Concert pianist Juan Camilo Rojas was born in 1986 in Cali, Colombia where he studied at the Universidad del Valle under the guidance of Patricia Perez Hood and graduated with honors in 2009. During 2006 to 2007, Rojas won a scholarship to study in the United States at the Texas Christian University with the pianist Harold Martina. In 2010 Rojas continued his education in Germany at the Musikhochschule Lübeck with Prof. Jacques Ammon, where he obtained his master's degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy in 2015. As an Erasmus student, Rojas studied in Austria at the prestigious Universität Mozarteum Salzburg under the direction of Prof. Peter Lang. Juan Camilo Rojas has won multiple awards including: the "Jóvenes Solistas" Competition of the Filarmonica del Valle (Cali, Colombia, 2002), 3rd prize at the International Piano Competition Maria Clara Cullell (Costa Rica, 2004), winner at the "Jóvenes Intérpretes" Competition of the Luis Ángel Arango National Library (Bogotá, Colombia 2008). In the same year, Rojas won 1st prize and special prize for the best Spanish music performance at the "Luis Carlos Figueroa" National Piano Competition. In 2009, he participated in the "Musicalia" International Piano Competition in Cuba, where he was awarded the 4th prize. Valuable artistic impulses from renown artists rounded his musical education. He attended masterclasses with Konrad Elser, Janina Fialkowska, Jahoved Kaplinsky, Manfred Gerhardt, Walter Blankenheim, Christoph Ullrich and Blanca Uribe, as well as workshops on piano methodic headed by Christian Pohl (Leipzig). In Colombia, Rojas has played as soloist with the Filarmonica del Valle, the Youth Orchestra of the Antonio Maria Valencia Conservatory and the Banda Departamental de Bellas Artes. The pianist has performed multiple recitals in Latin America and Europe including Cuba, Mexico, Costa Rica, Germany and Spain. Besides his career as a performer, Juan Camilo Rojas has an interest in piano pedagogy and educational programs. He served as piano teacher at the Plan Pentagrama of Universidad del Valle in Colombia; Musikschule Hamburg für Musik und Kultur, Klavierstudio Winterhude, Musik- und Kunstakademie Lübeck in Germany; and Musikeon in Valencia, Spain. Currently Juan Camilo Rojas pursues doctoral studies (artistic research in music) in piano performance at the University of Aveiro, Portugal under the guidance of pianist and musicologist Luca Chiantore.
Two generations amidst changing aesthetics: an artistic research on the divergences between Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms
Instrumental performance as a means for a historiographic revision of the piano output of Robert Schumann (1810–1856) and Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) lays at the base of this artistic research.The concept of German romanticism, at the core of the traditional musicological canon, embraces both Schumann´s and Brahms´ piano compositions, in spite of the chronological gap between both of them: Brahms last piano works are more than sixty years ahead of the first, and most popular, Schumann's piano compositions.This musicological stance is often reflected in current performance practices, which in turn, go on to reinforce the status quo of musical historiography in a process that does not cease to feedback itself, as shown by the narrow frame of possibilities that mainstream performance allows to differentiate between both composers. On the other hand, most historicist recordings of 19th century piano music reveal yawning divergences in relation to historical evidences of 19th-century performance practices as found on contemporary written sources and recordings from the early 20th century.This gap was already highlighted by authors such as Clive Brown, Peres da Costa and Anselm Gerhard. Hence, this artistic research aims to reflect, on the modern piano, the changes and characteristics of performance practices in Schumann's and Brahms's piano works by means of a non-conventional reading of their works, also considering that, in this concrete case, the performer is being informed and inspired by historical sources. Among the surveyed sources we found:treatises, methods, concert critics, etc.; organological modifications and changes of instrumental technique; recordings made by those pianists near to the Schumann-Brahms' circle like Carl Reinecke, Adelina de Lara, Fanny Davies, Ilona Eibenschütz, Carl Friedberg and Etelka Freund.Concerrning the performance, several parameters are to be transformed in order to show the difference between those performance practices own to each composer. That includes the broadening of the dynamic range linked to organological transformations as well as to the overall changes in performance's aesthetics;long-line phrases substitute a phrasing based on small melodic cells; asynchrony of hands and arpeggiation of chords decrease in favor of an accentuation based on the regularity of down- and upbeats; among other changes in pedalling, ornamentation, agogics and tempo management.