5 Questions with Pablo Mielgo

The Symphony of the Americas’ new artistic and musical director discusses stepping into the role, his vision, and how many instruments he plays

Photo by Christian Debus

Bringing a wealth of talent and global experience to the stage is Pablo Mielgo, who has been named Symphony of the Americas’ new artistic and musical director. Hailing from Madrid, Spain, the renowned conductor and Spanish musician was chosen out of more than 100 candidates. He assumes this role following the retirement of Maestro James Brooks-Bruzzese, who led the symphony for more than 30 years and will stay on as founding artistic director emeritus. Ahead of his arrival in South Florida, we spoke with Mielgo about his experiences and vision for an internationally recognized symphony.

How many instruments can you play?

Just the piano. I am a professional pianist. There is a confusion that the conductor can play a lot of instruments; this is not true. We need to be trained in conducting. We need to know the instruments and how to play the instruments, but we don’t particularly have to know how to physically play the instruments.

Photo by Wade Caldwell Photography

What interested you in the Symphony of the Americas?

First of all, the area—I’ve known the area since 2005, and I’m convinced that there is room for the development of classical music and the relation with the community. South Florida has been growing and growing in culture and music, especially with the influence of Miami in the past 10 to 15 years. I love this. I have been following this. We want to extend all of the activities in the past to other areas of South Florida to transform this
orchestra into a leading orchestra in the area and an image of South Florida to the United States and the world. I love challenges.

What is your vision for the orchestra?

My vision is by 2030 I want to be the leading orchestra in the South Florida area. We need to grow on strategic alliances. We need to grow the administrative side, sponsorships, to be in the community, and to have more presence in Broward County, if not in the other two counties around Broward.

Photo by Wade Caldwell Photography

What do you enjoy most about conducting?

I love everything, really. I love to interact with people, so conducting is by far the best profession in classical music to interact with people because you don’t make the sound—you don’t produce the sound—but you are somehow leading the sound at the beginning and through the whole piece. This is an incredible opportunity because through your eyes and your hands, especially through your motions, you have to transmit with somebody. It’s like if we could communicate with no words, [but] just facing each other and understanding what [we] want to say.

What do you find difficult about this role?

The most difficult part is that your message is taken by the people seriously. This is the challenge you have every day you walk to the podium: that the people trust you.

As of press time, programming for the Symphony of the Americas was set to resume performances November 13. To view upcoming performances, visit the website for more information. () 

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