Sebastian Gallardo, the Chilean pianist has always been very creative and devotes his passion for art. He is not only a professional pianist, but he also likes to paint, learning about history, economics, and business. Although in Latin-America’s culture, they don’t respect a musician as a “serious” status, and many times, Sebastian has thought about dedicating his life to something different. Still, in the end, he has always come back to music & art!
WHAT EDUCATION HAVE YOU COMPLETED AND WHAT DID YOU GAIN FROM THOSE EXPERIENCES?
I started to play on my own when I was seven years old, my father who knew a little about music introduced me to music, when I was ten years old I started to receive lessons at the Enrique Soro Music School here in Chile, I was already playing a lot; I had a very good teacher there, his name is Alexis Salazar, I’m very proud to say that he made me see a lot of things about music from a very artistic point of view, he always used to say to me:
‘’you should not play just the notes, they don’t mean anything, you need to find the essence of music, music is something spiritual’’
He always made me look for this, I was not able to play in the way that he wanted at that moment, probably, but this was something that was always in my mind and I looked for it since the beginning, I knew the goal since the beginning. He loved the music by Alexandr Scriabin, so I played a lot of his preludes and études, I play some of them till today, and his music makes me remember that time. When I was fourteen I was accepted at the conservatoire of the University of Chile to study with Svetlana Kotova, she was from Russia and I was her student for some years; At this moment I started to go out of my country to study with other professors from all around the world, taking part in Music Festivals in Argentina, the United States, Switzerland, Brazil, etc.
When I was 19 years old I started to study with Edith Fischer who was a student of Claudio Arrau, she was my professor for two years. All of my professors were very different from each other.
While I was studying with Edith I started to receive some invitations, I started to play some concerts out of my country and realized that the public really liked it, I had found a lot of people that wanted to help me, all the process was very organic, and I have found that sharing my music with the public is what’s really fulfills me.
AS A MUSICIAN, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF TO SOMEONE THAT HAS NEVER HEARD YOU BEFORE?
I would say that I give it all on the stage, If you attended one of my concerts you would that during the concert I’m really moved, sometimes even crying, I cannot explain what happens at that moment, it is like something rushing all through me, I have a feeling of freedom, of release, and can see that the public can feel it too.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE EVOLUTION TO YOUR SOUND? AND WHAT DOES MUSIC MEAN TO YOU?
About the evolution of my sound, every day I look for new colors and new means to say what I want to say. Now my understanding of sound has changed, it is just a means to get into the hearts of the public, a good sound should never be your goal, even making good music should not be your goal, you can be a good musician but not be able to move others, good sound by itself is something without a value, your goal should always get into the hearts, even a harsh sound in the right place can be beautiful. Sound is not beautiful by itself; it should serve a purpose.
Music is beautiful because of its purpose…
I remember that when I was in Lancaster UK I had a lot of time alone, I remember myself looking at the rain in my window for hours, all that time with myself led me to a profound introspection. I had played a concert four days after I arrived, I didn’t play a note in those four days when I played this little educational concert at the Lancaster Grammar Royal School, my heart, my mind, and my fingers were better than ever, I reached emotional states that I never reached before. Furthermore, I could think it is just my perception, but, when I watched the video of the performance I noticed that 3 persons of this little audience started to cry since the first bars of the program. For me, that goes to show that music is mean, music is a place where we can share emotions.
WHAT CAREER SUCCESSES ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF HAVING ACCOMPLISHED? WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT GOALS?
My first tour of Europe is my favorite accomplishment, not because it is the most important but because of all the beautiful moments that I had. I never had been very interested in piano competitions, Bartok used to say ‘’Competitions are for horses, not artists’’, I participated in some competitions when I was a child, but I don’t waste my time anymore.
My plans for the near future are to release my first album and my book, I have some ideas that I’m pretty sure will make a very strong impression; I hope that they will be well-received. All that project would never be in the process without the help of all the people that are helping me constantly, Olga, my manager has been one of my biggest supporters.
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