Born in Argentina, Germán Clavijo trained with Ljerko Spiller in Buenos Aires and subsequently at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London with Jack Glickman and Rachel Podger.

He has recorded for Classic FM and the BBC in the United Kingdom and for Radio Nacional and TVE in Spain. He has worked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Opera House and the Ensemble Modern. German Clavijo was Principal Viola of the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada and Artistic Director of the Ensemble Instrumental de Granada, Spain.

In June 2009 Germán became a member of the London Symphony Orchestra and plays concerts in all the major concert halls worldwide under conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis and Sir Simon Rattle, among others.

Yulia Chaplina met with the musician on the occasion of his upcoming concert in Guildhall School of Music & Drama to discuss his performance of Beethoven and Shostakovich in the same concert.

You are the founder and the principal conductor of ALEPH Orchestra, how did it all start? When was your first concert?

We started back in 2014 as an initiative to perform repertoire that students on the brink to start the profession wanted to play and present it in a different way. That year we played our first concert.

What is so special about the orchestra?

It is a highly dynamic ensemble. We want to offer a new way of communication with the public and we are really thinking out of the box. . We are very aware that audiences are changing rapidly and we have to make the experience very unique and attractive. Orthodox or traditional performances are still working for the very well established orchestras but new ensembles have to offer something else.

Why did you choose to perform Beethoven and Shostakovich in the same concert?

It is a fantastic combination of two of the most extraordinary artists and composers. Two different but extremely honest ways of expressing their views of life. You can always feel their love for truth and beauty and the will to make the world a better place through art?

What is different about your performances?

Our repertoire connects different art forms with music. Music, poetry, painting, story telling and multi media enhance each other to provide a deep artistic experience with the audience at the centre of it.

What are your orchestra’s and your aspirations?

We want to make great music available for as many people as possible. We want to inspire audiences of all ages and expand the deep sense of beauty and joy.

Without revealing much what can we expect on the day? Are there going to be any surprises?

The program creates a strong contrast on it’s own. Shostakovich’s Symphony No.14 is possibly the most intimate and personal piece of his whole symphonic cycle. It is a unique experience to hear this piece live. In the second half we will perform Beethoven’s 4th Symphony. So much hope, beauty and energy in this work. That’s what I can promise! I want this concert to be a real party!

Surprises?? I want the audience to be part of the performance … you’ll have to come to see it! I would love the audience to come and talk to the musicians at the end of the concert!