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Sir Colin Davis & Josep Caballé-DomenechMeetings

Published in 2003Time to read: 1min 2s

Beyond his desire to succeed, it was Caballé-Domenech’s passion for music that caught Sir Colin’s eye. “He’s pretty wild. One should be wild when one is young.”

by Rolex Mentor and Protégé2003
  • Sir Colin Davis
    The Mentor
  • Josep Caballé-Domenech
    The Protégé

Overloaded schedules

Many of the meetings between mentor and protégé took place in cities where Sir Colin was conducting. Caballé-Domenech would attend Sir Colin’s rehearsals and concerts and sit in on Sir Colin’s master classes. But Caballé-Domenech had his own career to cultivate, appearing in cities from Stockholm to Pamplona and Odense to Barcelona. The question then was how to develop their relationship?

Reading List

Sir Colin’s ingenious solution for initiating a dialogue was to urge Caballé-Domenech in the direction of literature. To begin with, he provided volumes from his own library, beginning with Friedrich Schiller's Don Carlos. Next, Sir Colin thought of Die Rauber (The Highwayman), a wild melodrama of Schiller's youth, and a cardinal document of the movement known as Sturm und Drang.

Unexpected lessons

Ultimately perhaps what will most impact Caballé-Domenech in the years to come will be the sense of ease and the playfulness he witnessed in his time with Sir Colin. “All the things conductors think they should do, they have to unlearn. Maybe what I have to offer is this sort of unlearning, urging Josep to look between the bar lines, to consider the whole flexibility of music, all the different things you can make it mean.”

Professional Impact

A young conductor who is already sparking excitement, Caballé-Domenech aroused particularly keen interest during his concerts in Madrid in April and May 2003, when he conducted both the Spanish National Orchestra and the Spanish National Radio Orchestra.

Personal Impact

“The most important thing I learned from Sir Colin, really, was his attitude,” Caballé-Domenech says, “his relaxed way of approaching and solving artistic problems – and human problems, as well, which he feels are the same thing. He has great trust in people.”


Rolex Mentor and Protégé