- The artist recently presented her album Shetogether with the Cuban pianist Glenda del E, as a tribute to Latin female composers
Venezuelan violinist Daniela Padrón is 35 years old and began her musical studies at a very young age, making her way in that industry and playing on different stages in Venezuela and the world. So much so that she already has two Latin Grammy nominations in her professional career, one in 2013 and another in the upcoming edition of the awards that will be collected on November 17, 2022.
Daniela’s life has always been linked to music. At the age of 3, she began to study at the music school of her mother, the pianist Olga López, and since then she has not stopped.
In his adolescence he was a member of a rock band and thanks to it he took an important leap in his career. Showing himself to other audiences distant from classical music gave him the opportunity to belong to the Venezuelan band Gaêlica, with which he obtained the first nomination for the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awards.
“I never thought of a thing like a Latin Grammy, a nomination was something too big. I had one with Gaêlica just after I came to the United States and when they gave me the news, I didn’t finish assimilating it,” Daniela told exclusively for The newspaper.
She remembers that on that occasion attending the awards gala, going up on stage and sharing during the event with renowned artists with extensive experience was impressive for her. However, this year’s nomination has an added value for her life and her music career.
“This year was a lot of work. With Gaêlica I fulfilled my role, but I was not behind the entire production, instead in this nomination that is with Glenda del E, a spectacular Cuban pianist, she is like a baby for both of us and it is too beautiful to see my name there. I enjoy every moment”, said Daniela.
His musical beginnings
At an early age, Daniela began her musical training at the Manuel Alberto López Experimental School of Music (Caracas), where her mother was the director. There she studied simultaneously with the violin and the piano, until a point came when she felt the need to decide on just one, given the demands of each instrument. That was when she chose the violin.
Daniela explains that the academy where she studied has a focus on solo training, unlike the Sistema, whose orientation is more orchestral. Even so, at the age of 11 she made her debut with one of the Sistema orchestras, but within the individual area, to which her career has always been directed.
When she was 16 years old, a friend invited her to join a rock band and she liked the idea. She accepted and attended one of the rehearsals, but she was not what she was used to in her traditional training.
“I asked about the scores and they told me there weren’t any, so I started thinking about how it was possible to make music without an itinerary. Little by little I got used to it, ”she admitted.
Being in that rock group was a platform to show herself in another area and gave her the opportunity to later join Gaêlica, a band of which she was a fan.
There was a concert where the violinist from Gaêlica couldn’t attend and they contacted me via MySpace to play. I couldn’t believe it, they gave me the address, I arrived at the site and I was super excited (…) at the end of the event I had Kiara and Frank Quintero by my sides and it was incredible”.
From there, he began a journey of a lot of music and experiences with Gaêlica, whom he recognizes as a school of improvisation. Although on different occasions the band supplied him with the written arrangements, on others it was imperative to improvise.
From Business Administration to playing the violin
Daniela feels that music has been so linked to her life that, even when she wanted to abandon it, it brought her back with her. In fact, when choosing the career that she would study at the university, she questioned whether she should continue with the musical path or seek other horizons.
After analyzing it and seeing the available options, she decided to study Business Administration, because she did not feel comfortable with the idea of dedicating her life to a classical musical career with the violin.
“The only option for me to study music in Venezuela was in what is now called Unearte, and I thought I could take a degree in violin performance, but the classical career has such a strong demand for individual time, for practice, that I don’t I saw myself in that”, admitted Daniela.
He studied administration and graduated, but never abandoned the music career entirely. On the contrary, he continued to practice independently and even experimented with deviating a bit from academic music, although without neglecting his basic training.
“I don’t regret my decision. University life is the best, it also gave me management, self-management and marketing tools that have helped me, but the truth is that the title is kept in the closet, ”she added.
Migrate to the United States
A little over 10 years ago, Daniela and her now husband had a conversation about their future. They contemplated some possibilities and when evaluating the idea of having children later, they realized that Venezuela was not the scenario in which they wanted to start a family.
In January 2012 they got married and in August of that same year they traveled to Miami, United States, with a round trip ticket and with high expectations. As time passed, they managed to make that land a home for themselves and after seven years living there, Max, their first child, was born.
“Since I arrived in Miami I have been directing a children’s orchestra within a beautiful project called Miami Music Project that emulates El Sistema de Venezuela and, apart from giving me economic stability, it was a job that made me happy,” Daniela recalled.
But there was a time in his life when he felt the need to focus on his artistic career, his growth as a violinist, and pause academic work.
“Time has shown me that this is super demanding and I already feel like I’m an old lady, I feel like I’m not going to be ready for this all my life, maybe I am, but I see it as uphill.”
Daniela feels that she made the right decision and her recent Latin Grammy nomination with Glenda del E ratified that feeling of being on the right track. She is excited about the projects that are to come.
“I wanted to find myself as music”
Since his arrival in the United States, his career as a violinist was put on hold and he was solely focused on his work teaching music. So about two years went by until she realized that she liked what she was doing but she wanted to get back on stage and make music.
“There came a time when I got together with the musician César Muñoz, who had just arrived in Miami, and we started playing at different events for about a year and a half,” Daniela said.
She was making music again, which she liked, but she still didn’t feel fulfilled. A new restlessness arose in her. Ella Daniela noticed that during her career she had been the violinist who played for other musicians but she still did not have something of her own.
“That’s when I decided to make my first solo album and I did it (…). It’s called Bach to Venezuela and it’s a mixture of music by my favorite composer, Juan Sebastián Bach, with Venezuelan rhythms”, he explained.
Daniela admits that she got to know Venezuelan rhythms in depth while living in the United States because she began to miss her homeland and a need arose in her to listen to music from her country to feel a little closer to her customs.
Those desires for music and to explore herself as a violinist made her notably climb in that industry.
Since then, he has had the opportunity to share the stage with internationally renowned artists such as Soledad Bravo, Willie Colón, Frank Quintero, Cristian Benítez and countless national and international talents from whom he has acquired the best for his professional growth.
It has not been easy to hold hands with the facet as violist, wife and, now, mother of a baby. Each one is demanding and requires time and attention, but I have the support of my family to make the most of the moment,” Daniela highlighted.
She feels full, wanting to continue reaping successes in her career as a violinist and, in fact, she plans to explore her facet as a composer, an area that she has not addressed much in her career but that excites her that the world listens to what Daniela Padrón sounds like.
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Daniela Padrón, the Venezuelan violinist with two Latin Grammy nominations