For some years in the Silkroad organization, we put together a summer course in collaboration with Harvard University’s School of Education titled The Arts and Passion-driven Learning. It was a course where we explored the role of passion in education and its relationship to the arts.
This week, working in Chicago, I bumped into a musician who really represents this idea. A Galician musician who made history earning Principal Trumpet at the prestigious Chicago Symphony, he is a person who found his passion and through it reached his dreams: Esteban Batallán.
His story moved me profoundly. Born in Barro, Pontevedra, in 1983, his musical journey begins with his father and with his visiting a musical instruments store where someone suggests he take up the trumpet. He continues living in Pontevedra and Vigo and trains with the master Javier Viceiro Filgueira. At sixteen years old, playing with the National Youth Orchestra of Spain (JONDE), he discovers Mahler’s music and by chance purchases a recording of the aforementioned Symphony. When he heard it, as he cites in his web page, he knew «he wanted to play like that.»
Listening to him in Chicago, his telling us about that life journey with its highs and lows, makes one imagine the parallels with kids who dream of playing for the Barça or who dream of being the next Serena Williams. Batallán dreamed with being like the trumpeter Adolph Herseth and «playing» in the Chicago Symphony, and the passion that led to his present post is so contagious that, in chatting briefly with him, one feels that beautiful energy that emanates from those who get to forge a life out of their passion…How beautiful it is listening to them and feel that, sometimes, if you want it, you can do it.