Josep Castanyer Alonso
Josep Castanyer Alonso. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

"I feel very lucky"

Published: 22 October 2019

Josep Castanyer Alonso studied cello at the International Orchestra Academy and has a permanent employment at the the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra since the fall of 2019.

What do you do today?

– Since a couple of days I am the newest permanent member of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, where I serve as a tutti player in the cello section. I am also the first former academist to win a permanent position in the orchestra, which is an absolute honour.

What did the orchestra academy mean for your development as a musician and what was the most valuable lesson you learned throughout the year?

– I feel very lucky to have received lessons from the principal and co-principal players of the RSPO since they helped me to discover a new way of understanding sound, articulation and timing which is both valid and helpful for solo, chamber music and orchestral playing. The cello section was very caring to me throughout the year and helped me with some few but concrete, spot-on comments on my playing.The academy time reinforced the conclusion that a good preparation is worth everything as a professional musician and leads to unparalleled results.

What was the most memorable moment throughout the year?

– Playing Gustav Mahler’s 7th Symphony under our chief conductor Sakari Oramo. Mahler’s 7th Symphony has accompanied me through many years and it was mindblowing to play it for the first time at this high level.

What did your relationship with your tutors look like?

– They took a very active involvement in my musical development. They even helped me organizing some extra “mock auditions” and took a lot of extra time talking with me about my concerns, my playing, my career...I am very grateful to them.

Have your time in the academy had any consequences for what you would like to do in the future?

– I leave my future choices very open since I know things can change very fast, but the academy boosted my interest for the symphonic repertoire and orchestral playing even more.

What would you like to tell future academists?

– Have a very humble approach to music and to your fellow academist and orchestra members and be aware that it is on the hands of the youngest generation of musicians to create nice working environments in orchestras where music, and nothing else, is at the center.