Jesus Contreras Espada

Jesus Contreras Espada is from Birr, Switzerland.


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News from Switzerland (vol. II)

Published: May. 28, 2007 at 6:44 PM
Hi all,

I'm still getting to know this fascinating country. I've found a violin teacher and I really like the way he understands and explains music, I like his method. I hope I'll be able to practice more in the future.

Not long ago I brought my things from Austria. Now my 30m2 flat looks like a storage room, since there was already furniture in it. Anyway I managed to leave some free space to reach my bed, the kitchen and there's of course a small playing area. I move in july and then I'll have more space and an internet connection.

I started playing Bach's largo, from the BWV1005 in C. And I really have to struggle to play those double, triple, quadruple stops. Sounds terrible, but I see I'm improving.
I entered the Musikverein Lenzburg. They have quite a nice Home-Site, don't they?
(unfortunatelly only in german). We have the next concert in july, so I have to practice a lot. Haydn's Symphony 97, a marimba concert from Ney Rosauro and a J.Ch. Bach's Ouverture.

I also joined a running club here (well.., almost joined), and there's an oral agreement to run Munich marathon in october and Vienna in may 2008. Let's see how it runs :)

Best regards to everybody!

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May. 4, 2007 at 1:13 PM

Hi all,

things have changed, now I'm in Switzerland! New land, new job, new friends... new violin teacher, of course, and new orchestra.
2 Weeks ago I was refused in one of the local orchestras. I was nervous and didn't play well. I felt really bad about that, but it was only a day or two. On the other hand I was accepted in Lenzburg orchestra and I found an appartment in Aarau (the canton's capital and old swiss capital city, really nice place!), I'll move there end of june. Last weekend including monday and tuesday I went back to Austria to pick up my stuff. Now I live in a furnitured 30m2 app. with all my personal furniture, books, washing maschine, winter tires etc. etc. etc. lying on the floor.

I don't really feel like playing or practicing these days, but I know I have to. Rehearsals start in 2 weeks and I hope I get my motivation back. Maybe it's because of this stupid cold I have or because the moving was too exhausting...

Here are some pictures from Zürich and the swiss alps, hope you like them.

I can't spend too much time writting entries or emails in the company. Hopefully I'll get the conexion as soon as I move into the new flat.

Best Regards!

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about leaving and skiing...

Published: Mar. 12, 2007 at 3:53 PM
I am leaving Austria, just as I wanted. And I'm moving to an awesome city where I got a cool job (i'll work as cooling and ventilation engineer, so it's a cool job) in a great company.

The cello teacher in the music school has a sister who plays as concert master in the local orchestra in Birr, exactly the village where the company is located, isn't this luck? I hope I'll get the chance to play with them. Anyway I'll keep rehearsing with my current orchestra even though I won't be here for the concerts. I'm sad about that. I'll miss them, specially the conductor. He always tells me about how grateful they all are about the web-page I did for the orchestra (, and I find it's such a plain, artless, simple job...

Skiing is fun but yesterday I was on the lift and I couldn't stop thinking about getting home and taking the violin for a 2 hour practice. For the first time in my life I had an accident with an old austrian man, he got quite mad but it was nothing serious. When I arrived home I was so exhausted that I couldn't practice more than 45 minutes. After taking a shower, having dinner and the short practice I went to bed, and it was just 20:00. Here are some pictures, so you can enjoy a bit of alpine beauty:

Here you have the whole collection, and you can see them bigger if you want:

Fortunately I won't miss the Alps, since they have plenty of them in Switzerland too. I've been thinking about Parmeeta's comment to my last entry. The Pyrenees are not far from Bilbao, isn't there a place to ski somewhere close to where you are?

