Santiago Vega

Pianist and composer

Uruguay

Author

About

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1993. Since he was a child he expressed interest in the arts, particularly literature, painting and music.

He started playing the piano at the age of eleven, self-taught, at the same time he began to compose small pieces and short melodies.

At the age of fifteen he began to receive formal musical instruction from professor Miguel Llovet, while still composing. In 2012 he began to publish his compositions on Musescore.com (https://musescore.com/vega), a platform through which he was contacted by Carlos Marquez, a brilliant Spanish pianist (https://soundcloud.com/cmdigital), with whom he released two albums of his compositions (with Carlos as interpreter) the first in 2016, and the second, recently, in March 2020.

Since 2018 he is studyng at the University School of Music (Escuela Universitaria de Música), the Bachelor of Musical Interpretation on Piano, under the tutelage of teachers like Fabiana Galante, Mayra Hernández, Pablo Rilla and Javier Toledo, with a perspective to complete the Bachelor of Composition also.

His favorite composers, and those who have influenced him the most, are: Chopin, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Debussy and Ravel.

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music for me is, first, an intimate need; need to listen to it, to make it, to play it. It is a means of expression, perhaps the most powerful that exists, because it has the capacity to penetrate to the depths of individuals. It is also a discipline to focus on, a set of skills to develop, and an enormous and changeable field of knowledge. It is a door to a huge world, individual and collective at the same time.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Music has fantasy, but it's not all about fantasy. It is an attribute that, having it in mind, can serve as inspiration, but there are other things that can drive it, equally valid. There is a mystery component to what music does to us, perhaps that's where it connects most with that fantastic aspect.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

I like creativity, and luckily there are many careers that allow to be creative. My first choice would be to be a writer (I love literature), but I also really like science, technology, and the world of invention, so I might as well do that.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

I am not worried, but it is sad to see that wonderful works of art are being ignored and maybe will be totally forgotten in the future. I believe that something essential from each era is transmitted to the next, in a continuous evolution of culture. It is inevitable, although as individuals belonging to a certain time and environment we may not like that.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I would like the role of music to work more than ever as a unifier between people: between teacher and student, between composer, performer and listener, and between different cultures, and that each place of this exchanges are benefited through that process. The role of music has undergone various transformations throughout history, up to its place in the world today. Although all the different societies had a presence of music in their cultures, the massification and globalization make it possible to do an entertainment business of it, within which music has a place. However, cultured music, deep and worthy music, will always find a place outside of the merely commercial field, or at least I hope so.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Speaking of the role of the composer, he needs to be as much as the composers of the past have been. The thing is that having so much music already created can make current composers feel that they have less freedom, but on the other hand, they also have more possibilities of “how to do“ music now than ever. Music is always advancing and evolving, almost for his own free will. In my process creativity is crucial, if I don't feel the creative impulse it is rare that I compose, that I write a piece just for the exercise of doing it. Although this may be valuable as a practice to grow as a composer, when composing music that you like yourself in the first place, it is imperative to feel that creativity is what drives you to do it.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

Of course. The taste for anything can only exist if there is a given thing: exposure. So what we have to find are the means to expose the younger generations to this type of music. Luckily, the internet and social media can do this for us, and this is how I would do it.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

It usually starts in one of two ways: a) a melody (or the intuition of a melody) appears in my head, so I go to the piano and try to find the most appropriate notes to materialize that notion, b) improvising on the piano, I find something that I like, and exploring it, sometimes, I find a piece. Sometimes an image is inspirational, and other times, for example, the idea of telling a story with music. Either way, when you find it, it feels wonderful, I think there's something akin to the feeling of making a discovery. My favorite piece is a Fantasia, which I have not finished yet. However, of the pieces that I have published, it would be the Musical Moment Op. 45 No. 2 (https://musescore.com/vega/momentmusicaux). I started it on the piano, first with the melody, and then I continued to improvise on it, luckily, quite fluently.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Yes, listen to the great composers, read about their lives, understand what kind of people they were and what their time was like. Also, as a habit, listen to a little of this style of music every day.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

No, not at all, and in fact, it seems to me that this should never be done. First you have to create something that you like yourself, if others like it, better, but it should not be an imperative.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I have many pieces to finish: a sonata, a great fantasy, studies, set of pieces, etc., that could be in a future album. Also, I want to start making more pieces for small ensembles, as well as incorporating aspects of my country, Uruguay, into my compositions. I am currently trying to experiment with other genres, scenic music for example.