HAPPENED TODAY - On December 6, 1953, the composer Andrew Violette was born in New York

On The Bridge (3)

Why did you decide to begin this experience?
Stefano Cerrato The will to constitute a group of cellos comes, in my case, from the passion for this kind of ensemble that my teacher Antonio Mosca passed onto me during my studies with him, through various summer activities in which the didactical core, both with children and teenagers, was represented by ensemble-playing. As a matter of fact, during the years, I started to look for pieces, even unpublished ones, specially conceived for this unusual type of ensemble, as well as transcribing music, until I fulfilled the dream of having a group of my own.
Alessandro Brutti Before the birth of “On The Bridge”, for me, the cello ensemble had always been a “side activity” to masterclasses or temporary projects. During August 2019 I received the proposal to take part to this group and I had no doubt, both because from the beginning we set important goals, such as the recording of the CD Vocal Chords, and because the work was to set out to be aimed towards the maximum seriousness and accuracy.
Simone Ceppetelli My participation in the formation of a permanent cello ensemble goes back to many years ago, when Stefano, the real creator of this project, opened his first cello studio. I have always believed in the great potentiality of a cello group, but, up until a year ago, it was just about temporary didactical projects to learn how to play together. During August 2019, however, we have been able to realize the initial idea, and a real group, bond by the common will to create a very interesting recording project, was formed.
Benedetta Giolo Since before the birth of On the Bridge, Stefano often planned ensemble music projects for cellos, to which I took part: from the beginning I felt an atmosphere of complicity and collaboration, reaching immediately brilliant results. As soon as, last year, Stefano proposed me to participate in this new rising group I eagerly accepted. As time went by, in addition to being a group of cellos, we became very good friends and during our rehearsal a joke, a smile, a wit are never spared.
Emanuele Rigamonti In the class of Stefano cello ensemble activity has never been missing. For years, in my mind, there was a desire to form a permanent group and to bring this extraordinary chamber music experience into concert halls. Personally, in my own small way, I tried to create some chances to realize this project. At a certain point, in some way, we forced us to give birth to On The Bridge. It had been in the air for too many years, and the success was guaranteed: among cellists it is impossible not to get along!
Vittorio Zelocchi I had always desired to try out the experience of an only-cello ensemble, because of its potentiality and the nuances one can obtain. Moreover, dialogue between the same instruments is always immediate, in a way: voices blend into one intention, and I feel lucky to take part in this adventure with amazing fellows and wonderful people.
Sara Merlin Even if at the beginning one could be frightened by the idea to play with other 8 cellists, worrying about competition, I gladly accepted Stefano’s invitation. I had the chance, so, to realize that, besides the very interesting repertoire, it is possible to learn a lot one from the other and to exchange opinions, ideas, and points of view by which I am discovering to be enriched as a performer.
Lucia Molinari Cello ensemble has always been a recurring experience during my studies with Stefano, and I have always been amazed by the versatile and expressive features of this type of ensemble. To me, forming a permanent group was something special, not only for the quality and seriousness of the work we do together but also for the friendship, mutual support, and team spirit that bond us.
Matteo Vercelloni I have known Stefano for a long time, and during the years, the possibility to form a cello ensemble whose strong point was steadiness presented itself many times, but each time difficulties of some sort came up. Obviously problems did not disappear, but in the end the strong will to get to the bottom of this project, and the aggregation of the right people brought us to the achievement of our target. The atmosphere is dynamic, rich of cultural and intellectual incitements, but also full of calm and friendliness. With such colleagues, or better, companions, you don’t worry about anything. It would have been impossible for me to turn down such an offer!

How are you organized within the group? Is there anybody in particular that decides the repertoire or takes care of obtaining concerts or organizing trips?
As in any work team anyone has its task: Emanuele and Stefano decide the repertoire, but anyone is free to submit proposals. Stefano adapts and arranges, Alessandro deals with translations of interviews or booklets in English or German, Emanuele promotes and advertises while the occasions to play, in addition to Benedetta, are sought after by any member of the group. Beyond the musical sphere, everyone gives its contribution to keeping the group together: Matteo’s role, always ready to keep up the spirit and the enthusiasm (and to chauffeur us here and there); Emanuele’s culinary contribution: the more difficult the pieces the more sweets he cooks; the sense of humor, and the always-ready wit of Alessandro; Simone’s hair lock, without which, one of most conversations central topic would miss. Vittorio, without doubt, is the “kind soul” of the group, the pacific spirit that supports everybody. Anyone knows that every group, especially if large, needs someone who knows how to keep the feet on the ground and that is able to give actual and clear opinions: that is Benedetta, whose organizational precision is often critical for the ensemble. Sara is a great enthusiast, full of energy, and a source of smile and guaranteed goof mood. Lucia is the “zen soul”: when tension arises she is able to listen to the others, to calm down worried minds, to reassure: she is certainly a balance point for the group.

[to be continued]