On the Record
Dec 17, 2008 | 24178 views | 0 0 comments | 1732 1732 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Opera tenor Placido Domingo, cellist Pablo Casals and classical composer and virtuoso pianist Joaquin Rodrigo are three of the musical legends that Spain has given the world in just the last century. And if Lluis Capdevila, a Fulbright music scholar from Catalonia has his way, one day he may be counted among them.

When the Fulbright Commission in Madrid awarded Capdevila a scholarship to pursue his music studies last year, he chose Queens College because "of the worldwide reputation of its Aaron Copland School."

Capdevila, 27, who is now pursuing his Master of Arts degree in jazz performance, says that his goal is to become a professional composer and musician.

"The campus is relaxed and comfortable, which is ideal for focusing and creating music," Capdevila said of Queens College. "It is also close to Manhattan, which is probably the best place in the world for jazz music."

At the age of six and without any formal piano training, Capdevila started creating his own melodies, as well as playing from memory pop standards like the Beatles' "Yesterday."

"It was fun and effortless," he recalls. "I always knew that music would be my life."

His talent runs in his genes: Capdevila's grandmother was a professional pianist and conservatory teacher and his mother a guitarist.

Surprisingly, this young musician received his undergraduate degree in law.

"I was convinced that it would help me better understand our society and develop certain skills that would be valuable in the arts field," he explains. In the end, though, he felt that music ultimately provided the best instrument to be "creative and communicate."

"My biggest inspiration has been nature," says Capdevila. "While growing up in Falset, a small village in the Catalan countryside, and spending summer vacations in Tarragona near the Mediterranean Sea, I was able to observe and listen to nature's sounds."

A full-time student who now lives in Flushing, Capdevila enjoys going to live concerts every week in Manhattan and listening to all types of music, including jazz, classical and opera - "anything that is innovative and emotional," which he says has improved his musicianship. He is influenced by musicians such as award-winning jazz vocalist Sheila Jordan, whose music he describes as "pure and honest."

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