner’s “Symphony No. 1”. On November 13th I will visit my homeland, I will conduct for the first time as a guest conductor with the Baja California Orchestra, with works by Beethoven and Handel.
What challenges does working as a guest director bring with it?
It is a challenge and has its peculiarities. You have to come prepared and figure out and understand how the orchestra works, how it plays, how you can manage an organization that is often larger than your own or faces technical challenges that you may not be used to. Your own orchestra. It’s a wonderful experience to be a guest conductor and also a different way of making music, because in just four days you have to build leadership, empathy and a way of working, develop a style and communicate with the orchestra, which is beautiful. I enjoy challenges like this.
Is it a feedback between the director and the musicians?
Complete. I also like to invite guest conductors to the Desert Philharmonic Orchestra because it is a different way of conducting, a different way of making music and in many cases is a great asset to the organization itself.
Is orchestral music versatile?
Orchestras can be as versatile as a good arranger suggests. The pen and creativity of a good arranger can take us to any genre of music, from merengue, cumbia, alternative rock to Mexican pop music. A good pen, arranger or composer can transform an academic orchestra into a completely disruptive, single-minded and risky orchestra. It is important to say: a symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra or group of this type is as versatile as we can have it on paper.
How much do you like these projects?
I like. I hug her with a lot of energy. Furthermore, if this continues to evolve and help open up new audiences and provide the opportunity to listen to a live symphony orchestra, it will be a win-win for everyone.