Interview with Mikael Birchmeier-Epprecht, recipient of the Gasco Scholarship
“Discovering the Teatro del Lago was one of the most important events in my life”.
The Chilean energy company Gasco has funded a scholarship for this student of our School; its sponsoring has also benefited the entire instrumental department.
On July 6, the annual award ceremony for the Gasco Cultural Scholarships took place at the Amphitheatre Lago Llanquihue at the Teatro del Lago. This year, the scholarship was awarded to the 15-year-old Mikael Birchmeier-Epprecht from Puerto Varas, who has been a student at the Escuela de las Artes since 2016. Mikael studied violin and piano, sings in the chorus, studies singing and is a member of the Camerata of the Escuela de las Artes. During this time, he has been an active cast member in the School’s own productions, playing various instruments. “It was a very pleasant surprise to receive the Gasco Scholarship. I am grateful at this expression of my teachers’ encouragement. It motivates me to continue my studies,” he said.
The sponsorship also benefits all the School’s instrumental students, most of whom are from the lake region of Los Lagos and Los Ríos and are learning to play instruments such as violin, cello, flute, guitar and piano. We spoke to Mikael to learn more about his life and his history at the Escuela de las Artes.
Since when have you been studying at the School of the Arts, and what does it mean to you?
I have been a member of the children’s chorus since 2016, a piano student since 2018 and this year I started studying singing. Discovering the Teatro del Lago was one of the most important events in my life. Thanks to my studies here, I was able to develop and learn music, which I want to continue doing, and I can hardly imagine my life without the Theatre and its Arts School.
Which instrument or which artform do you like best?
A few months ago, I started studying composition, and realized that I love it! From the analysis of works by great composers to studying harmony and composing itself – that is something I enjoy immensely, and which is also a great challenge.
What do you think about the importance of the Teatro del Lago and its School of the Arts for the region?
They are very important, for many reasons! From an economic point of view, they attract tourism (from which the entire region profits indirectly), because they are one of the most important supporters of culture and the arts, bringing great international artists to the cities and communities surrounding Frutillar, and also organizing free concerts (I was fortunate enough to be part of those, together with other students). Also because they offer hundreds of children, teenagers and adults the possibility of studying music and dance. Ever since its inauguration, the Theatre has had an impressive positive effect on the entire region, and I am very happy to be part of that.
What would you recommend for anyone interested in an artistic discipline?
To be happy. Ultimately, I believe that the arts exist to make ourselves and other people happy. And of course to practice a lot and make the maximum effort to master the technical aspects of the discipline.
How do you envision your future; what would you like to study? At the moment I am trying to concentrate on what I am currently doing. I would like to make great progress in my musical studies this year. I have lots of time to decide what I want to do. If you ask me today, I would like to study composition, but you never know what the future brings. At the moment, I am happy to be studying at the Escuela de las Artes.