Jesús NOGUERA GUILLÉN
Jesús received a grant to purchase a harpsichord.
What is your artistic background?
Today, I find myself fully in my profession, which puts me in constant and direct contact with a kind of intra-history that captivates me, an occult part of reality that is however as alive as the one told in books. I like to think that my journey began very early and outside of music: it is surely thanks to the many walks I took with my parents in Orihuela, Spain, that a certain aesthetic sensibility has blossomed. The opportunity to have been able to find myself, sometimes in front of a painting by Velázquez, sometimes in a baroque chapel or in front of a building by Alberto Campo Baeza, is something that has certainly sketched out my path. My first contact with the harpsichord was at the age of 18, during the last year of my piano studies at the municipal conservatory, during my scientific Baccalauréat, which was to lead me to study chemistry. A year and a half later (fascination being my catalyst), I was accepted into Olivier Baumont's class at the Paris Conservatoire and I left Spain. There, I obtained a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in harpsichord and bass. Then I was admitted to the Performer's Diploma program. In 2017, I was a laureate of the Milan International Harpsichord Competition. Parallel to my instrumental practice and in order to broaden my approach to music, I obtained a Bachelor's degree in musicology at La Sorbonne University, where I am currently doing a Master's degree. My interest in other art forms leads me to participate frequently in theatre, dance and film productions. I would like to highlight my collaborations with filmmaker Pierre Nativel (L'Entretien des Muses, Les Trois Mainsand Les Ombres Errantes) and the use of one of my recordings in the award-winning Canadian short film La Nouvelle Française. Wishing to explore the sound possibilities of the harpsichord, I am also interested in contemporary creation, and have recorded Alex Nante's Tres Preludios Para Demócritoand Joan Magrané Figuera's Diferencias Sobre el Canto del Caballero. Finally, exciting events such as the release of my first album, Soledad Sonora, about the Spanish Golden Century and a recital at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona will mark the coming months.
How do you see your profession today?
Thanks to the hard work of performers and producers—genuine pioneers who have rediscovered playing techniques and manufacturing methods lost during the 19th century—the harpsichord is once again an expressive instrument that touches the public (‘so far away from us’ is the famous description of it by conductor Sir Thomas Beecham). The harpsichord has shown itself capable of revealing, in a new light, an entire keyboard repertoire from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Paradoxically, this music, so far removed from our own time, has become, thanks to the ‘historically inspired’ approach (combining the use of period instruments with reflections on interpretation taken from contemporary theoretical texts on the pieces) completely topical. Similarly, the rise of this instrument is highlighted by the interest it arouses in today's composers.
How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?
I hope to still be driven by curiosity.
This interview was conducted in 2019
Photo credit: Amandine Besacier