Now that I'm leaving there's a lot of work for me in the company. Usually it's only after 18 or 18:30 that I can drive to the music school for practice. I prefer doing it there because my neighbours have babies and complain. Last thursday the concierge forgot me and left closing every door. I was locked inside and there was nobody in the building... it wasn't so late, just 19:45!!
Here is a picture of the inner courtyard.
I didn't want to bother my teacher, who leaves in Klagenfurt, 40 min. away, so I left the window open and used the roof drain to get to the inner garden (from the first floor!). After that, there was only a low fence. I was only afraid of falling because I had my violin on my back, but everything went fine.

Now it's back to work. Nice evening in Europe, good morning to all the rest, I guess... I'd love to share with you the Largo from Bach's C-major sonata that I'm listening now, but maybe Deutsche Grammophon would complain, and I'm not able to play it like N. Milstein yet. :(

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I'm back, and I'm leaving

Published: Mar. 8, 2007 at 9:41 PM
My last entry is from October!!!

Sorry for the interruption. I have been pretty busy looking for a job, finishing my thesis and finding time to practice with my violin. I must recognice my practice has not been like at the beginning, when I arrived to Villach, or maybe I'm just tired.
The music school director doesn't count on me for the orchestra any more. Anyway I already quit in the school as well as in the company. From April 1st on I'll be working in Zurich.
I try not to be too sincere with my friends here but I can't help it, I can't wait any longer to be out of Villach. I think I even know what I'm going to do on Sunday 1st, there's "Le nozze di Figaro" in the Opera in Zurich, let's see if I can reserve one ticket...

Actually I sent the thesis to Darmstadt for correction. In the mean time I enjoyed austria's main industry. If you think Austria is the land of Music (as I did before coming here) you're absolutelly wrong, Austria is the land of Ski!

I will tell about Switzerland as soon as I'm there. Now I have to go to bed. Have fun!

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Oct. 14, 2006 at 12:06 PM

Hi, I haven't post anything for one month, I haven't read much either. I've missed you.
The last weeks have been really intense, including one week at home (Cartagena), a couple of visitors and tones of work at the office.

Today there's a concert in Friesach. In the site looks nice but we'll arrive at 17, we'll play till we're exhausted, we'll have a break so that our fingers will freeze, then we'll play our concert, afterwards we'll have a drink with the organizers and local people and then the bus will bring us back to Villach.
In the music school I started playing Mozart's quartet number 2. I took the first violin and I don't know if it was a good idea. It's very hard to play, but very beautiful too :). Wednesday I meet the cello player to practice it, I already practiced with the second violin. I'll try to get a photo of the ensemble and post it in my next entry.

Next week I'll attend a concert in Krefeld.I don't really know which orchestra is playing but my former teacher's husband plays contrabass and she'll also be there. They play works by Chopin, Lutoslawski, Weill and Szpilman. I'm really excited about it, actually I'm excited about the whole trip, I'm always happy when I'm back in Germany.
I was thinking of inviting Bram to the concert, but Krefeld is quite far from Waddinxveen (though very close to the netherlands).

Best wishes!

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summer report

Published: Sep. 14, 2006 at 7:45 AM

I'm really sorry for the long absence. I was trying to find out what to do during the summer. Two weeks in Frankfurt and a weekend in Romania (last weekend) is everything I enjoyed this summer. Regarding the violin ...I don't like practicing in Summer, it's too hot, I can't play late because I disturb the neighbours etc. etc...

During my last German visit I was in the United States! well, actually, it was the american military base in Hanau, but I was so excited about going shopping there with Curtis (we couldn't enter the base without him, he works for the army as computer scientist) and Erich. Most of the people there don't speak german and you can't pay with euros almost anywhere.
The following weekend my friends came to visit me here in Villach and I took them to Ljubljana and Venice. Curtis is on the right, Erich on the left, YanHong (from China) and the twins (from New Hampshire) in the center. It was an unforgettable weekend :)

In September I made an interesting new friend, Sumimori, a japanese colleage who is spending some months in the Austrian company. He plays the violin and likes specially Mozart and Bach. I got the 2nd, 3, 4, 5 and 6th Mozart string quartets from him, and I must say I'm having a lot of fun with them. I started with the 2nd (violin I) and it's beautiful. Maybe I'll have a chance to play it with some other students at the music school now that the course has started again.

