Raffaela Acella

Raffaela Acella was born in Adelaide (Australia) to Italian parents and she has been living in Euskadi for 30 years. She entered the Euskadi Symphony Orchestra as assistant first violin and she was later named Concertino (first violin) until 1995. Since 1996 she has been Violin teacher at the Conservatory and Municipal School of Music of Irun and she is also the Director of the Symphony Orchestra of the same Conservatory.

With a very solid musical background behind her, concurrently to her main career she has enriched her pedagogical knowledge by participating in a wide variety of courses and training related to the world of holistic learning and human knowledge (photographs: F. de la Hera).

Irun conservatorio

You have recordings of violin concerts at the age of 11… How was your childhood?

I started studying the violin with 8 ½ years. Neither of my parents were musicians but both of them loved music, especially my father. My mother bought my first violin. I think she had a strong hunch after watching a girl playing the violin on TV in a national contest for Australian talents. I remember my father wanted me to learn the piano, but my mother won! No one asked my opinion about the choice of violin and I did not object. My parents were very strict and I simply obeyed…

At first, I had rather modest professors until with the help of some musician friends from Adelaide, my parents contacted the one who would later become my main teacher… for 13 years! From this moment, everything began to be very serious. My teacher spent a lot of time with me because, according to her, she sensed something in my potential. I realized I was improving very quickly under her tutelage and this fact motivated me a lot. I started to study many hours right away because I started to give my first concerts at the age of 10-11.

Since then, everything happened in crescendo… concerts, performances with symphony orchestras, contests. I had to reconcile my studies at school with my life as a concertist, which was very intense. As you can imagine there was not much time left for fun.

It was really a very demanding and disciplined lifestyle. However, today I can realize that thanks to my focused way of carrying out everything, I have acquired many useful tools for teaching my students and living my everyday life.

According to your deep teaching experience, how do you think parents influence the musical evolution of their children?

There is no doubt that the parents’ influence is absolutely crutial in the education and musical evolution of children. Many times among teachers we talk about the parent-child-teacher triad. To make things evolve in the most positive way, everything needs to flow in this triad. For example, if the parents do not trust the teacher, something is going to start wobbling.

Children will always be faithful to their parents no matter what happens. They do it because of love and it is impossible to be otherwise. It may happen that the teacher has the best proposals and intentions for the student, but if the parents do not want or are not convinced, there is nothing to do… literally! Over the years I have learned that the best thing we can do as teachers is to advise, because what is certain is that afterwards, each family, according to their experiences, will manage the situations as they can. I have seen and experienced through my life many variants on this subject, so I am able to say that it is absolutely true.

Do your children play any instrument?

I have explained how sacrificed and hard the study of the instrument can be, so my husband (who is a cellist in the Euskadi Orchestra) and I were very sure that we were going to introduce the music in a playful way in the life of our children. Both of them have learned various instruments.

My son plays the drums and the saxophone and my daughter plays the piano and the guitar. They enjoy and have the music integrated into their lives in a natural way… and without pressure.

You have worked with countless orchestras and youth groups, not so young ones and solidarity orchestras… Can you tell us which one is the most special for you?

The truth is that all groups are and have been special to me simply because the members of each orchestra are different, so each group flows with a different energy. That fact is very attractive and inspiring because it requires creativity when it comes to communicating to get the desired results.

Raffaela Acella

“Children will always be faithful to their parents no matter what happens. They do it because of love and it is impossible to be otherwise. It may happen that the teacher has the best proposals and intentions for the student, but if the parents do not want or are not convinced, there is nothing to do… literally! “

If I had to point out some orchestra, I would certainly say that the work I have done and continue doing as the Director of the Symphonic Orchestra of the Conservatory of Irun for the last 25 years is and has been fundamental in my own evolution. I consider myself extremely lucky to have teached so much musical knowledge and perhaps more importantly, human knowledge. Good and positive communication is the most important thing for me to achieve the best results in a young group.

Another project which is very, very dear and special to me is the work I started to do with the Euskadiko Ikasleen Orkestra … Orkestra Txiki (EIO) in 2016. It is an orchestra composed of children between the ages of 9 and 12. It is very exciting to witness how a group of 120 small musicians strive to the maximum and achieve results nobody expected. They have an unlimited potential and my job is to “mould” this potential to be evident. What more can I ask for?

What concerts are you preparing now?

I am just preparing the programme of the Orchestra of the Irun Conservatory for the following year and also, as I will be the Director and musical director of the EIO Txiki, I am now preparing the programme that the children will perform in the 2018 concerts.

What do you expect from holidays?

Above all a lot of rest and disconnection … I need it! On the other hand, being with my children and family a little more than usual because they study outside of Spain, so the moments we spend together during the school year are few.

How did you hear about LumaSuite and what do you think about the project?

I heared about the project directly in hand of its main source of inspiration and creation… Maider Camarero. From the first conversations with ther I realized that the construction of the new cases was going to be revolutionary.

There has been a thorough study of all aspects and details necessary to produce a case of a high quality at all levels. The care and effort in all stages of construction has given rise to a product more than recommendable for all those people looking for a high quality case.

How do you think the next year will be?

The next school year will be as busy as always. All this activity motivates me a lot and I will not have time to stay with my arms crossed… (Laugths)