Love of great music keeps its practitioners going

Posted on: July 26, 2013

In Wednesday’s (7/24) Durango Herald (Colorado), Ann Butler reports, “Every summer, dozens of professional musicians descend on Durango for the three-week Music in the Mountains festival.… But how do they make a living the rest of the year? … It’s highly competitive, but it’s not impossible to make it as a classical musician.… ‘First, it’s a myth that there are fewer classical orchestras,’ said Guillermo Figueroa, music director of Music in the Mountains.… ‘But it’s so different now for young musicians…they have to be so versatile and know how to market themselves.’ … Figueroa experienced the turmoil in the classical music profession when the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, where he was music director for a decade, closed its doors in 2010… But in the three years between ‘day jobs,’ Figueroa kept the mortgage paid by performing, guest conducting and founding the Figueroa Music and Arts Project in Albuquerque. Because of his experience and connections, he could get those jobs, but Figueroa worries about regular symphony musicians.… ‘That’s something we talk about all the time,’ said violinist Phillip Kramp, 26, who plays in the Festival Orchestra. ‘We’re trying to be very proactive, getting out to schools, building audiences.’ There are reasons to study music beyond a professional career. ‘Studying great music enriches your life more than anything,’ Kramp said. ‘It enhances critical-thinking skills, patience, attention to detail, social skills and working with diverse groups of people.’ … ‘People have not stopped wanting to hear great music,’ Figueroa said in agreement.”

Posted July 26, 2013