Virginia Figueiredo

With a network of Artist Centres and Ateliers around the world, Yamaha works with leading players to support their performances and develop instrument designs and new ideas for the benefit of all musicians. Yamaha Artists share with us a passion for inspiring the next generation of players, and a belief that everybody should be encouraged to nurture their talent, connect with others and tell their stories through music.

Get to know clarinet player and Yamaha Artist Virginia Figueiredo

How does your instrument help you in your daily life as an artist?

My first contact was quite early. I remember my brothers playing LP records of classical music to put me to sleep when I was still a baby. Learning music started through a local band where I grew up - the Anca Philharmonic band. I learned music through the band and was in the band for about 10 years.

How would you characterise your instrument?

When it comes to clarinets and clarinet models, all the brands have models that I consider high end, but one thing that has been difficult to find is consistency in terms of tuning, which is extremely important to me!
All the models I have tested have a nice sound and good projection etc., but they don't have the standard Yamaha tuning. When I make recordings, if there is one thing that there cannot be any compromise on it is exactly the tuning, because it is something very difficult for the sound engineers to change once the recording is done. Here there is ZERO tolerance in relation to playing out of tune.

When did you first come across Yamaha?

It was this year, after a contact with Miguel and Araken.

Who was your most influential teacher and is there any advice which you still follow?

I don't have a particular person. All the teachers I have worked with are a constant source of inspiration for me, and all the ideas they have passed on to me are ideas that I often use in performance or when working with my students. In general, one of the best ideas they have given me is that there is not just one way or one way to do things. They are all so different and with such distinct and successful careers that they are really an example of how you can carve your own path and don't need to imitate anyone or try to do things the way they've always been done by other individuals. There's actually a lot of value in being unique and trying to go your own way, which I think I do these days where I can have a pretty eclectic career.

Advice for a young musician

I think when you are a young musician it is important to absorb as much information and learn as much as possible BUT after a while and when you feel comfortable with what you have learnt you need to 'fly with your own wings' and create your own identity as a musician and carve your own path, no matter how different that path is from all the others that came before. There is not just one kind of career. We make our career and we can "design" it in any way we want.