Mexican wins classical music award in NY

Eréndira Yaretzi Morales Flores won the first place of the international competition Golden Classical Music Awards in the category of Strings

Young Mexican harpist wins international classical music award in NY
The Golden Classical Music Awards is a music competition open to all the world and ages - Photo: Taken from Centro Cultural Ollin Yoliztli's Twitter account
English 07/02/2020 16:32 Notimex Mexico City Actualizada 14:09

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Mexican harpist Eréndira Yaretzi Morales Flores won the first place of the international competition Golden Classical Music Awards in the category of Strings from 13 to 15 years old celebrated in New York.

Hence, the young musician from the State of Mexico will present as a soloist the prize-giving concert of the fourth edition of the competition to take place on March 9 and 10 at the Weill Recital Hall of the renowned Carnegie Hall in New York.

The Golden Classical Music Awards is a music competition open to all the world and ages in the categories of strings, piano, wind, and voice and its objective is to discover outstanding artists and grant prizes that can help promote international careers.

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Eréndira’s participation in the international competition was through the recording of a video of her playing a piece by Maurice Ravel, which was sent to New York and was evaluated by an international jury that assessed the work of youths between 13 and 15 years olf from countries like Poland, Canada, China, the UK, the U.S., Spain, Australia, Romania, Hong Kong, Italy, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

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Eréndira Yaretzi Morales studies at the Music and Dance Initiation School (EIMD) of the Ollin Yoliztli Cultural Center where she takes harp classed under the guidance of Baltazar Juárez, said Mexico City’s Culture Minister in a statement.

In addition to traditional and classical harp classes, she also studies traditional instruments and takes dance classes. She began her career at 6 years old and has been studying at the EIMD for seven years.

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Eréndira is 13 years old and, accompanied by her mother, she travels every day nearly 30 km to attend her classes at the EIMD. In addition, she is a student of excellence and when she was in the last year of elementary school, she participated in the Knowledge Olympics and won first place in her school at Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl. But, she remembers, her schoolmates bullied her for her love of harp and classical music.

“When I was in elementary school, I was bullied a lot because who plays the harp or who listens to Mozart? When I got home, I studied traditional harp and chose the piece with the most character to forget the feeling; moreover, since I had good grades, they always called me names, like I was the perfect girl, that I did everything well; they always bullied me, but I like studying, drawing dinosaurs, attempting to write poetry; I like reading, and listening to Prokofiev and Mendelssohn,” she says in an interview.

Her love for classical music began when she was very young thanks to her mother. “She always played that music for me, mainly composers like Mozart and Bach; she took me to fandangos and we have many friends who play traditional music, so I always wanted to study music.”

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Shifting from tradition to classical harp has been a long process. Three years ago, Eréndira began her classes with Baltazar Juárez, who is currently one of the greatest promoters of the harp in Mexico and the main harpist of the National Symphonic Orchestra. There were teachers who did not agree with the shift. “Someone told me that classical harp is learned from a very young age and that my daughter was 10 years old, so her growth opportunities were not going to be the same as the others, but the master told me that she could do it,” says Eréndira Flores, mother of the young harpist.

Baltazar Juárez has taught at the Music Faculty of the UNAM, in the Life and Movement School, and the Carlos Chávez School Orchestra. In addition, he is the founder and director of the International Harp Contest and Festival in Mexico. His guidance has been essential for the girl to participate in recitals, as well as with the Mexico City’s Philarmonic Orchestra, and in national and international competitions.

“We began working from zero; the technique between both harps is totally different. The classical harp has a two tonnes tensions; you need a very important technique with a lot of strength to produce a beautiful sound and, mainly, not to get hurt; with so much tension you could get hurt for life; while the traditional harp is light, it doesn’t require as much strength and is very brilliant,” explains the teacher.

Eréndira, who cannot stop smiling, adds, “In the competition, I won with the piece ‘La Source’ by Albert Zabel, but in New York, I will play ‘Au Matin’ by Marcel Tournier. I didn’t know exactly how the competition would be, I thought that I could win the third place; I’m extremely happy for having won the first place. I play the harp because I like, I don’t really think much about the recognition of everyone else.”

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