Biography

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Gervasio Tarragona Valli, clarinet

Shortly after being appointed co-principal clarinet in the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan (under the direction of Mtro. Yutaka Sado), Gervasio Tarragona Valli won the first unanimous prize of the Audi Mozart International Competition in Italy.

Gervasio made his professional solo debut with 19 years old, when he performed Aaron Copland’s clarinet concerto with Uruguay National Orchestra and Swiss conductor Nicolas Rauss. Since then, he has appeared as a soloist in Uruguay with Camerata de Montevideo, Youth Orchestra of the Uruguayan Ministry of Culture and Montevideo Symphonic Band; in Argentina, with Neuquen Symphony Orchestra, Bahía Blanca Youth Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Buenos Aires and in Venezuela with Simón Bolívar Symphonic Band.

He has worked with conductors such as Dante Anzolini, Peter Eötvös, Piero Gamba, Christoph-Mathias Mueller, Tao Fan, Alex Klein, Ligia Amadio, Glenn Price, Thomas Clamor, Gianluca Febo, Carlos Miguel Prieto and Marino Formenti, and collaborated as well with soloists like Philippe Quint, Jens Lindemann, Peter Rösel, Giovanni Bellucci and members of Quatour Sine Nomine.

Born in 1989 in Montevideo, Uruguay, he comes from a family of musicians of traditional music (tango, blues, jazz); from a very young age he has played with his father (guitarist and singer) different genres of South American music, as well as with with his brother, who is a blues musician and also a guitar player. Later he became a member of the Tango Orchestra ‘Destaoriya’, conducted by Grammy-awarded bandoneonist Raul Jaurena.

Gervasio got his Diploma of Clarinet Performer from Montevideo Conservatory with the highest grades. He continued his studies in Argentina and later in Latin American Clarinet Academy (Caracas, Venezuela). He was part of the Youth Orchestras System of Venezuela (“El Sistema”), where he also worked as a clarinet teacher, teaching children in critical social conditions.

In 2008, Gervasio Tarragona Valli was awarded unanimously with the First Prize at the National Soloists Contest of Jeunesses Musicales. In 2010 he performed the complete chamber works for clarinet by J. Brahms for the chamber season of the National Orchestra of Uruguay; these concerts were broadcasted live by Uruguay’s National Radio. In 2011 he was member of Youth Orchestra of the Americas (Artistic Director: Plácido Domingo). While living in Switzerland, he collaborated with Basler Festival Orchester, Chamber Academy Basel, Sinfonieorchester Biel and Ensemble Diagonal Basel.

From 2011 to 2013 he studied with François Benda a Master in Hochschule für Musik in Basel. In 2013 he studied in the class of Romain Guyot in Haute École de Musique de Genève, in the Masters Performance Program.

In Noviembre 2014 he arrived to the semi-finals of the Beijing International Music Competition.

He has played in numerous festivals: Murten Classics Festival and Davos Festival (Switzerland), Patagonia International Clarinet Festival and Bahia Blanca Clarinet Meeting (Argentina), u.a.

In 2008 he founded the Montevideo International Clarinet Meeting, an international festival that saw during three years world acclaimed clarinet players and musicians of other instruments. This festival had the Artistic Direction of Swiss clarinetist Markus Forrer.

He has received scholarships and grants from the National Found of Music of Uruguay, the System of Youth Orchestras of Venezuela, the National Contest of Culture of Uruguay, the Ministry of Foreigner Affairs of Uruguay, Stirnimann Family and the Basel Music Academy.

Latest appearances include a South America Tour (Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina), a recital in Zurich with Uruguayan pianist Javier Bezzato, and chamber music concerts in Mantova Chamber Music Festival in Italy.