«Conducting an orchestra is communicating, it is the possibility of making someone thrilled with music»
Lara Diloy is an Orchestra Conductor. Music has always been present in her life and when it came to choosing a professional career to dedicate her life to she realized she wanted to devote all her time to it. First she aimed at becoming a professional French horn performer. Later on curiosity led her to orchestra conducting studies as a means to complete her curriculum, that interest finally becoming her true passion.
And that passion has already taken her to conduct different orchestras at major national venues such as Teatro Real, Teatro de la Zarzuela, National Auditorium or Monumental Theater in Madrid, among others. Now she is preparing her next challenge –conducting Oviedo Filarmonía next February.
Lara Diloy is an intelligent professional with clear ideas coming on strong with a self-confidence that does not restrain her amiability .
Last September she was chosen for YanMag’s First Impulse Award for a Professional Career, thus we dedicate her this interview where she reveals to us her passion for her profession and for music.
– When and why did you become aware you wanted to devote yourself to music?
Ever since I started studying music at my hometown’s school it became a very important part of my life. I took part in all groups: youth band, big band, brass band, choir, orchestra … and I was very happy in them. I started higher studies quite early at 16 and combined them with a Bachelor’s in science with the idea of studying Architecture sometime in the future. But at 18 having the option of entering university I realised I wanted to dedicate myself professionally to music and that I needed all my time into it.
«I realised I wanted to dedicate myself professionally to music and that I needed all my time into it»
– You are a professional French horn player but decided to study Conducting after finishing your degree studies; what led you to make this decision?
At first it was just a way to continue my education. I wanted to expand my musical knowledge and I thought it was the most appropriate speciailty for doing so, for orchestra is a place I always felt very comfortable in and getting to know it from another perspective could help me being a better musician. That curiosity became my passion and a few years after finishing my orchestra conducting career I decided it was my path.
«The orchestra is a place I’ve always felt very comfortable»
«Curiosity for orchestra conducting became my passion»
– What is orchestra conducting for you? Do you have a different vision of the profession, having also been an interpreter?
To conduct is to communicate, it is the possibility to thrill people through music, finding the clues in the score you have in front of you, transmiting them and getting the best out of the group. This generates a constant challenge that motivates me to continuously improve and learn. I value very much being able to devote myself to something that I am passionate about.
Being a performer and having played in orchestra is quite helpful when you are on the other side, because you can quickly put yourself in place of musicians and understand what they need from you. It allows you to connect and empathise with them.
«I really value being able to dedicate myself to something I’m passionate about»
– You have been assistant conductor to maestros Óliver Díaz and Ramón Tebar in large productions presented at Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid or Principal Theater of Palma de Mallorca among others. You have also been assistant to maestro Andrés Zarzo with the Royal Superior Conservatory of Madrid’s orchestra. What is it like to work with these professionals and what are the particularities of this work?
Working with them has been a great opportunity to continue learning and understanding how the professional world works. Certainly training at the conservatory implies acquisition of knowledge but its practical part is somewhat cut-off from reality, so being an assistant helps filling this gap. Both are great teachers and I try to absorb everything I admire in them at each rehearsal and working occasion.
The assistant’s labour although unknown is quite important especially for lyrical productions. Musical conductors have a great responsibility and many things to be aware of. Assistants are their right hand as well as their ears on the outside, taking charge of rehearsals when they are absent for whatever the reason.
– How was the job transition when deciding to work professionally as a conductor and what changed in your life?
It’s been three years since I changed course and it was a revelation. Circumstances helped me making a difficult decision, because it was a complete change in life. I quit my job as a teacher to fully devote myself to conducting with all that it entails: move on from a fixed schedule and income to becoming your own boss, setting your own schedules and facing your own challenges. It makes me shiver sometimes but I have to admit I am very happy to be living this adventure.
«It was a complete change in life: going from a fixed schedule and income to being your own boss, setting your schedules and facing your own challenges»
«Sometimes it makes me shiver but I have to admit I am very happy to be living this adventure»
– What are the usually decisive issues for being chosen as an ensemble conductor?
It involves a sum of factors but there is one I consider essential: becoming what the group needs. Each orchestra has its artistic project, its idiosyncrasy and its own essence. There are many of us conductors and each one of us has a personality of her own, a way of doing things, a leadership style and values. For the conductor and the ensemble to match up with each other is crucial.
