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Mariana Olaiz Retrato

doctorate in performance student

  •  Who are you?

I was born in Mexico City, and I’ve been a bassoonist since the age of seven. I’m a contrabassoonist and musician by profession, in heart and mind.

  •  Could you tell us briefly about your background?

I have a bachelor’s in music from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, I’ve had the chance to play with different orchestras, and in concert halls in America and in Europe. In 2016 among other things I took part in the Young Euro Classic in Berlin with the Estanislao Mejía Symphony Orchestra. Also, as a soloist I’ve played with the Coyoacán Symphony Orchestra and the 5 de Mayo Philharmonic, under the direction of Rodrigo Elorduy and Fernando Lozano respectively. And I took an award at the 1st International Tango Bassoon Competition, founded by the composer Anselma Veit and the bassoon maker Bernd Moosmann, for the creativity of my video.

  • What study program are you doing at the Faculty of Music?

After a master’s in performance, I’m continuing my studies with a doctorate in performance under Professor Mathieu Lussier. As far back as when I started studying the bassoon I dreamed of doing a master’s in Montréal, because one of my bassoon teachers had gone to the Université de Montréal Faculty of Music. He told me about the school’s excellence and prestige. Years later, in 2019, I was able to make my dream came true, and I came here to do my master’s in performance, which I received in 2021.

  • Tell us about a teacher who inspires you.

Definitely there are many incredible teachers at the Faculty of Music, but for me one person in particular has made my stay here especially enriching: my instrument teacher, Mathieu Lussier. Besides being an outstanding bassoonist, he’s also a fabulous composer and conductor. His teaching methods have helped me grow musically, and his simple warmth has moved me on a number of occasions, leading me to take advantage of my abilities more and more. His love for music is an example to be followed.

  • What gives the UdeM Faculty of Music its particular “color,” in your opinion?

Studying at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Music means belonging to a community that supports you and encourages you to grow.

  • In what way is your stay at the Faculty of Music influencing your life?

Studying at the Faculty of Music has provided me with a unique experience. In doing my studies in a language other than my mother tongue I’ve been able to broaden my way of understanding works and performing them.

  • Describe an ambitious (or completely crazy!) project you’ve worked on.

During my master’s studies I began, with two friends, creating an unusual ensemble that consists of two bassoons and a cello. We’d like to continue with this type of creations and, why not, create new music and record albums with this ensemble.

  • What are the 3 most important qualities for a musician?

First of all I’d say sensitivity and warmth. Also, a love and passion for music. And no less important: perseverance and a dedication to overcoming the obstacles that stand in your way.

  • Who’s your favorite composer, and why?

Without hesitation, one of my favorites is Edward Elgar. His melodies have been with me at different stages in my life. His chords transport me to different places and fill my mind and my soul.

  • Beyond music, what are your interests or passions?

I’m passionate about languages. During my studies I’ve been able to learn a number of them, and that’s something I never want to stop doing. Apart from that, cooking, animals, and flamenco dance and singing fascinate me as well.

  • What are your inspirations?

I feel inspired by my family. It’s an essential part of my life. Mexican rhythms and traditions accompany me everywhere and always. Together, we build a wonderful soundtrack.

  • What are your aspirations?

I’d like to practice my profession by playing in orchestras as a member and as a soloist. There’s no doubt that’s the life I desire. In the near future I want to present my doctoral research at conferences, produce publications and perform concerts to explore it and complete it.