Interview with Chilean bassoonist Susan Jofré Pomareda My childhood dream
Ever since I started playing the bassoon at the age of 14, I dreamt of nothing other than travelling to Germany – the land of the German bassoon system.
Susan Jofré Pomareda
- Born in La Serena, Chile
- Student at Aachen College of Music
After gaining my music degree in Chile I followed my teacher, Oscar Bohorquez, firstly to Austria and then, in 2003, to Aachen College of Music. My dream was taking shape!
Once in Germany, I felt like a beginner again – that’s how different the levels are. Tuition is entirely in German. At the outset I was still having problems communicating. Back then I was living alone in a bed-sit and finding it difficult to make friends. Now, I’ve been living in a student hall of residence for three years – it’s fantastic, we’ve got a big garden, it’s in a nice location, the atmosphere’s brilliant and you simply never feel alone – I’m really happy there. My German’s got a lot better too, thanks to the contact I have with other students. There are a lot of foreign students at the College of Music, mainly from Asia and eastern Europe. I’ve got really good German friends. My best friend is from Korea, and I’ve another good friend from Cameroon. German’s the language we all share.
Aachen is a really beautiful city. Aacheners talk a lot and are very likeable. I like Aachen. It’s a small city really, just like my home town. I can get everywhere on foot, and it’s relaxing. I find big cities too loud and too overwhelming. I love bumping into people on Pontstrasse, sitting with friends in the Westpark, and I love St Foillan’s – a church with a very special atmosphere. The old quarter, where the cathedral and the City Hall are, is so lovely – being here is a dream come true.
Although I’m looking forward to Chile, I’ll really miss Aachen
Being a musician, I’m pretty choosy when it comes to deciding what concerts to go to. I really like listening to Aachen Symphony Orchestra and the choirs. I actually played once myself at the Churches’ Open Night. I’ve also played at Aachen theatre’s production of the opera “Il mondo della luna”, the NRW Orchestral Academy and the Easter Festival in Bayreuth – the experience of working with actors on big stage sets is something I’d never have been able to get in Chile.
Germany’s long tradition of culture and the arts is also something I notice each time I go to get something for my studies: unlike in Chile, I can buy original music – both notes and recordings – and tools for my bassoon, and even have my instrument repaired right here in Aachen.
After my studies I intend to go back to Chile, and with two German degrees I’ll have excellent career prospects there. Although I’m looking forward to going back home, there’s a lot that I’ll miss: people in Germany show a lot more respect, they’re reliable and nice. It’s a lot safer here, not so corrupt. You can walk through the streets on your own in the evening. I’ll definitely be back – I don’t want to lose contact with my friends, and I don’t want my German to get rusty!
I’d like to leave you with a tip: check out Aachen College of Music’s Student Orchestra and Symphony Project – they’re really good. I hope Aachen College of Music manages to get a higher profile – it really deserves it.
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