By Greg Carannante
City & Shore Magazine
Upon being named artistic director and principal conductor of the Symphony of the Americas two years ago, Pablo Mielgo said that his main challenge “as a European, as an Hispanic is to bring both continents together — and especially in South Florida, to bring the Latin community to what is a wonderful orchestra.”
With his inaugural season under his baton, Mielgo takes his second step toward accomplishing that goal with a diverse 2022-23 program that in a February performance combines the quintessentially American Aaron Copland with Argentina’s tango trailblazer, Astor Piazzolla, and that spotlights his homeland in an April concert titled, “Spain, Further Beyond! Exploring Spain’s Musical Excellence.”
A native of Madrid, Mielgo has for eight years been chief conductor of the Orquestra SimfoÌnica de les Illes Balears in Palma in Spain, and has regularly conducted on such renowned stages as Carnegie Hall and others throughout Latin America and the Middle East. Before taking the podium of the Fort Lauderdale orchestra, Mielgo had also collaborated with the Miami New World Symphony and the Florida Grand Opera.
Mielgo, 46, travels from Spain to South Florida for about a week each month to conduct the symphony. He lives year-round in Majorca with his wife, Nina Heidenreich, who is a guest violinist for the orchestra and with whom he has a 5-year-old daughter, Amelie. He briefly set down his baton to take our Quote Unquote questionnaire.
Aside from the weather, what do you enjoy most about South Florida?
Mainly the amount of interesting people I have met. The diversity of nationalities, the will of the society to create new projects. It is a constant development which makes you better as a person and as a musician.
Aside from the weather, what do you dislike most about South Florida?
The time I am not in Florida.
Are you a beach person or a pool person?
When in your life are you or have you been the happiest?
I am a very fortunate person in my professional and personal life. I want to work every day in both aspects. Happiness is mainly in your hands, and you should not think too much about it. Just work on it.
What do you do when you’re stuck in a traffic jam on I-95?
What music are you listening to now?
I personally listen to the music I am working with. And if I have to listen to music in general, I am fascinated by any good music and good musicians — does not matter the style or the age.
Are you a fan, and if so, of what?
Not really a fan of being a fan.
If you had to choose: Beatles or Stones?
Both are amazing. As I have said, good music is good music.
What are your social media usernames?
I am not very much into social nets, but professionally I have them. Facebook: mielgopablo;
Instagram: pablo.mielgo_cf; Website: pablomielgo.com/en/
Apple or Android?
Both. A bit more Apple.
Who is your real-life hero?
What car are you driving now?
If you had to choose: Rocky or Raging Bull?
What do you like most about yourself?
Difficult to say. Other people should answer this question.
What places in South Florida do you recommend to guests visiting from out-of-town?
There are so many amazing places. I had a great experience at the Everglades.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I work every day to change what bothers me and what I know bothers the people I love. It is a work in progress.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being a father.
PHOTO: Courtesy Pablo Mielgo