Miami continues to grow and evolve on the global scene in terms of arts and cultures on all platforms. None of this would have been possible without the conductors of change that we have been blessed to have within our ranks. And on this rare occasion, the conductor of change, is none other than a conductor. Toys for Boys caught up with Maestro Eduardo Marturet to chat about his labor of love, The Miami Symphony Orchestra, and how is brilliant approach to exposing the art form to the city has created a cult following that people just can’t get enough of; and thanks to his hard work, won’t have to any time soon.
TFB You’re 28 seasons in, congratulations! Tell me about how The Miami Symphony Orchestra got started.
EM MISO was founded by Cuban conductor Manuel Ochoa in 1989. He was a true visionary who believed in the need for Miami to have its own home town symphony. In 2006 maestro Ochoa asked me to join the orchestra to continue his legacy.
TFB Supporters of MISO really boast about what you’ve done to personally catapult the programming even going as far as self-funding; that’s a really selfless act in the name of cultural development, tell me about how you hope to see it evolve?
EM My vision for the future of the Miami Symphony is for the next 50 years, way beyond my tenure. My most important contribution to Miami will be to ensure that MISO is capable of becoming self sustained artistically and financially. The latter is no doubt a much more complicated issue in a community which is still getting used to assume their responsibility in supporting the arts.
TFB I know you have programs in place in schools; what’s the goal in inspiring young students?
EM The young students are the future of the orchestra, both on the stage and particularly so in the audience
TFB How do you select the 80 musicians that participate in The Miami Symphony Orchestra?
EM They come from all over the world with the enthusiasm to be part of Miami as a great city and MISO as the perfect organization where they will be able to find the opportunity to grow and develop to great musicians. They reach out to us to do an audition, the standard is very high.
TFB Aside from the programs in major performing art centers such as the Adrienne Arsht or Wertheim, you also have some less formal performances that include outdoor picnic performances and the like. Do you think that these, perhaps more approachable performances make the symphony seem more accessible to some who are just starting to explore these kinds of experiences? What was the aim in creating these platforms?
EM We created a concept called Music In Unexpected Spaces with the aim of reaching out to an audience which normally would not be used to attend a concert venue. We have performed at MIA, Aventura Mall, The Venetian Pool, Palm Court at the Miami Design District with great success.
Instead of waiting for them to come to the symphony, the symphony goes to them. When they hear the symphony in an unexpected space they immediately get engaged and soon become part of our natural concert hall audience.
TFB You have several fundraising events throughout the year including one main brunch that’s always very well attended and some other cocktail parties and dinners punctuating the season. Some of these are in collaboration with other art forms such as fashion. Talk to me about the importance of cross promoting the arts and how working with brands might open new audiences for MISO.
EM As I was saying earlier the need to have a solid sponsorship support is vital for the future of the arts in our community. As a result cross promotion is becoming a very important part in the equation. The same happens with the incorporation of brands which definitely are a great vehicle to attract new audiences.
TFB Your illustrious career calls for you to be present in many other locations than just Miami. In fact you actively guest conduct in Europe. What does the copious amount of travel do for your growth as a person and as a Music Director and Conductor?
EM You named it! Traveling is indeed very copious but very much needed in order to be able to accept invitations from orchestras all over the world. This is no doubt challenging but also very enriching and keeps me connected to great music and great artists.
TFB Tell us about your work as a Steinway Artist and your discography.
EM I had the honor of becoming a Steinway Artist in 2014. I have an excellent relationship with the firm and have always had great admiration for their high artistic standards which mean building the best piano in the world.
TFB You’re from Venezuela and actively work with children in the country through the National Youth Orchestra as well as in aid of the poor. Tell me about your dreams for the youth of your country given it’s delicate state.
EM You are now touching a very sour point. The orchestral infrastructure that we managed to create in Venezuela has not an earlier reference in history, it is really unique. Unfortunately the present financial resources of our impoverished state are not near enough to keep with the necessary support our young musicians need.
TFB The flag of the United States was flown over the U.S. Capitol in your honor and you were awarded the Medal of Merit of the U.S. Congress for outstanding and invaluable service to the community. That’s a huge honor. Did you ever imagine that your love of music and mastery of the subject would lead to such recognition?
EM It came to me as a big surprised. I was deeply honored and very much aware that it came to my also in recognition of Venezuela.
TFB You’ve also won a Latin Grammy, another major accomplishment most musical artists only dream of, what’s next on your dream list of accomplishments?
EM To see MISO as the home town orchestra that everybody loves and supports.
TFB How can Miami locals get involved with MISO to aid in the cultural development of this Magic City?
EM Thank you for asking. They just have to come to one of our concerts to fall in love!