Lilliana Marrero, The Violinist
By Ruth Augustin '15
Published On Tuesday, January 5, 2016
When Lilliana Marrero ‘15 was thirteen years old she began to play the violin. After her first orchestra rehearsal in the 8th grade, she knew instantly that she wanted to be part of an orchestra for many years to come. “There was something very special about being surrounded by people so different from each other, working altogether to create one single beautiful result,” said Marrero. Years later, she was offered a full scholarship to Lynn University; she was so excited for the opportunity. “I chose Lynn because I understood the Conservatory’s faculty could substantially contribute to my musical development,” Marrero commented.
She studied Performance as a conservatory student. “The environment was just right. An involved dean, amazing and renowned faculty, talented student colleagues, good space for practicing and plenty of time for studying,” said Marrero. She credits Lynn for many of the things that she learned, “Lynn University helped me realize the importance of setting clear professional goals, and taking steps towards them every day while studying.”
As Marrero prepared for graduation, she began to contact her previous teachers and musicians in Puerto Rico. One of her violin teachers immediately offered her a teaching position. After graduation, Marrero went to Graz, Austria for the AIMS Music Festival. It is one of the leading summer music programs in Europe. This six week program helps students prepare for their careers as professional musicians. Her experience in Europe contributed to her preparation to return to Puerto Rico to teach. Marrero said, “While working as a teacher, I carefully prepared my audition. I played for orchestral musicians and friends, recorded myself throughout the day, and always spared time to relax. A month later, that work paid off with my new job as a violinist in our main musical institution: the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra.”
Now, in her current position with the Symphony Orchestra, Marrero is taking on more responsibility to further her experience. “During the first half of the day, I study and practice my orchestra part besides working on my personal repertoire and technique to stay in shape. Also, I listen to recordings with the full orchestra score in hand to get familiarized with the piece in order to be able to work on musical ideas during the rehearsal instead of trying to put everything together on the spot. Then, during rehearsals, I arrive early, and work towards the highest expression of music that we can reach.” She rehearses Monday through Friday and loves playing in the orchestra. “It is just what I was hoping for,” she said. Her favorite part is that she is surrounded by musicians who are an extremely talented group of people.
Being part of an orchestra requires Marrero to perform on Saturday or Sunday. Sometimes they perform two concerts during one week. “We’ve performed a variety of pieces like Beethoven’s Triple Concerto —where we showcased the musical talent and legacy of my violin teacher at Lynn, Guillermo Figueroa, and his family— also Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony and John William’s Star Wars repertoire. We were meant to play this last one only once, but thanks to the audience’s response we will be having our 7th show in a few days!”
In the future, Marrero hopes to reach younger audiences and guide troubled minds through the use of music. Her motivation to see others smile has gotten her to where she is today. Through the many rehearsals and performances Marrero has made her hearts desires possible.