With You Every Step: Santi

Why did you choose your instrument?  

I chose the clarinet because I got accepted into Special Music School. I originally wanted to learn piano but they said there were already too many pianists in my class so they asked me to choose a different instrument. I chose the clarinet which I wanted to try and here I am. 


What did it feel like to play your instrument for the first time?  

Honestly, I don't remember since I was very young. I started my clarinet lessons in kindergarten on the recorder because it was easier and obviously much lighter. I switched from the recorder to a plastic clarinet called Kinder Klari which didn’t have all the pinky keys. So after playing on it for a few months, I switched to Luis Rossi E flat clarinet because Paquito D’Rivera recommended it. I really liked the Rossi because it was a real instrument and it looked really nice. 

Who have been your musical inspirations?  

I’ve had many inspirations, but just to name a few; Paquito D’Rivera, David Shifrin, Anthony McGill, Pablo Ziegler, my teacher Pavel Vinnitsky and my parents. 


How often do you practice?

Every day for 2 hours. 

Wow! That’s a lot of practice. What keeps you motivated? 

Honestly, practicing is my least favorite thing about clarinet, but I do it anyway because I want to improve. If you want to get better at an instrument, or anything really, you need to practice. 


Do you have any favorite musical memories, and is there anything you’re looking forward to doing in the future? 

Probably performing in the Taiwan’s National Theatre with my dad and his quintet because I got to perform pieces I really enjoy and I liked how there were thousands of people. 

I’d love to perform in more places like Europe and travel the world collaborating with great musicians.  

Eventually, I want to be a professional musician that is well-versed in many genres – jazz, classical, etc. 

You seem like a very dedicated young musician. What do you like to do outside of music? 

I like a lot of other things actually. I love trains and want to travel the Euro Rail all over Europe. I love video games and Legos. I also compose electronic music and using it in stop motion pieces that I create. Check out Santi’s stop motion below.

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