«Conductor and ensemble matching up with each other is crucial»
– You have been principal conductor of Madrid Sinfónica Orchestra, and you also conducted Bilbao Sinfonikoa Orkestra, National Youth Orchestra of Spain (JONDE), Varna Philarmonic Orchestra or Barbieri Symphony Orchestra. How did you face these challenges?
Each new goal helps me to accumulate experience and that is extremely valuable in our profession, since we do not have an orchestra with which to practice at home. I get involved to the fullest In each project, I study the score, I schedule rehearsals and during them I try to make the best of the musicians. When working time ends I make an analysis of my performance, a self-assessment that helps me facing next ones resourcefully, knowing myself better and knowing music better.
«Each new goal makes me accumulate experience and that is extremely valuable in our profession, since we do not have an orchestra with which to practice at home»
– You Conducted in such emblematic places as Teatro Real, Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid’s National Auditorium, Monumental Theater of Madrid, Victoria Eugenia Theater in San Sebastián or Calderón Theater in Valladolid, which one is most special for you?
Music is revered in all of them and a great responsibility is felt when conducting. My first time in Monumental Theater was very emotional, for during my adolescence I attended regularly to Radio Televisión Española Orchestra’s concerts enjoying the discovery of symphonic repertoire and fancied myself stepping up on that stage. La Zarzuela in Madrid is also a theater I have a special bond to and conducting there is wonderful.
– Orchestral conducting was a profession traditionally occupied by men. What transformation is taking place and how are orchestras adapting to these changes?
Socially it is been a great evolution and there is much more awareness, it has become clearer than ever a girl can become whatever she wants to: airplane pilot, elite athlete, orchestra conductor… professional orchestras reflect this and are starting to include us in their programming and– although slowly– offering us appointments. A musical world with greater diversity, more approaches and different ways of interpreting enriches the profession and helps its progress. From that point of view, we have much to offer and we are eager to show it. We have come to stay.
«Women orchestral conductors have a lot to offer and are eager to show it»
– What impression do you want to create in the audience with your work with the orchestra ?
Capturing the essence of the piece and transmitting it is one of our raisons d’etre. If we manage to connect with the audience and get them into the music, experiencing emotions with the same intensity we ourselves live them on stage, we will have achieved our purpose.
– How much time do you have for preparing each concert?
A symphonic concert is worked on for a week with the orchestra, a lyrical production usually around three weeks or a month … But behind those intense days of rehearsals lie months of preparation.
«Behind those intense days of orchestra rehearsals there are months of preparation»
– How do you feel at the moment of conducting?
I feel connected to music, focused. It is a moment of delivery in which emotions and lots of energy move. When I finish I have a feeling of fulfillment that is difficult to describe. These are moments that make up for all the hard part of this profession.
– You are also founder and conductor of the Sinan Kay Choir, a project you have been involved with in a very personal way. What are your functions into it and what does this project represent for you?
Working with children and young people fascinates me and Sinan Kay, a choral project that was born to make room on stage for the little ones is an instance for growth for me and the kids. My work at the front is artistic and didactic. Apart from making music together, we work on fundamental skills and values for education in any field of life. Children are the future and we can achieve incredible things through music. The connection we have is very strong.
«We can achieve incredible things through music»
– In what way would you like to see your work in the future and what ensembles would you like to conduct?
I would like to see my work transcending and becoming more accurate and deeper with the passage of time. Ensembles to conduct? Now I am focused on my next challenge –conducting Oviedo Filarmonía in February; also I would like to continue developing my artistic career in Spain and promote it in other countries. I want to enjoy every step of my career.
«I want to enjoy every step in my career»
– How do you see the world of Classical Music?
Culture in general and classical music in particular are sources of inspiration for human beings enhancing our creativity and critical sense and moving emotions.
In our case we are finding new ways to become more present in society –although I believe we still have to take giant steps in bringing classical music within everyone’s reach.
– How is your free time?
Free time? There is not much … (laughs). I like to spend it with my family, couple and friends, among culture: theater, cinema … not forgetting reading –which I would like to spend more time at. Nature and gastronomy are also essential. Plus something I’ve been doing for two years now, dance lessons.
– A wish you would like to come true
Let us raise our eyes more from screens. Enjoy the company of others, of valuable things life is offering us. And of course let’s put culture and music in it.
«Let us raise our eyes more from screens. Enjoy the company of others, of valuable things life is offering us. And of course let’s put culture and music into it»