July 29, 2013 – University of Houston Law Center Visiting Assistant Professor Julian Cardenas Garcia recently performed with the Texas Medical Center Orchestra of Houston at Carnegie Hall in New York City. An Andrews Kurth Energy Law Scholar, Cardenas is a violinist of the TMCO, an all-volunteer community orchestra mainly comprised of health professionals.
The concert “Houston Proud: Celebration of Hope” was conducted by Libi Lebel earlier this summer. It featured the Bayou City Chorale and the KIPP Sharp Singers, a group of third and fourth graders from the KIPP Sharp College Preparatory School, singing along with the orchestra music of Tchaikovsky, Schostakovich, John Rutter, and the project Purple Songs Can Fly.
A Venezuelan attorney, Cardenas’ research focuses mainly in three issues: international investment law in Latin America, international arbitration and transnational petroleum law. Cardenas took time to answer questions about music, his legal career, and his experience performing at Carnegie Hall.
Q.) How important is music in your life?
Music has always been a part of my life. As many others Venezuelans of my generation, I was educated in the Venezuelan System of Orchestras of Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu, now known worldwide given the success of the Venezuelan System of Symphony Orchestras that has produced also soloist such as Edicson Ruiz, Francisco Flores, Linda Briceño and the recent work of Gustavo Dudamel in front of Los Angeles Philharmonic. Under the guide of conductors such as José Antonio Cerón and Rodolfo Saglimbeni, I had the privilege to join these orchestras when I was a teenager, enjoying the experience to play music with friends every day.
Q.) How have you been able to combine music and your law career?
It has not been that hard. I realized very young that I had a diversity of interest, such as politics, diplomacy, economy and law. I did not want to give up any of them, so discipline and perseverance were the only two ways. When working in diplomacy, law or academia, you are surrounded by people that appreciate music and many other forms of arts. They have encouraged me to never give up.
Also, music helps me with ideas in my legal writing. A Symphony Orchestra reflects in many ways social values such as harmony and order, which are also related to the notion of law in a society.
Q.) What was it like to play in Carnegie Hall?
It was very physical. I can still feel the vibrations of the A chords that the orchestra played in the Tchaikovsky 5th Symphony. The acoustics were extraordinary. It was not my first big theater. I have played in others such as the Berlin Philharmonie, the Sorbonne Amphitheater and the Teresa Carreño in Caracas. But without doubt, it was a life experience being in New York playing in such a beautiful and iconic theater with marvelous acoustics.
Q.) Have you found good music during your stay in Houston?
Absolutely! There is a lot of classic music and opera going on in Houston. The concerts of the Houston Symphony, the concerts of the Moores School of Music at UH, the Opera at the Heights, concerts at the Miller Theater, the concerts of TMCO of course, and other professionals and amateurs orchestras playing in the city. Also, Houston is a World capital of rock & roll, jazz and blues. I am very happy with all I have found in Houston and enjoying my stay here.