Groningenlife! Talent: The extraordinary Mirna Reyes from Mexico

gepubliceerd : 13 March 2013

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Photo by: Alejandro Salinas

Since four years, a city in the north of Holland houses a famous Mexican star. Although not everybody on this side of the Atlantic Ocean has heard of her yet, she has already impressed the future king of the Netherlands with her skills on the violin. In Latin- America people already line up to see her shows. Mirna Reyes is a famous violinist from Mexico, who is just now finishing her musical study at the Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen. Next to being a normal student, she is the ideal example of Mexican culture. An exceptionally talented muscian with a fast rising reputation and special motivation. “Mexico is more then drug wars, I can let people see by playing the violin.”

Mirna was born with music. Her father played the trumpet in the same orchestra in which mother played the hobo. She grew up with the sound of classical music and developed an interest for it at a very young age. She proved to have an extraordinary talent for it, so it was logical to join the same symphony orchestra as her parents. Playing in the Symphony Orchestra of the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas became the first opportunity to show her passion to an audience. And, to no surprise, the audience liked to see this young girl play the violin.

She turned out to have a special connection with the conductor of the orchestra, Juan Jose Maldonado, with whom she has a lot to share about music. “He has always been a great support to me and we still work together on a lot of musical projects.” Next to that, her special performances in the UAT symphony got her the support of the rector of the university, José Maria Leal Gutierrez, with whom much started. Thanks to their support and some of her own Latin-American passion her star rose in Mexico. She started to play in bigger venues and drew the attention of the governor of the state of Tamaulipas. The governor, Egidio Torre Cantu, was impressed by the skills Mirna showed and started to support her in multiple ways. With his and other people's support, her career soon took a flight. “A highlight was a performance at an international festival in Mexico which drew a huge crowd. The venue could only host 2000 people, so a lot of fans had to go home disappointed because all the tickets were sold out in a couple of minutes.

Things took a change when she met her current teacher, Kati Sebestyen. “We immediately had a connection and she gave me the idea to get an education in either Brussels or Groningen. I chose Groningen because I only heard good things about the city.” This turned out to be a great choice. “Groningen is the best! The city seems to be built for students. I love to just get on my bike and be somewhere within a few minutes.” First, she lived in a studenthouse at the Winschoterdiep, where she made friends she still sees a lot. After half a year she got the opportunity to move somewhere else. “I love my place, because I can practice on my violin when I want without disturbing any neighbours.”
Another one of her favourite places of the city is the Poelestraat, the centre of nightlife in Groningen. Once in a while she has a drink in one of the pubs with her friends. She does like the music they play there, although it is not the genre she likes the most. “I do appreciate some electronic music and such when I'm going out, but when I'm at home I play what I like best: classical music.”

Next to that, she is fond of riding horses and that's why a few years ago she subscribed for Parafrid, an association for students who like to ride horses. “Unfortunately, my busy schedule doesn't allow me to ride horse as much as I use to, but it is still one of my passions. She never forgets why she came to the Netherlands in the first instance. Her career as a violinist is most important to her: ”I want to keep on giving as many concerts in the name of Tamaulipas and the University of Tamaulipas (UAT), and keep on promoting them through my music.” With the support of the governor, her teacher, the conductor of the symphony and the rector of the UAT, José Maria Leal Gutierrez, she tries to play as many violin solo's as she can. . She can't stop stating how important the support of the aforementioned people is to her career and personal life.

In the near future, she will give concerts in more countries in Europe. “I always have to be ready, because it is always possible that next month I have to do a show somewhere in the world” However, it is certain that from October 2013 on she is going to do a few concerts in different parts of Mexico, starting in her own state, Tamuaulipas, with her own orchestra, the UAT symphony orchestra. After that, she will perform in Mexico, the United States and Spain. This year she has to cross the Atlantic Ocean a few times more so she can show her skills in Washington DC, but also Valencia where she is playing at two recitals in November.
Her parents will soon also make that trip for the first time, when they come to visit Mirna at her final exam at the Prins Claus Conservatoire. Together with a few other relatives they will fly to Groningen just to see her show her skills on the violin. “I will have my final exam the 24th of June and everyone is invited!”

With that final exam, her period at the conservatory comes to an end. “I have learned a lot over there, from both my teachers and fellow students. So it feels a bit weird that I have to leave there soon.” At the same time, the conservatory has to say goodbye to a very talented student. But with the steps that Mirna is taking in her career, they are like to see her back soon. If not in real life, then perhaps on television. 

By keep on improving her skills as a soloist and by keep on giving concerts, she hopes to accomplish what she wants most: “There is more to it than the drug wars you know. I want to show the world the true face of my state and of my country. The face of the hard-working and talented people of Tamaulipas. The bright side of Mexico.”

By Tomas Riemens