Angel Padilla will perform opening night (Wed. June 4) at the Lyon & Healy 150th Birthday Festival.
1 What was the moment you knew you wanted to become a harpist?
When I was 5 years old and I listened to my first harp concert. Nicanor Zabaleta playing Handel, Boieldieu, Dittersdorf, and the Debussy Dances all on the same program.
2What’s your absolute favorite piece to play on the harp and why?
It is difficult to choose one but I feel very identified with the Aranjuez Concerto. I can relate very well to the personality of the concerto and I think I can express it too. The Ginastera is also a strong Latin-American work where I feel I understand it very well.
3 Complete this sentence: If I weren’t a harpist, I’d be a ______
Diplomat, because as a child I felt very identified by the diplomatic career. I am good at dealing with situations in the best manner possible. And It was my career of choice if I was not accepted in a music college.
4 Favorite food:
As with repertoire, it is very difficult to choose. I can enjoy some tacos and also love the sophisticated gourmet food from the new generation of Spanish chefs—of course always with the company of good wine.
5 Favorite city in the world:
I have a difficult time choosing a city, but probably Rome. I like the Latin way of living. Rome has many wonderful artistic places to offer. I love all the piazzas and fountains you can find along your way, and you have fantastic food. But as I said, it is a difficult choice.
6The most important element of good harp technique is:
To have a relaxed and natural way of playing that suits your hands structure. Never force something that does not feel natural. After technique is solved, musicianship is the MOST important thing. Play with your heart and soul.
7 What was your first harp?
A Lyon & Healy Style 15. A very old one, but beautiful.
8 Name something you’ve never done in your career that’s on your bucket list:
I have always wanted to play Sones de La Giralda by Joaquin Rodrigo and have never been able to program it. Just to mention one.
9 What’s the career accomplishment that you’re most proud of?
For me, every challenge is a career accomplishment and they progress according to your life. Like when you are a student your goal is to graduate. Then you want to play as a soloist with an orchestra and have recitals. One of my great accomplishments was to be able to study with the teachers I chose. To have learned from them and have played for them is one of my satisfactions. I was able to study with some of the greatest names in the harp world, Nicanor Zabaleta, Marisa Robles, and Susann McDonald to whom I am so grateful.
10 What’s the best advice you can give an aspiring harpist?
Dedication, Patience, good attitude. Try to be a good artist not just a good harpist. That is the most difficult challenge.