Meet TSO Violinist José Leonardi Moore

by Tucson Symphony
Meet TSO Violinist José Leonardi Moore

What/who inspired you to pursue music professionally?

After learning how to play the guitar in elementary school, I was given the opportunity to attend a music school for middle and high school. I didn’t really know any other instrument, but I knew for a fact I did not want to pursue guitar anymore. My neighbor, Mr. Luis, used to practice the violin with his granddaughter, who also went to the same music school. I didn’t know that the instrument they were playing was a violin but one day I told my dad “I want to play whatever they are playing.” I started learning how to play the violin in seventh grade and immediately fell in love with it. After that there was nothing else that interested me more than pursuing a music career.

What’s the best piece of musical advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of musical advice I have ever received was “if you make a mistake when performing, make it with confidence.” As musicians we always strive to play the best we can but mistakes will always occur. The important thing is to be confident, learn from your mistakes and fix them for the next performance.

What do you love about the violin in general and your instrument in particular?

All instruments are an extension of someone’s emotions and ideas. We can use our instruments as a vehicle to awaken different feelings or emotions. You can also convey different messages every time you play the same piece by changing your performance approach and nuances in a concert.

Although all instruments achieve the same results, the violin, in my opinion, has more technical capabilities to achieve those ideas. From playing one single melody to becoming a polyphonic instrument; the violin is the closest instrument to emulate the human voice.

I currently perform on an Italian violin made in the late 19th century. It has a very rich and powerful sound. Having a good quality instrument makes it easier for the player to produce beautiful music.

Which concert from the upcoming season are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to the entire season, but especially our first Masterworks concert in October. Our concertmaster, Lauren Roth will be playing Beethoven’s violin concerto, one of my favorite concertos!

What is your favorite thing about Tucson?

What’s not to love about Tucson? Great weather, delicious food, and an amazing community of people who support the arts.

Who are the top 5 artists (classical or non-classical) on your summer playlist?

I normally listen to classical music during the season in preparation for my concerts but lately I have become more of a podcast person. However, I always like to sprinkle different styles of music on my playlists. I will make sure I add some Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Ariana Grande, Anne-Sophie Mutter (violinist) and Maria Dueñas (violinist).

We heard that you’re headed overseas this summer. Anything you want to share about your upcoming travel?

This summer I will be traveling to Mexico to play with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Sonora. I will also travel to Singapore on vacation and then to Japan on a tour with the Tucson Repertory Orchestra. After that I will go to Florida to visit my mother and will end the summer traveling to San Francisco to attend the Regional Orchestra Players Association as the TSO delegate.