Tomorrow the 30th is the birthday of my friend and one of the most prominent Spanish composer of today, David del Puerto. This previous week has been indeed a "Del Puerto week" : our CD of his Second Symphony "Nusantara" and Violin Concerto has at last arrived in the Spanish shops ; I performed many of his piano pieces at the Spanish Residence (a historical place where Ravel, Stravinsky and others had stayed and presented their works when they were alive) last Thursday, and on Friday his ethereal, dark and deeply moving orchestral work "Variations in memory of Gonzalo de Olavide" was succesfully premiered, and repeated during the next two days. I could only go to the general rehearsal in the morning previous to the concert since I had to leave back home after lunch, but it was already excellently played by a young promising and highly talented conductor with whom we went out for lunch afterwards, Pablo Gonzalez. And he is very very nice as well, so he has a double merit ! The orchestra, by the way, was Orquesta Nacional de España who sounded brilliant under his baton, who I also heard with Beethoven's Second , to end the program.
I have known David for more than 12 years now. During those years our collaboration has given birth to many piano and chamber works, and culminated (but hopefully won't be the last !) in his masterpiece "Nusantara" for piano and orchestra. Now "Nusantara" has been hailed as "the great Spanish symphony", but I consider it as THE great Indonesian symphony as well, since it deals with many issues and even musical material from my country. It is rather ironic, isn't it, that the first symphony in history dealing with Indonesia is written by a Spanish composer ?
We both are a big fan of Death in Venice (both Thomas Mann's novel and Benjamin Britten's opera), and we took these photos during the Italian premiere of "Nusantara" in Teatro La Fenice, Venice last October 2006. That was the hotel where Mann was inspired to write his masterpiece ( it was David who told me that Tadzio was inspired by a real boy bathing at the beach right in front of the hotel) and also where Diaghliev died in one of its room. And we visited the tomb of our other idol, Igor the greatest, at the memorable Isola di San Marco. During this visit, David was inspired to write his Third Symphony, which he is writing now. Hopefully another masterpiece from the 43-year-young great composer.