1. Could you tell us a little about your background, and how and why you got started playing the mandolin? Was there a mandolinist in the family?
I started playing mandolin when I was 10 years old in my home city, Plasencia with Julián Carriazo. I was the fist mandolinist in my family and later my younger brother started his mandolin studies too, so now there are two mandolinist in my family.
2. Who do you consider your influences, both in mandolin and in music in general (and why)?
On mandolin my influences are Juan Carlos Muñoz and Mari Fe Pavón, also Caterina Lichtenberg and Avi Avital. I think they are awesome musicians and they have different ideas with mandolin, for example, Juan Carlos and Mari Fe are the best on classical and baroque mandolin, but Avi Avital is awesome, he plays arround the world only with his mandolin and playing with the best classical musicians on the world. I would like to play like a fusion between them.
And in music in general I love Beethoven and Brahms as a conductor I have to listen a lot of music and I try to know new music every day but I think Beethoven and Brahms are specials.
3. As a soloist you seem to focus on Italian and classical music, and you also play with orchestras. What is your favourite music genre and why?
Well I have classical education so I only play classical music, it’s my language as I feel that I can communicate many things with classical music. And inside classical music I love chamber music or solo because I can play with freedom.
4. You seem to be using traditional Spanish bandurrias and also German-made mandolins. How do you compare the two types in terms of sound and playability?
Bandurria and mandolin are very similar but you must change your mind if you want to play both. Bandurria is hard and strong to make good sound, it is smaller than mandolin and you need strength on your fingers to play it correctly. I believe Bandurria is easier at first but later it becomes really hard.
In Spain usually we start with Bandurria and later we learn mandolin so Bandurria is our natural instrument. The problem is that mandolin has a repertoire very much bigger than Bandurria so we use to play more mandolin when we have to give concerts.
5. What drives you to selecting an instrument?
For me the most important is the sound. I want a powerful concentrated sound, not agressive, because if you have this sound you can play with it and make it yours.
So, I prefer German mandolins because the have powerful and fully dark sound that allows you to play with a lot of colours and dynamics.
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