Costa Rican Native Rick Barrantes joins New Groove in Philadelphia

My Story

Born in San José, Costa Rica, I started my musical adventure at the age of 7, when I started taking recorder lessons with my dear grandfather – an amateur saxophone player and the only musician in my family. At the age of 11, I was lucky enough to move to another town and enter one of the best pre-college music programs in the country. Here I had access to a very complete music training: music reading, solfege, choir, guitar, piano, music theory, and more recorder. Three years later, at the age of 14, it was time to choose my main instrument and I was fascinated by the white ring on top of the bassoon, I had no idea how the instrument sounded but I started taking lessons and since then, it has been my loyal companion. 

After graduating high school, I started studying at the National Music Institute of Costa Rica and was exposed to my first real chamber and orchestral experience. During my second year, I did an orchestral tour through Nicaragua, which represented my first time outside of the country. From that point, I knew I wanted to travel and play music around the world, getting to know amazing people, beautiful halls, fantastic food, and unique landscapes. During my 5 years in San Jose, I started my performer and educator career, playing concerts and teaching in Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, and the United States. The happiest moment was perhaps when I won the 1st Prize at the Püchner Competition – COFCAM 2015 Advanced Category and played the Mozart Concerto with the Youth Orchestra of Guatemala.

The time came for me to start pursuing one of my wildest dreams: studying abroad. I was extremely honored to get accepted into one of the finest music schools in North America, The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. I spent two amazing years in Canada, where I was exposed to first-class training and had the chance to continue my career with engagements in Austria, Germany, and the United States. After a long process of seeking a new adventure in America, I got to Philadelphia in 2019 and fell in love with the city right away. Here I am currently doing my Master’s in Music at Temple University, teaching at Temple University Music Prep, working for the New Groove Music Studio, and freelancing in the area.

My musical journey has taken me to magical places, teaching wonderful students, and performing alongside great musicians from all around the world. I have loved every single aspect of it, whether as an educator, soloist, orchestral player, or chamber player – I cannot wait to continue this journey.

More About Me

What I teach: I teach bassoon all levels, beginner and intermediate recorder, beginner oboe, and beginner piano.

Location: Philadelphia, PA, and Virtual Music Lessons.

Educational Background: I am currently finishing my Master’s in Music in Bassoon Performance at Temple University, and hold an Artist Diploma from The Glenn Gould School – The Royal Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor in Music from the National Music Institute of Costa Rica.

Favorite Performance I’ve Seen: There is no way I can choose one. Here you have three: Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with my favorite musician ever Janine Jansen, Bartok’s The Miraculous Mandarin with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival, and Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier with Sir Simon Rattle at The Metropolitan Opera.

Favorite Performance I’ve Been In: The last one! Performing for people is my biggest passion and I enjoy every single one to the maximum.

Fun Facts: I used to play a lot of soccer in high school and was the goalkeeper for my school’s team. I also was an Actuarial Science major for the first three years of college, until I decided to be a musician full time.

Current Project: I am making a series of educational videos in Spanish about How to Practice Effectively: Training the mind and body to develop any musical skill in the most effective way, for the Ministry of Culture of Costa Rica.

Hear from Rick about his teaching philosophy!

Having you ever dreamed of playing in an orchestra? Want to learn what it’s like?

Find out about Rick’s upcoming webinar class, ‘The Anatomy of an Orchestra,’ where he’ll explore the insights of each instrument’s role, the organization of an orchestra, concert preparation, and historical background. This class is part of our FREE webinar series, ”Learning to be a Thriving Musician.”

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