Juan F. Ballesteros
When I return home, I usually pass by the old Music School of the town (now remodeled) and I see myself with my green book on music theory, I recall the smells of those old classrooms as something exquisite and I wish that the children who now attend class can enjoy what I have enjoyed with this job.
At age 14, after a few years declining my preferences towards sports, I decided to follow the path of music to strengthen my decision to continue with the piano. When everyone goes with the flow, rowing upstream it comes with a price that I’m obviously proud to have paid: my freedom.
At 21, with my already finished advanced musical studies, I decided to dedicate myself to what has really become my passion: the conducting of choirs and orchestra. A twenty-something man who talks about Bach, Wagner, Schoenberg, Boulez is, to say the least, suspicious. So I experimented with other fields that have been undoubtedly useful to me but are now part of the past: I played in a rock & roll group, created a new age group (the style of fashion among pianists in the 90s) and played jazz in some clubs. All, priceless experiences.
At 28 and with a few years dedicated to directing in a professional way, I passed the competitive examinations to dedicate myself to teaching. Installed in my world as a conductor, he can find me in my element: the conducting of the orchestra and choir. Those moments where everything depends on a gesture in the air, where not only the director has the ability to act on the sound but also to create and shape emotions through them, are the most wonderful I have been able to experience. In Sweden I was able to learn and work alongside my friend and teacher Gary Graden, I specialized in choral conducting. My country – paraphrasing the film – is not a country for choirs and the breeding ground is the amateur world. A world, by the way, absolutely fascinating, where each achievement is magnified, where effort is the norm and the gift of personal relationships is more deeply entrenched.
At 35, I felt that this wasn’t the road to take and I resigned – with all the family and social opposition – to that place to dedicate myself to what my passion really indicated. I had returned from Stockholm and Varese where I was trained acquiring not only knowledge but also a way of observing life that has left a mark on me since then. So, in addition, I had to create spaces and professionalize the field of choral singing and different projects have emerged from there.
At 42, after a long experience teaching, performing and managing my own concerts, I decided that it was the right time to create my own music production company in Ibiza, a place where – against all odds – I found a niche in the market. I ignored those who said I couldn’t. I told myself that I could. And I could. That same year my son Joan was born, who is my true driving force and motivation.
So, I look forward to what awaits me when I’m 49, 56, 63, 70, 77, 84, 92, 99,…. and many more with this magical sequence of wonderful experiences that unfailingly happen to me every 7 years.