John Tellez





John Tellez was born in Bogota, Colombia. At the age of ten, he took his first piano lessons with his uncle in law the conductor Pedro Enrique Peña Bernal.

At the age of 15 he begun harmony and classical guitar studies with his uncle and he started composing his firts compositions. At the same age he took some lessons with the pianist Cecilia Casas, professor at the Conservatorio de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia and founder of the contemporary music festival of Bogota. One year later he took lessons with the the pianist and organist Juan Carlos López Peña, professor at the Conservatorio del Tolima and the Colombian representative at the WPC (world piano conference) in novi sad (Serbia) in 2018.

In 2012 he began his studies in piano at the Conservatorio de la Universidad nacional de Colombia and in 2015 he began his studies in composition in the same institution. In the conservatory he studies composition with Mauricio Arias, Gustavo Parra, Moisès Bertran i Ventejo y Harold Vásquez Castañeda, piano with Piedad Pérez, organ with Mauricio Nasi and theory with Svetlana Skriagina De Pérez and Alena Krasútskaya.

His music has been performed in Colombia, Netherlands and Germany.



What does music mean to you personally?

The music for me is an spiritual language, for me as composer is the form of expression of my soul and a form how I can share all my life experiences.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

I don't believe that the music is all about fantasy. I believe more than the music is based on real facts that comes of our life experiences, but is true that sometimes the music is product of visions of fantasy that comes of the deep of our souls.

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

Plane Pilot

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

I'm little bit worried because I believe that we need more efforts to attract a new and young public. I believe that is a responsibility of the new composers to think in the audience and how to attract this new public.

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 believe that the role of music in this century is show the human diversity and how different ideas can coexist in peace. Never before in history have we seen so much musical variety coexisting and it is a reflection of today's society.

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

I believe that the musician today is so creative and diverse that I believe that we don´t have problems with the creativity. I believe that today we need is more heart, personally I believe that the music is heart and brain and maybe today we are thinking more in brain than in heart.

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

I think that we can attract this new public with two things:

1. Writing new music that touch their hearts, as composers we need come again to think in the public.

2. We must looking for new places to give concerts and enrich this experiences with some visual thing (lights, video, multimedia).

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

I usually works with an small idea and I work with this idea on the piano looking for the best options of musical form and orchestration. This little idea always is originate from something that has happened to me, my music is product of a reflection of my life. My favorite piece is a quartet for piano, viola, cello and clarinet and I started it with the same process that I described before but this piece is special because I wrote it in a complicated moment of my life.

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

My advice is that the young people must take advantage of new technologies and be open mind to explore new music.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Yes, I do. As composer I think that I write music to share my ideas and feelings. I seek to transmit an idea to the public and that this public can enjoy and understand my message.

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

My closest project is my final concerto in my university (Universidad Nacional de Colombia). This concert is in February and is very important for me because is my final concerto to get my university degree in composition, the concert consist in 5 preludes for piano and a concert for two pianos and string orchestra. I keep my style of composition but I´m always experiment with new things.