By Lane Champa, Marketing Director for New Albany Symphony Orchestra
Luis Biava is currently in his eleventh season as Music Director of the New Albany Symphony, an orchestra which performs a wide variety of concerts for the community. He has conducted and played with the Bogota Philharmonic and Guatemala National Symphony, and is the principal cellist of the Columbus Symphony, artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Dublin (CMSD) and Camarata. He will conduct the New Albany Symphony Orchestra in their Holiday Spectacular performance on Dec. 16 at 3:00 p.m. We caught up with Biava to learn about his experiences as a conductor and performer in Columbus.
Lane: What experience or experiences made you dedicated to becoming a professional cellist and conductor?
Luis: As I was growing up I started listening to classical music at an early age and was very excited about the sound, what it meant, the history behind it and the power of the emotions in the music. As a conductor I wanted to share this knowledge about the music imparted to me by my father and the rest of the family at a young age. One thing I remember is listening to the Emperor concerto played by my aunt Blanca Uribe in Colombia and wanting to accompany her in that piece. It happened later in my life and it was an honor.
Lane: What traits are essential in a great conductor, musician or leader in the arts?
Luis: To know the music very well, respecting the composer, achieving the message of musicality in the music and making the music happen with the musicians in a collaborative way, also respecting the players.
Lane: Who in the arts inspires you most, currently?
Luis: My favorite conductors and instrumentalists past and present: Abbado, de Burgos, Bernstein, Gianandrea Noseda, Hilary Hahn, Sarah Chang, Karen Gomyo, Yo-Yo Ma and my family of musicians.
Lane: What motivates you as a conductor and cellist to involve yourself in so many facets of Columbus arts?
Luis: The variety of music and styles, the sharing of concerts with the public, different venues and ensembles, orchestra, opera, ballet, chamber, contemporary, world music.
Lane: What is the most exciting thing about the Columbus art/music scene right now?
Luis: It’s the variety of concerts, great audiences, great players.
Lane: How do you like to relax after a busy day?
Luis: I do listen to music to relax, read, do puzzles, play chess and when we are not practicing my wife and I relax with a movie and hang out with our families. We also like to travel when there is an extended break.
Join the Symphony Family this holiday season at the New Albany Symphony Orchestra’s annual Holiday Spectacular on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3:00 p.m., featuring the New Albany Symphony Orchestra, guest soloists from Opera Columbus and across central Ohio, and the Una Voce Choir. Conducted by NASO Music Director Luis Biava, the performance will take place at the Schottenstein Theater of the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, 100 W. Dublin-Granville Rd. in New Albany. Tickets can be purchased by phone by calling CAPA at (614) 469-0939 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. More information is available at NewAlbanySymphony.com.