Adriano at Buchmann Mehta AcademyWhen Adriano Costa Chaves’ cousin roped him into taking up the double bass at age 15 in order to switch to violin, Adriano never imagined where it would lead him!  Within a year, he was playing for the great Zubin Mehta, auditioning for members of the Israel Philharmonic at Sala Sao Paolo and winning an invitation from the Maestro to study at the Buchmann-Mehta Academy: another miracle of the Instituto Baccarelli.

After three years of study in Tel Aviv, he returned this week to his neighborhood Heliopolis in San Paulo with the Israel Philharmonic. Today he is a young adult, an experienced player, a media sensation and the guest artist of the IPO bass section.  He is Brazil’s success story.

Like many Brazilian children, Adriano grew up in a crowded neighborhood of simple people; cars are repaired in the street, houses go un-plastered for years, trash is carefully picked-over on every corner; for entertainment, kids fly kites from roof-tops and play football in the street. The rooms are small and the families are large.  The door is always open for relatives and friends. Inside, it is neat, cool and tranquil in contrast to the streets: “Favela.”

Adriano got off the streets by playing bass at the Instituto Baccarelli.  His teacher, Sergu di Oliverio, who studied for 4 years with the legendary Rainer Zeperitz principal bass of the Berlin Philharmonic, gave him an impeccable basic technique.  Adriano’s 1.90m. height, physical coordination and natural musicianship helped him progress rapidly.  He came to the Zubin Mehta’s attention while playing in the student orchestra 4 years ago, and the next morning Zubin brought him to play for members of the IPO.  It was agreed that the Maestro would find a way for Adriano to continue his studies at the Buchmann-Mehta Academy in Tel Aviv.

Showing Zubin the new bass

Helped of Brazilian sponsors, 17 year old Adriano arrived one year later.  He participated in all of the orchestral projects at the Academy, studied bass with IPO principal bass Peter Marck, performed yearly with Mehta and the IPO, toured with the Buchmann-Mehta Orchestra to New York and Europe, learned Hebrew, bought a beautiful modern Italian instrument, participated twice in auditions for the IPO, played as a substitute with the orchestra, and in his free time took part in Israeli life.  Zubin Mehta asked that he play with the IPO in July and joined the orchestra for the 18 concert tour of South America.

Instituto Baccarelli with Mario Adler

Since returning home, he has been a media star; when TV cameras and reporters appear backstage, they are usually looking to interview Adriano.  He is now hoping to complete his degree in the United States or Germany.