Standing above the orchestra, the conductor naturally draws attention and when he taps his baton to start the show, the audience prepares to be swept away on waves of symphonic sound.
For the last ten years, Eduardo Marturet has led the Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO) to international acclaim. Living his lifelong dream, he admits it wasn't the destiny his family had in mind.
"My whole family were bankers and entrepreneurs; we had a tradition of managing and creating industry, so I was kind of destined to be a businessman, ' he shares. "Thank God I was able to become an artist."
What Marturet, 62, humbly describes was really a dynasty. He can trace his family history back to the sixteenth century to his Spanish ancestor, Alonso Andrea de Ledesma, who founded his hometown of Caracas, Venezuela in 1567. His grandfather, Oscar Augusto Machado Hernandez, also made his mark as the founder of C.A. La Electricidad de Caracas, the first company to produce oil-generated electricity in South America. Naturally, Marturet's parents encouraged their children to pursue careers that would secure a good income, so being an artist was out of the question.
He studied science in high school and might have continued, but he opted to move to Cambridge, England after graduating to perfect his English skills. During the nine years of his residency, he became inspired to pursue music, eventually attending East Anglia University, where he received his degree in piano, percussion, composition and conducting.
While it would seem he led a privileged life, Marturet counters that, in fact, it was fairly normal--disciplined but loving. The sixth of eight children, he says he owes much of his confidence, an essential trait for a conductor, to growing up in a large family--he has 45 first cousins on his mother's side alone. It also prepared him to take charge after his father, Gustavo, passed away when Marturet was only 18. As the new head of the household, he brought his mother, Antonieta, younger brother and sister, Luis and Sylvia, to England.
"I had to tackle the family debt and the will for my mother," he shares. "I used the training in business I had from my father, which is still important today because running an orchestra is like running a business."
He returned to Venezuela in 1979 as the associate conductor with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Caracas. After multiple stints as a guest conductor that produced a Grammy nomination for a recording with the Berlin...