Friday, September 11, 8pm – Centro Cultural EspaÃ±ol (CCE Miami), 1490 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
The JoaquÃn AchÃºcarro FoundationÂ presentedÂ Cuban native and Legacy Pianist Dario Martin at the Centro Cultural EspaÃ±ol (CCE) in Miami. The evening marked theÂ begin of the â€œA Salute to My Native Cuba and OurÂ Spanish Rootsâ€ tour this fall,Â celebrating the pianistâ€™s unique style and musical repertoire that references his cultural roots.Â The first half of the performance included Cuban selections, while the second half referenced Spainâ€™s musical influences.
With this series, the JoaquÃn AchÃºcarro Foundation celebrates the shared cultural heritage of Spain, Cuba, and the United States. This is a particularly timelyÂ opportunity, given the newly defined relationship between Cuba and the United States. The tour will continue in San Antonio at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) on October 16 and conclude in Dallas at the Latino Cultural Center on October 29.
(The interview was originally in Spanish- translated to English by Agustina Pais)
Looking professional and anxious wearing all black, DarÃo meets me at the entrance with a warm smile. In a strong Cuban accent he says, “You’re Agustina, right?” I nod and introduce myself. Before anything, I comment on how incredibly skinny he is! He laughs and says, “Everyone tells me the same thing!”.
This Cuban native has won first prizes in many national and international piano competitions in Cuba, Costa Rica, Mexico and the U.S. MartÃn has given solo and chamber music recitals in Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, England, Germany and the U.S. On top of it all, he has also played as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, Havana Chamber Orchestra and Yucatan Symphony Orchestra, among others. Basically, at the young age of 27, DarÃo has been everywhere and done mostly everything in the music world! I meet with him to find out what’s next on his agenda.
You are pursuing a Performer’s Diploma in Dallas,Texas at South Methodist University. Is there any particular reason you chose to pursue your diploma at this university?
No, no particular reason. I was interested in the program and I got a scholarship. This is a great university to study the arts. Also, I love Texas.
Â Who are your favorite artists and pianists?
This is a difficult question to answer. There are thousands of pianists that fascinate me! I can’t pick one. If I had to pick anyone that has given me an incentive to keep studying it would be my professor, JoaquÃn AchÃºcarro. He has an incredible story in the music world and right now he is performing in Europe. He is over 75 and he is so active. He’s performed all over the world and he also teaches classes at Southern Methodist University (SMU). On top of that he exercises and swims daily. He does not appear his age and he is an amazing artist.
AÂ part from music recitals in Latin American countries, you also gave solo and chamber music recitals in Europe: Germany and England, for example. How was the experience different to those in Latin America? Was there a big difference in audience?
The biggest pressure is when I perform in Cuba. I feel like when you are a native Cuban, their expectations are much higher. They expect you, as a native living abroad, to come back and perform better than anyone else. Their expectations are too high. Every Summer I go back to Cuba and perform and they expect you to be a genius.
Similar to my previous question, you’ve performed in several different countries. What has been your favorite place to perform? Where have you felt the most welcome?
It’s hard to say. They are all so different. Germany has had the best audience response, surprisingly! You’d think the opposite, right? I performed in Germany about four years ago and I played all Cuban music. It was great.
Where would you like to spend some time or settle down after graduation?
Barcelona, Spain definitely. I would love to live there. It is a very artistic place, even more than Miami- for music, the arts and culture. I’ve never performed there. I’ve just gone as a tourist and I’ve had the time of my life.Oh, I forgot to mention! I have Spanish citizenship. My grandparents are Spaniards and I have family in Spain. Perhaps this is why I enjoy Spain and Barcelona so much.
How do you feel about Miami? Do you enjoy the feel here?
I like Miami. Every time I come here I feel like I’m in Cuba. A richer Cuba.
Born in Havana and also having gotten your Bachelor of Music in Havana, do you have any plans to return to your home country after you complete your Performer’s Diploma?
I graduate in 2 years. After that, I would like to pursue a Doctorate. As for location, I have no idea. I haven’t planned that far. I would like to go to Europe.
(D. Martin, personal communication. 2015, September 11).