The Spanish National Orchestra trumpeters start their own quintet: brassONEquintet

2018-12-12

The trumpeters are Adán Delgado (principal) and Juan Antonio Martínez (assistant principal), and they have started their own quintet with other brass members of the orchestra. As part of the “Satellite Series” of concerts, on Dec 16, 2018, the quintet will be giving their first concert in the National Auditorium in Spain, and because of this we wanted to interview them.

Adán Delgado (Guía de Isora, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1981) and Juan Antonio Martínez (La Roda, Albacete, 1986) are, respectively, principal and assistant principal of the Spanish National Orchestra. They are two Spanish trumpeters, despite their youth, have a brilliant career. Adán (a Stomvi artist), has already occupied the position of soloist of the Balearic Symphony Orchestra (Spain), and was a member of the Valencian Community Orchestra (Spain), and won first prizes in the Xeno Yamaha Competition (Spain, 2004) and at the Benidorm International Music Festival (Spain, 2008). Juan Antonio has previously been principal with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège (Belgium), won the second prize at the last Théo Charlier International Trumpet Competition (Belgium, 2015) and has just been selected for a trial period as principal with the BBC Symphony of London (United Kingdom).

Despite being two trumpeters with a great orchestral trajectory, their love for chamber music has led them to create a brass quintet with other members of the orchestra: brassONEquintet (a name that includes the acronym of the Spanish National Orchestra: ONE), and will give their first official presentation next Sunday, December 16, 2018, as part of the Satellites Series of concerts, that takes place in the National Auditorium of Spain.

For this reason, we wanted to meet with them and interview them in this same auditorium, to see what they could tell us about this new quintet.

“Our trombonis, Juan Carlos Matamoros, was already in a quintet, and he really wanted to set up a more stable ensemble with members of the orchestra," says Adán. "We had a horn and, when the new tubist one came in the orchestra, José Martínez — who had an amazing audition — we only needed the another trumpeter. We were looking for a trumpet with the necessary profile for everything that involves a chamber group. At that same moment, Juan Antonio won his position in the orchestra — also with a spectacular audition — so I raised the idea of a brass quintet before he even joined the orchestra, and he said yes.”

With all that Adán is telling us, it is very interesting that they were looking for a trumpeter with the right profile, because personnel management is something that is often not taken into account in chamber groups. "In a quintet, it is very difficult to get all the necessary conditions for all to work well: it takes five musicians who play at a high level and in a similar way, but above all, it is necessary that there are no colleagues with complicated personalities,” he continues explaining. “There are things that can not be solved by more rehearsals, especially in regards to personal interaction, which is fundamental (so that no problems/frictions arise); So when you have colleagues with whom you connect, and everyone has a great musical level, things are twice as easy,” he adds.

It takes five musicians who play at a high level and in a similar way, but above all, it is necessary that there are no colleagues with complicated personalities.

So, it seems that we have good atmosphere with this new quintet — which in fact was the first test for the horn position, as the regular horn was not genuinely interested in the project and the current horn player, Pedro Jorge García, despite belonging to another Madrid orchestra (principal horn of the Madrid Community Symphony), had no issues with belonging to a quintet with the ONE acronym. "It's something that Pedro doesn’t mind," Juan Antonio adds.

Juanan himself (as they kindly call him) continued to talk about the responsibility of their first concert entails for them, which is celebrated within a cycle of concerts organized by the National Orchestra itself in their Auditorium. "It's a complex repertoire," he confirms. And he goes on to tell us about the program: "We will open with the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Händel (arrangement by Joshua Hauser), and we will go through different arrangements and original pieces for brass quintet, such as Bach's Toccata and Fugue (arrangement of Fred Mills), The Five Musketeers by Juanjo Colomer, which is a very powerful work that takes everything to the limit, Mini Overture by Lutoslawski, which is also an extreme piece, several movements of Albéniz’s Spanish Suite (with a very colorful arrangement by Carlos Benetó)…

Without a doubt, these five musicians are taking on a tall order. However, they are very cautious when they talk about their new chamber project: “The idea of ​​brassONEquintet is not to take too many jobs, but to play the ones we do take at a high level,” says Adán. "We are doing all of this for pleasure, we are not looking for any personal goals with the quintet, on the contrary. Not only are the five of us are very active performing in the orchestra, but we also plays recitals, or teach. The quintet is a complement to what we do and we do it because we feel like it. And when something is done for pleasure, and the personalities of the group coincide, the general feeling is we need half the time for the results to be ten times better.”

“We are aware that the quintet is not our priority. Our priority is with the orchestra. We are very fortunate to belong to the Spanish National Orchestra, and we can also say that this quintet has been formed thanks to the orchestra itself," Juanan highlights. "But at the same time, we are responsible for the commitments we make as a group. The five of us have a passion for the quintet, and that passion means that if we cannot commit ourselves one hundred percent to a performance within our time frame, we will not do it. Our intention with brassONEquintet is not to make money by taking whatever comes our way, but to feel comfortable with each commitment we have and enjoy each rehearsal and each concert we give. That is the principle that we all clearly have," he ends, while Adán nods his head.

We are very fortunate to belong to the Spanish National Orchestra.

At this moment, Adán tells us what great opportunities have come to the quintet, thanks to their contacts, "but one of the us could not attend and the rest of us have been responsible enough to reject the offer. And we have not had any problems. Everything can be spoken about within our group. So check out the good vibes we have!" he exclaims.

Even so, the brassONEquintet has already confirmed three events in the near future (apart from the premiere concert on Sunday). “In 2019 we will attend the ECB Brass Festival (Belgium). It will be great, because they will also have Matthias Höfs, Sarah Willis, Franck Pulcini…" Adán details us, to which Juanan adds: "I myself am organizing a festival in La Roda for the month of July, in which we will share the stage with a Belgian trombone quartet." And, once again, they insist: “We want to have freedom, to do quality projects, be very select, and not have any stress.”

We left the Auditorium to go to a nearby bar and have a drink, and already in a relaxed atmosphere, these young musicians begin to speak in a more relaxed way: "Although we want take this quintet in a very natural way, we always perform at the highest level and we are aware that our product is very good. We are not hypocrites. We work hard and we give our best effort. Although, we avoid comparisons and we are not pretentious. We have a lot of respect for all the great brass chamber musicians, whom we admire greatly: Philip Jones, Canadian Brass, Empire Brass and of course Spanish Brass… We would like to pay homage to all those groups that have dedicated their lives to this type of music, and have charted the way forward.”

+info

brassONEquintet
Brass Delicatessen

National Music Auditorium
146 Príncipe de Vergara St. (Madrid, Spain)
December 16, 2018, 7:30 pm.

Trumpeters related to this news

Adán Delgado
Principal Trumpet at Spanish National Orchestra. Professor of Trumpet at Katarina Gurska Advanced Center for Music Education of Madrid (Spain)

» Adán Delgado in the Encyclopedia of Trumpet Players

Juan Antonio Martínez
Assistant Principal Trumpet at Spanish National Orchestra (Spain)

» Juan Antonio Martínez in the Encyclopedia of Trumpet Players