Interview with Jose Manuel Gonzalez principal oboe Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra (Spain).
It is really an honor to have had the opportunity to interview Jose Manuel Gonzalez principal oboe of the Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra and a reference for me and many people in the world of the oboe. He was my oboe teacher during my time as a student at the Liceo Conservatory of Music (Barcelona, Spain). I will always be very grateful for his dedication, patience and generosity. And for everything he taught me about oboe reeds 🙂
We hope you enjoy Jose Manuel’s interview as much as I do. Regards and good reeds!
How were your beginnings in music and with oboe? Were there more musicians in the family?
My parents loved music and decided that my sister and I would join music. In my town, Tabernes de Valldigna (Valencia), there was a very good atmosphere in the music school of the band and I met a group of very enthusiastic people and it was easy to get hooked.
When did you decide that you wanted to become a professional oboist?
Pretty soon, at 14 years old.
Which teacher has marked your career the most?
I have no doubt at all, Fermin Clemente, my first teacher. He was and is more than a teacher, a model of musician and person for many people. You only have to see the number of oboists he has created in my town. If today I am a musician it’s his fault, haha! However, I can not forget Aurelio Olivares, who encouraged me to do the tests of JONDE and Celia Nicklin and Ingo Goritzki, with whom I studied abroad and learned a lot to improve my level.
What type of oboe do you play with and why did you choose it?
With Marigaux, I think it has a very sweet sound and basically I’ve always played with it.
If you had to highlight a work from the oboe repertoire, what would it be and why?
I should highlight two: the concert in C major of Mozart and the concert of R. Strauss. The Mozart for his cheerful and jovial spirit and Strauss for its warmth and depth. Both show the best qualities of the oboe.
What did it mean for you to play in young orchestras like the Young National Orchestra of Spain (JONDE), the Young Orchestra of the European Union and Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester?
In the Young National Orchestra of Spain (JONDE) I played for three years and I was lucky to meet very good teachers, from whom I learned a lot about how to play in a group, both in chamber music and in orchestra. The EUYO and above all the Mahler were huge orchestras, they sounded incredible and that gave you an awesome feeling.
How is it working in the Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra?
Being able to work in an orchestra is a luxury, I love playing the orchestral repertoire. And if it is also an orchestra in which you feel comfortable working, even better.
With what orchestral repertoire do you identify yourself and like the most?
Beethoven and R. Strauss.
Which conductor has made the most impression on you?
Seiji Ozawa, what he transmitted and how he made the orchestra sound was amazing.
What advice would you give to oboe students?
The same ones I give myself: constancy, being active, enjoying and always having a positive attitude.
What do you like to do when you’re not with the oboe?
I like to be with family and friends, practice sports and relax!
What are your future projects?
Together with some friends we have created the Carboneras on Wind, a summer course where we give great importance to chamber music.
JOSÉ MANUEL GONZÁLEZ (oboe) Valencia, 1976.
He started his oboe studies at the age of ten, his professors in Spain were D. Fermín Clemente and D. Francisco Salanova. He continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Celia Nicklin and at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart with Ingo Goritzki. He was a member of the Young National Orchestra of Spain (JONDE), Young Orchestra of the European Union and Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. End of Degree Honor Award (1994), First Prize in the Musical Youth Competition of Spain (1997), First Prize and Special Audience Prize with the Miró Ensemble in the International Competition of the ARD of Munich (2001). Since 2001 he is Oboe Soloist of the Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he also collaborated with other orchestras such as the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, bandArt and Cadaqués Orchestra. He has worked with conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Iván Fischer, Sir Roger Norrington, Seiji Ozawa, Vladimir Ashkénazy, Carlo Maria Giulini, Sir Neville Marriner, Pierre Boulez, Mariss Jansons, Alain Lombard, etc. In 2009 he made his recording debut as a soloist for the Tritó label of the Sinfonia concertante for Winds and Orchestra by F. Danzi, under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner and the Cadaqués Orchestra.