Ismael Campanero is an Arcangelo New Ensemblist 2020-22

Based in Madrid, the young bassist Ismael Campanero is already active with leading period performance groups in his native Spain. He is one of three outstandingly promising young ensemble instrumentalists selected for the Arcangelo New Ensemblist programme 2020-22.

Who was your first music teacher and how did they influence you?

When I was little, I started to play the piano a little before the double bass, and I was lucky that my teacher was also an excellent jazz pianist. With him I learned a lot about the power of rhythm, and I also discovered the wonderful creative ability that sleeps within all of us. Thanks to him I started in the world of improvisation, something that years later I discovered was totally related to ancient music. But really, before all that, it was my parents who instilled my love for music.

When did you first become interested in period performance?

My older brother plays the baroque cello and the viola da gamba, so since I was little I started listening to a lot of old music and imitating what I was hearing. Over the years I began to investigate on my own, to look for teachers and musicians with whom to play and learn.

Where are you in your career right now?

I currently live in Madrid and study with several teachers, although I also learn a lot from my fellow musicians. In Spain I play double bass and violone with groups such as La Ritirata, Tiento Nuovo, Nereydas, Da Kamera, Conductus, Euskal Barrokensemble, La Capilla Real de Madrid, Concerto 1700 and La Madrileña among others. I also have a personal project, Wave in Tempo, in which I play the music that I like most with those of my friends with whom I have the greatest musical connection.

What are you looking forward to about being an Arcangelo New Ensemblist?

It is the first time that I have had the opportunity to play with a non-Spanish ancient music group, and I also admire Jonathan and the musicians of Arcangelo, so in general I am very happy! The programme is in itself very different to anything in Spain, because although we have many extraordinary musicians it is a little more difficult to find stability. So I am very grateful to have found this opportunity in Arcangelo. All the elements of the programme look wonderful to me. I am really looking forward to playing all the different programmes, to play closely with Jonathan and with the other extraordinary musicians of the group and soloists. But I also love all the more personal help that Sophia, Sergio and I are being offered, such as Jonathan’s coaching, support and advice for our personal projects. I am really very grateful.

Which Baroque piece could you listen to again and again?

 There are several works that come to mind, I would be unable to choose! But to pick the one that’s closest to me right now, Bach’s Mass in B Minor.