Well, next week it'll be Autumn and I'm terribly happy about it. I wish all of you a great last summer week and a lot of practice!

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credit cards and competitions!

Published: Jul. 2, 2006 at 12:58 PM
Ach! I love my credit card! I never use it, but I feel so confident when I go shopping with it.
I also love tennis, which is actually a very popular sport in Spain. My family was always very found of it. I remember playing with my father at the age of 6, but he didn't always have time for me so I enjoyed the few moments as if I had won a lottery prize.
I never liked classes because "the others" were always older than me, ...and surely jealous, that's why I didn't get along well with them.
As I arrived to Austria they told me there was a tennis tournament, so I joined the company's team imediately. I spent the whole winter asking the other members if they would play with me but nobody had time, they where ill, they had stopped playing... now the tournament has started and they ask me to play. The violin is usually the first excuse but I try to invent new ones: I have toothache, my dog is pregnant, etc. etc. etc...

Finally the half marathon took place yesterday. Now it's over I can say RUNNING IS GREAT!. You have to try it! 1h30'40 is not that bad, specially considering the high slopes all along the track. It was hard, but I managed to be 33 out of 140. 7th in my category. Next one will be at the end of August and then Leipzig Marathon in September 3rd. :D
Here you have the web-site
There are some nice photos!

Sorry for the low violin-related content of the entry but today I'm too tired for practice. Tomorrow i'll get back to Bach's double concerto.

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Jun. 29, 2006 at 1:55 PM

dear all,

this is the 3rd entry I start in the last couple of days, ...hope this one will see the light.

There have been more lows than highs these days. I have practiced a lot but neglected my training, my work, my good humour...

The concerts are over now. Last week there were three performances of "Dreamland" with the music school orchestra and some very good singers and dancers. It was a modern opera composed by the school director which deals with the problems of the carinthian people who emigrated to the states at the begining of the XX century. It was funny and the music was nice.

Now there's practice (bach's concerto for 2 violins D-minor among many other things), class with Iris every wednesday and half marathon on saturday. I guess it will be my worst time ever, since I feel so week and unmotivated these days... Keep fingers crossed :-)

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a myth passed away

Published: Jun. 12, 2006 at 3:26 PM
Last modified: Jun. 13, 2006 at 1:20 AM

György Ligeti has died today in Vienna

Comments (4) | Archive link

Radu Lupu

Published: May. 23, 2006 at 5:44 AM
hi all,

I feel sorry for hanging the wrong picture in my last entry. There are many others where I look much worse (i.e. much more like I really am). Now some of you have the wrong impression that I'm a good looking guy and that's not true (except maybe for my mother and my grandmother, or maybe they just try to be nice...)

Friday I was in Slovenia again and this time I wasn't alone. I travelled with a colleague who started learning piano together with her daughter two years ago, Pierre, a french student who plays the violin since he was 6, and Claire who sits with me in the second violin at the chamber orchestra. The trip was more exciting than it should had been because Claire forgot her documents at home, fortunately they only checked my identity card, otherwise we'd have missed the concert.
Those who are a little bit familiar with piano music might have heard of Radu Lupu. For me he is one of the greatest. While living in Germany I got his recording for Decca of Brahms Rhapsodies op. 79, op. 117, 118 and 119 and I find his playing absolutely amazing. Live it's even better! He played Schumann's forest scenes and humoresque, Schubert's sonata D960 and 2 more pieces that I couldn't recognize (sounded like Beethoven and Chopin to me...). I thought this music could only sound that perfect when coming from a studio recording with Brendel, Horowitz or Rubinstein, but I was wrong.

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