Martino Olivero recently won the Loiacono Competition and gladly agrees to answer some of our questions.
Can you explain to our readers what compositions you have decided to propose for the competition and what is the peculiarity of this competition?
Of course, the peculiarity of this competition is that, in addition to having to play, competitors must face a composition test. For the occasion, I composed a sonatina and recorded it together with the three tempos of the Third Suite of J.S. Bach (Prelude, Sarabanda, and Giga). The “extra” test I believe changes from year to year, in fact last year an essay was written, in addition to the more ordinary part of the execution.
What are the characteristics of the sonatina that you have decided to compose for this competition, and what musical language have you chosen to use?
The sonatina that I composed for the competition is in two movements, the first slow and relaxed and the second more marked and rhythmic. For the language I was inspired by John Coltrane and the cellist Stephan Braun, also I added a quote to the Prelude to the Fourth Suite of J.S. Bach.
What was the course of study that allowed you to reach this goal?
As for the cello study path, I did the classic path in the Conservatory, with the old Italian system; later I also took the second level degree in the same instrument. As for the composition, I am self-taught, but I am going to start studying it seriously.
Which teachers and what experiences, in your opinion, have had the greatest influence on your training?
What a difficult question! I am really afraid of not being able to thank all those teachers who, between schools and the Conservatory, have helped me to grow with many small teachings; it is very difficult if not impossible to reconstruct the causal line that led me to learn and integrate certain notions and techniques. In general, I feel very influenced by Enrico Bronzi (whom I met at the master classes of the Portogruaro festival in Veneto), a complete musician, who taught me to consider the compositions in their entirety. Then Damiano Scarpa (with whom I prepared for this competition) played a very important role, who followed me in the years after the Conservatory. Finally, I thank the teachers who followed me to the Conservatory, professors Andrea Scacchi and Massimo Macrì.
Who is the author you love most? What are the compositions that you played with more pleasure? And which ones do you plan to play in the future?
The composer I love most (and who I would play all my life) is Sostakovic, although, unfortunately, I have played little. The composition that I played with more pleasure is the Sextet op. 36 by Brahms, which I was lucky enough to play with Bruno Giuranna at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Turin. An experience that led me to love chamber music. For the future, I intend to explore new repertoires, also different from the classical ones, such as jazz and improvisation in general.
Do you prefer to play as a soloist, in chamber music groups, or in an orchestra?
Personally, I prefer chamber music, for the dialogue that is created with other voices. Although, in reality, I always feel a chamber musician, both in the orchestra (even if in a row), and also when I play solo since most of the cello repertoire only needs the piano, or another instrument, or even an orchestra that “accompanies”. When I find myself playing alone, I love the freedom of not having to adapt to someone else and being able to manage the speech independently, however, I always feel the lack of a “confrontation” with someone else.