Sarasate died a long time ago, however, the violin legacy of Europe lives on in musical history and in the career of the prodigious Ana María Valderrama, an illustrious Spanish violinist who has surprised the world.
Despite being born many years after Pablo Sarasate, the Spanish violinist, Ana María Valderrama continues to evoke feelings of recognition in all the people who listen to her, since undoubtedly her mastery of playing the violin reminds many experts of this instrument, Sarasate himself, considered the violin of Europe for his talent.
Sarasate and his legacy
Born on March 10, 1844, in Pamplona, Martín Melitón Pablo de Sarasate was a child who, from the age of 7, showed his brilliant talents with the violin. After studying at various conservatories in Spain, Sarasate continued studying music throughout his life, dazzling whoever listened to it.
His talent was so incredible that, despite being a little boy of 10 years old, he managed to attract the attention of the Countess of Espoz y Mina, who took him to study in Madrid and, after there, the Queen Elizabeth II of Spain herself awarded a scholarship at age 12 to study at the Paris Conservatory and continue his training.
At the age of 15 he managed to travel all over Europe and America showing his prodigy with the bow and the violin, standing out for his concerts and winning awards wherever he went. Armed with his original Stradivarius, Sarasate, in addition to delighting with his performance, dazzled with his composition.
At present, the works of his authorship continue to be highlighted at all times and are considered some of the most brilliant and difficult scores that exist. Sarasate’s legacy soon reached the hands of Ana María Valderrama, a prodigious violinist who has found in the late musician the necessary inspiration to follow in his footsteps.
The girl with the violin
“À mon ami Sarasate” is the name of Valderrama’s first album. Her friend Sarasate, so she thinks without having met him. This is because Pablo, the violin of Europe, has unknowingly accompanied Ana María’s path since she took her first steps in the world of music.
Winner of the first prize and the Special Prize of the Public of the Pablo Sarasate International Competition, this woman was not only the winner among more than 60 violinists from different countries of the world, but she was also the first Spanish to win this incredible recognition, in her XI edition, in 2011.
In addition to the monetary award, Ana María received an invaluable gift, the opportunity to touch one of the two Stradivarius of Sarasate. A violin marked by history and by the works composed with it. The Boissier remained in his hands and with it he played beautiful pieces.
Ana María made her debut as a violinist when she was just 20 years old, together with Zubin Mehta to entertain Queen Sofía of Spain for her 70th birthday. Since that moment, this woman has not stopped surprising and her talents took her to travel the world, presenting herself in various countries in Europe, America and Africa.
Jordan, the United States, Germany and Colombia are just some of the countries that have had the privilege of delighting in the melodies of Ana María and these will not be the last to enjoy her art, as this violinist gives no indication of wanting to stop.
Ana María Valderrama and her musical father: Sarasate
One of the great challenges of the Spanish violinist was the composition of her first album. Not only did he use Sarasate’s Red Stradivarius in the interpretation of many pieces on his album, but it is also an exclusive repertoire of works by the Spanish violinist, along with a few of his disciple: Théodore Dubois.
These pieces have incredible technical difficulties, according to the opinion of the most knowledgeable of this instrument, many of which cause violinists everywhere to refrain from playing them until they have a very advanced level of experience. However, despite the adversities, the positive reviews were immediate, as the naturalness with which Ana María plays each sonata is incredible.
Perhaps the fluency when playing Sarasate’s pieces is not something that comes innate to her, but rather that her continuous approaches to the music of this prodigious violinist have made her more receptive to each of the notes recorded in the scores.
Before her album, the musicologist María Nagore had already invited her to play part of Pablo’s repertoire at the presentation of her book. A work in which two of his creations are recorded that had not come to public light and that Ana María had the privilege of playing with the master’s red violin.
Ana María has repeated on multiple occasions that playing with the Sarasate Stradivarius is not an easy task, and this is understandable, since she is in charge of an instrument considered the best violin in the world ( In this link you can find some purchase options ) for the faithful followers of the violinist. However, despite the difficulties, this instrument continues to melt in the hands of Ana María, who continues to create art with it at every opportunity.
The professional future
Now the mother of a little boy named Simón, Ana María explores a new facet of her life. This new full-time job has given her skills she didn’t know she had and given her that extra inspiration she needed to create more and more.
He already has three additional albums in his repertoire, one recorded with his brother-in-law, where he plays Brahms and Cesar Franck; another with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, where he plays Joan Manén and, the third, an album where he is in charge of interpreting the work of Lorenzo Palomo.
After several tours with the Castilla y León Symphony, Ana María has dedicated herself to continue practicing, teaching the art of playing the violin at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid and showing her son, Simón, the world of music. It is possible that, after a few years, Sarasate’s legacy will pass to another little violin prodigy.