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The International Cultural Exchange Project


Janacek and Revueltas
Duo Skarka-Pohl

The 1st Composition Award Janacek - Revueltas 2008

Omar Rojas, founder of the project
Edgar Omar Rojas Ruiz
Interview with Mr. Omar Rojas, founder of the project
1.You are the author of the idea of this project....Why Janacek – Revueltas?
“Well, something like the word author could fit better if we use the term “authors” cause many talentive people is in this ship, and anyone can create a festival, and a name in his, or her head, but what is to build a project means a very intensive team work; in this case I had the chance to make the previous design of the project, and even to pic a name for it, but the authors of the reality of this award are many people encouraged with the promotion of the arts overseas, and with helping to our nations to get a little bit closer in the way that is in our hands.
About the name: I can tell you that Leos Janácek and Silvestre Revueltas were not only two world class composers - almost contemporary - but another thing they had in common is that both of them were really encouraged with the development of ideas which later became the basis to set many of  the music institutions of Mexico and the Czech Republic respectivly; when I was thinking about this, I found out that this award could be a good chance to make a tribute for two men who were not only letting us a bunch of brilliant musical works, but also an inmense cultural and institutional heritage, that still alive in the hearts and the cultural life of both nations.”
2. And how did you get the support for realizing all of this? According to my information, the production group consisted mainly of the students, which were participating in the competition...
“In order to answer this question we have to keep in mind something important: Since the production is involving two countries, it had to be divided in 2 groups, one in Mexico and one in the Czech Republic.
In the case of the group of the Czech Republic, where I am the general manager, was the one where the idea started, where the Duo Skarka – Pohl, and other people involved in this production belived on it for the first time; after multiple chats, we divided duties, and made a prsentation of the project that was helping us to reach the targets – some of them even unexpected – in the Czech Republic. The production in the Czech Republic was performed mainly by The Duo, Mrs. Jarmila Pohlová who made a wonderful and precise work in getting the halls, press, and funds for this, and me. The spinal tab of the budget used in the Czech Republic came from our sponsors: Fenix, Hudební Rozhledy, The Government of Jeseník, EPOS, and of course all the concert halls where we had the chance to present these pieces. In some cases the personal inverstement was necessary, but at the end we are incredibly glad that we were able to make seven wonderful concerts in this country.
In the case of Mexico, the main manager of production was the Mexican Composer Edgar Merino, who was coordinating the creation of a production group made by the own winners of the competition. It is very important to point out that all the people involved in the mexican production had a very precise training in the music production given by CIEM on its study plan, that's the main reason why the sources, concert halls, and everything what they prepared in Mexico City was so well done, cause even with their yourng age, all of them were already having experience in the field of music management.
The work that the composers Merino, Delgado, Barraza, Daniels, Duarte and Cecchetti did in Mexico was something amaizing, they were able to organize seven concerts of high quality which will be given in a period of three weeks aproximately. The support for the production of the concerts in Mexico was mainly given by the Authonomus National University of Mexico UNAM, The Cultural department of the Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (something like the mexican ministry of taxes), The Claustro de Sor Juana, The Chapultepec's Casttle, Opus 94.5 that is our most prestigious classical music radio station in Mexico,  The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Mexico, and of course the Center of Studies and Musical Research CIEM in Mexico City, that was giving the very first impulses to this project, directed by the Dr. H.C. Ma. Antonieta Lozano,  a person who is life long encouraged with the music education, and the rasing of international class composers for more than 30 years.
I would like to point out the support of the Mexican Manager José Luis Espinoza, whom because of professional reasons not related with the project had to leave it in the middle of the production, but perhaps, was supporting us with his assesment in the begining of the production stage in Mexico.
Something very important that I would like to point out as well, before proceding with the following question is the great support of the Mexican Embassy in the Czech Republic, in this case given by the hands of its cultural atached Mr. Antonio López Ríos. Thanks to the fact that our embassy in this country was deeply believing in this project since its early stages, many wonderful expected and unexpected results came with the pass of the time of this production.

3. What are the future plans for this project?
“An answer to this in few words would be: “To make it  grow, and turn it into something institutional”...What do I mean with this?: Well, for the second edition we are planning many things related to opening the competition to different music institutions of both countries, also it will be a good chance to conect CIEM, with the Music Faculty of JAMU in Brno, and the Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras CMMAS in Morelia.
It is about opening more cathegories for the composers who will join the competition, to have more to offer, to give more professional projection to young artists of both countries, etc... Of course that for reaching all of this will be necessary an intensive team work, maybe more intensive that during this first edition, but we are already working on that, we are already settling the basis, and hopefuly we will be meeting again in one year for me to answer another interview like this...
Everything will depend on the hard work, and the good planning of all the people who is already involved, and who could join this project in the future in short, middle, and very hopefully long term.”

4. You also wrote a piece for this project, am I right? It is a song that was based on a poem of Octavio Paz, I think...
“Correct!... The work is called “Dos Cuerpos” and it is based in one of my favourite poems of the Mexican Nobel Prize of Literature Octavio Paz. The reason why I was choosing this poem is not only because of its rare, intensive, and simplified beauty, but also because in the current year 2008, is the  10th death's anyversary of the Maestro Paz, who was, without any doubt, one of the most important writers of my country. The main point of this piece is not only to make something nice involved with the content of the poem, but to make a tribute to one of the most wonderful men that our nation gave during the 20th century.”
- Thank you very much for your time, wish you good luck and inspiration for your artistic work!
“Thanks to you.”
Viola Králová
(Interviewed during the final gala concert of the Czech part of the project in Prague, 26th October, 2008).


The First Composition Award Janacek - Revueltas 2008. All rights reserved.