Filipe Dandalo, BMus Double bass
Why did you choose to study at the RNCM?
When I was searching for a place to go after school, I already had Europe in mind. In 2013, I went to Switzerland for a summer music academy where I had lessons with Božo Paradžik, who is International Tutor at the RNCM, and in my opinion the best double bassist of his generation. There I could also meet my current teacher, Jiří Hudec, who was Božo’s teacher. They told me about the College and the entrance process. In the end, the RNCM was the only college to which I applied.
What is the double bass department like at the RNCM?
I would say it is very collaborative. The students are always ready to help each other. And my teacher is incredibly careful to cover each detail during lessons, I can feel the extremely high level he wants us to achieve. Another thing that is just amazing is that we don’t have to book practice rooms; double bassists have two that are always free for us.
What are you enjoying most about your time here?
Actually I am enjoying everything about this place: the incredible structure, all the performance opportunities, the events and masterclasses that are always going on, the high level of the other students, the new friends I have made. But one thing that I am still impressed about is how much the people, tutors and staff, are concerned about us, the student, and how they always do their best to make us feel well and not worried about anything else but developing our musical skills to as far as we can.
What kinds of opportunities are there for students to perform?
A great range of performance opportunities is offered to us and I could notice that since the very beginning in the college. We can occasionally perform solo and duo works in the Recital Series, competitions and in Spotlight Concerts, which is a wonderful opportunity to test our own professional abilities. We also have works with ensembles, which include the RNCM Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, String Orchestra, RNCM Opera and chamber groups.
How often do you have orchestral projects?
We, the double bassists, are very required in the big ensembles as we are in a smaller number than the other strings students. All of us have a schedule full of rehearsals and concerts. To have an idea, during my first term in the RNCM, I got involved in ten different orchestral projects including RNCM Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, String Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. The most valuable thing about this is to have the chance to work with renowned conductors that visit the college and learn from their different styles and musical judgements.
What’s been your performance highlight since being at RNCM?
Since I arrived at the RNCM in September 2014, I have performed much more than I expected I would do in my first year. But my performance highlight was the Salon Prize competition which I fortunately won. Although it was a short performance, the experience to be judged by the Principal and compete with other instruments and years was amazing.
What are your future aspirations?
My future ambitions are to become a professional orchestra player and soloist. The greatest in this college is the incredibly support and starting career boost that the students receive to conquer their aspirations whatever they are.
What is your favourite kind of repertoire?
I love the music from the Romantic period and early 20th Century. As a double bassist, to play Bottesini is always a lot of fun!