This month, TPMS students had the incredible opportunity to speak with and learn from world-renowned, Juilliard-trained Peruvian conductor, Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Young TPMS musicians attended Harth-Bedoya’s Grant Park Music Festival and enjoyed talking with him through a two-part “Meet the Maestro” event held both on Zoom and at Pritzker Pavilion before the concert.
On Zoom, Harth-Bedoya told students about how he came to be a musician. He first became interested in music at a very young age: “I started playing piano at maybe six or seven years old, and added violin maybe at age twelve. Back then in Peru, everyone picked up an instrument. We didn’t have the internet, we didn’t have iPhones. So music had a purpose, which was to entertain ourselves. By learning piano over the years, I picked up how to read music.”
It was he and his family’s love for music that led him to it as a career. “I was probably a junior in high school and I was helping my mom at work. She was the contractor for the opera courses in a theater in Lima, and I helped her with her gigs. One of the stage directors saw me just following the score one day and said, “You’re hired!” It was a 3 month job that I did as backstage crew. That’s what triggered my attention: behind the scenes. The stories, the singing and of course the orchestra. All of it put together was amazing.”
Students were able to ask Harth-Bedoya questions about his career as a conductor during the virtual Meet the Maestro session, conducted both in English and Spanish. He spoke about the number of pieces he has conducted in his lifetime (800+!), his musical inspirations and his favorite part of being a conductor. For him, nothing beats “sharing concerts with the audience. Music has to have an impact on somebody. And that’s the audience.”
TPMS students and families then had the chance to meet Harth-Bedoya before enjoying the concert at Pritzker Pavilion. To mark the special opportunity, each student received a conductor’s baton.
“A conductor, really what they do is study music. We need to know the notes, the rhythms, the languages, everything that is in the score. Then, through the movements of our hands, we get to pass it to an orchestra, then to an audience. Nothing beats that. What’s the purpose of practicing music if you cannot share it?”
We thank Miguel Harth-Bedoya for his infinite musical wisdom and for inspiring us to pursue our passions!
Miguel Harth-Bedoya is Julliard-trained Peruvian conductor. He has spent 30 years as a professional conductor. He was the conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2020 and Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra from 2013 to 2020. Hart-Bedoya has conducted orchestras, professional ensembles, workshops, and music programs all over the world. He is currently Director of Orchestral Studies at Baylor University.