[blockquote author=”Top 10 Most Successful Mexicans in Canada” pull=”normal”][/blockquote]
Originally from: Mexico City
Specialty: Vanguard Classic
8 Years in Canada
Among her myriad accomplishments as a classical violinist, Paulina received a grant from Mexico’s FONCA (National Fund for Culture and the Arts) three times. She has played in orchestras, ensembles and as a soloist in major venues around the world, including in Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.
She currently lives in Toronto, where she is a member of the contemporary musical duo Altri Suoni (together with Canadian composer Barbara Croall), and a violinist with the Ontario Philharmonic. She also teaches violin and is the author of the book El músico consciente (Editorial Ink, 2012), which proposes a new and innovative approach to teaching music. An English translation of the book, The Conscious Musician, is scheduled for publication this summer.
In 2013, Mexico’s Quién magazine recognized Paulina in their list of “the 50 personalities who are transforming Mexico”, alongside celebrities like the Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón, and the internationally acclaimed opera singer Placido Domingo.
It was back during that summer in 2005, when she played at the Harbourfront Centre, that she fell in love with Toronto. Laughing, she adds: “it was summer, of course.” In 2006, she moved to Toronto with her husband and, two months later, joined the Ontario Philharmonic. She considers herself fortunate because they sought her out. “Everything has fallen into place in Canada. I have looked for opportunities, but some others have found me on their own.”
In her book El músico consciente, Derbez explains to us how at a young age, when she entered the Conservatory, she realized that she did not know how to study, and that this was preventing her from moving forward in her learning. One day she realized that to develop as a musician a holistic approach was needed, that viewed the musician as a whole being, with mind, emotions and body. “Every problem needs to be solved first at a mental level,” explains Derbez. Before performing on stage she meditates, and follows a routine of physical exercises that help her to prepare her body. She uses positive affirmations to prepare her mind, in order to visualize what she wants to achieve onstage. “Visualizing the moment is important: always picture yourself being successful.”
Paulina as an artist offers her audience the passion Mexicans bring to everything they do, a passion and determination can be seen when she is onstage. She is a classically trained violinist who knows the tradition well, but who also likes to break classical paradigms and surprise her audiences. She approaches her work as an experienced stage actor would, using every inch of the available space, projecting images on a screen, and even using her voice, in open defiance of the conventions attached to classical music. As an artist, Derbez seeks to challenge people’s preconceptions and invite them to enjoy an entirely different musical experience.
Paulina’s work as an artist is fresh and innovative, taking her audience to previously unexplored territory with an unorthodox blend of musical and other artistic expressions. It might appeal some and puzzle others, but her talent and stage presence never leave anyone untouched.
Her interest in breaking boundaries has led her to take part in numerous multidisciplinary events, such as the contemporary dance performance Cuerpo Impulso, performed at the National Arts Centre in Mexico City and in Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre in 2005. Since coming to Canada she has developed a contemporary solo work combining violin, voice, movement and lighting design, under the name Shika: Out of the Silence the Sound is Born; parts of this work have been performed at the Alucine Film Festival in Toronto and at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio. The full performance was premiered last year, and she will be performing it again at Toronto’s George Ignatieff Theatre this year on May 30th.
Although a Canadian resident, Derbez has not left her native country behind. Together with Barbara Croall, she will be performing this year at the Palacio de las Bellas Artes in Mexico City, the nation’s most renowned concert hall. She will also be giving lectures on her musical pedagogy around the country.
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