CMPI celebrates the 10 graduates of the class of 2022! CMPI Student Navigator Becca Dora had the privilege of sitting down with one of these graduates to discuss everything from college music preparation to hermit crabs. Alejandro Acosta (2022, Violin) is attending the University of Oregon in the fall where he will be studying with Professor Hal Grossman.
How did you get your start in music?
When I was young, my parents brought me to a “take your kid to music class” which I enjoyed.
How/why did you choose the violin?
I had a friend who started before me. I heard her play and thought “I like this!” We had a few family friends whose kids played the violin, so I guess it was the instrument I was most exposed to.
How old were you when you started?
I was 7 or 8.
What are favorite/least favorite things about playing the violin?
My least favorite thing about the violin is practicing slow intonation work, and my favorite thing is performing.
What inspires you? Any musical inspirations?
Other artists/groups inspire me. Violinists like Hilary Hahn, pianists, or musicians in general that perform for a living, or are in orchestras that I look up to.
What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of music?
I like hanging out with friends a lot! I’m a little bit into PC gaming (Minecraft), and I also like reading. Recently I’ve read The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, Earthlings by Sayaka Murata, and Misery by Stephen King.
What is something you wish you knew when you started music?
Patience is extremely important. You have to recognize when you need to be more patient with yourself and with music-related things.
What are you most excited about when you go to college?
I’m excited about the different social change and also getting into all of the different musical groups and things to be a part of.
What do you hope to do with your music when you are finished with formal training?
The broad answer is that I’d like to share my music with other people. In what form, I’m not sure. Other than performing, which I’d like to do to some degree, I think teaching is a way to take your knowledge and use it for something other than performance.
What is your most memorable musical experience in CMPI?
I remember the college audition panels a lot because I received a lot of comments. Some I hadn’t heard before, and others reinforced what I should be paying attention to.
Most memorable musical experience in general?
I’ve done a few musicals sitting in the pit, most recently Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and it’s completely different from classical music. For me, it was a nice escape to not have to think about Bach for a little bit.
Another memory is attending Fulton Summer Music Academy last summer. Other than the technical and musical improvements, I met a lot of nice people. Additionally, my last recital for the Academy before graduation.
What is a piece of advice you could give new CMPI fellows?
Take any advice given to you from a jury or other panel, try it, and then decide if it works for you. Always try and experiment with new things people tell you. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but if it does, you would have never gotten that knowledge if you hadn’t tried.
Tell us a fun fact about you.
I had hermit crabs growing up.
What is your favorite type of music to play?
For solo repertoire, I like late romantic and early modern music, such as Vaughan Williams, Barber, Sibelius, and Prokofiev. For orchestral repertoire, my favorite composer is Mahler. I also enjoy playing Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain.
What is your favorite music to listen to?
Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of piano music, such as Beethoven sonatas, Chopin etudes and nocturnes, and Debussy. I also like to listen to Rachmaninov piano concertos.
Image of Alejandro Acosta