On the Couch with Jaime Martín

MSO-Jaime-Martín-photo-by-Paul-Marc-MitchellWho is Jaime Martín?
I’m the new Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. I was born in Santander (Spain), the oldest of six brothers and sisters and the only musician in the family. Now I live in London with my wife and two sons. Before moving into conducting, (I was) the principal flute of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Having moved from being an orchestral player to a conductor, I’ve already made a substantial change. Being a musician was my dream since I was eight years old, I can’t imagine having a job away from music.

Who inspires you and why?
People who believe in their ideals but are also open minded are inspiring to me. I particularly admire athletes, they have to accept very public defeat as part of life, which must require immense discipline and training.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I believe music and music education are life changing. Connecting people of all ages with great music through concerts and learning programs is already such a big part of what MSO does, and this was one of the many aspects that attracted me to this great orchestra. Continuing and expanding this work together can make a significant difference in the lives of people and communities across Melbourne and Victoria.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
In London, I would take guests to Hampton Court Palace. It is near my home and I always enjoy meandering around this incredibly old building. The aromas emanating from the kitchen, when costumed chefs recreate Tudor banquets, is particularly evocative.

What are you currently reading?
My recent quarantine in a Melbourne hotel seemed a good time to delve deeper into Australian-ness. I read Stan Grant’s Talking to my Country, having just finished The Yield by Tara June Winch. I am curious to learn how Australia is dealing with its past.

What are you currently listening to?
As you can imagine, I listen to lots of music for work. When I want to relax I often put on some jazz, usually Oscar Peterson. Sometimes I find myself listening to Cuban music while cooking.

Happiness is?
Sharing a bottle of red Ribera del Duero with friends.

What does the future hold for you?
Developing exciting new connections.

Jaime is the Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra – who recently revealed their 2022 Season. Individual concert tickets are now available. For more information, visit: www.mso.com.au for details.

Image: Jaime Martín – photo by Paul Marc Mitchell