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HAPPENED TODAY - On June 17, 1717, the violinist and composer Johann Stamitz was born in Havlíčkův Brod

Saverio Loiacono Prize – Humanist cello prize (2)

“Promotion of the humanistic and scientific culture in the musical discipline”. Do you want to explain this statement, really meaningful?
The 2019 edition has a definitely different and more determined approach compared to the previous one and also, if we want, more ambitious. The idea is to take a step forward: not a competition or a simple festival, but a prize, to be conferred on a cellist who brings with him the desire to overcome the stereotype of the “athletic”, but lacking human content, musician. We are too immersed in a musical world that on one hand dominates us, shouts its contents on social media, fills us with information ad nauseam , on the other it deprives us of our own voice and identity, making people miss meaning of things, the human dimension, in fact, of making music, of searching for its own sound, its own taste for beauty, its whisper, its nuances.
Basically we would like to give a voice to those who, in the cello field, are searching for the “musical Self” also through an epistemological approach, then scientific or even philosophical and literary. The theme is open, we hope for a Pandora’s box full of ideas and contents.
From whom will the judging commission be composed?
Although it is not a competition but a prize, as the artistic director I considered the idea that a technical-scientific committee was necessary to evaluate the candidacies of people who want to get involved. I considered the formula of musical competition quite inappropriate for what, at least here, wants to be a humanistic approach to art. Then there are other cases, such as obtaining a job, where it is also right that the selection procedures are more stringent and meritocratic, but at the moment this is not the case, being, precisely, a grant and an incentive to deepen. Besides, the music world is already so full of competitions that adding another one, in my opinion, would have made no sense.
In the committee, in addition to myself who chairs it, there is Maestro Andrea Cavuoto, an extraordinary cellist and teacher, with whom there is an impressive affinity of intentions for everything related to the cultural aspect that an instrumentalist should cultivate . Besides him, to assist the judgment on the documents and the style of the candidates there will be prof. Giacomo Turolla, teacher of liberal arts, who has a deep knowledge of the links between music, art, philosophy and linguistics.
We are honored to have Giovanni Sollima as honorary president of the Prize, enthusiastic from the very beginning to be our tutelary deity, a volcanic and open person, of great inspiration for us that created the prize but especially for many young cellists who, thanks to him, learn that it is not enough to know how to do acrobatics on the instrument, but that you can also invent, write music, improvise, play and have fun, always taking anti-rhetorical positions. A symbol, in short.
Briefly: what are the procedures for participating and for whom the prize is open?
The Loiacono Prize has no age or nationality limit and the expiry date is set for 28/02/2019. Not being a competition, it does not include a registration fee and participation in the competition is equivalent to self-reporting of one’s own creative identity, one’s own style, one’s own repertoire research. Candidates must send two videos and an elaborate typescript of a musicological or transcription character, of a manuscript of an unobtainable sonata, a piece composed ex-novo for the occasion, a cadence of a classical concert. Something, in short, that highlights the musician, the thinking mind, the human being, beyond the instrumental “skills”.
The most detailed methods of participation can be found in Italian, English and French on the website www.premioloiacono.wordpress.com.
What is the prize dedicated to the winner? Are there any possibilities for concerts or participation?
The chosen candidate will receive a cash prize of 600 euros offered by the Loiacono family and will have the possibility to publish in digital form with the ISBN the written work required by the announcement, then a real publication. In addition, the cellist can perform on two occasions live in concerts organized in the beautiful towns of Polignano a Mare (Ba) and San Felice sul Benaco (Bs), on Lake Garda, presenting two free-choice programs, for cello only the first, with the piano the second.
Are there any other links or relationships with other prizes, competitions, events or with Conservatories of the Puglia Region?
We are counting on establishing ever-increasing relationships and links from the next editions, especially abroad, and in particular the places where Master Loiacono has worked and has been active, trusting in the always increasing support from local authorities who have the desire to invest in a high-profile cultural image.
Thanks also to the notoriety and the public success of international cellists, also in cross-over music, this instrument is raising great interest in young people. Is it like that in your region too?
Absolutely yes. Puglia is a musically vivacious region, with music conservatories distributed throughout the territory but above all with music courses in compulsory schools and musical high schools now present and very active, not to mention the great opera and symphonic musical tradition and the unfailing popular music. Giovanni Sollima himself played the role of artistic director of “La notte della Taranta” a few years ago and in that occasion he brought the cello to the center of attention in a traditional music festival;he has also just returned from a solo summer tour in the whole region where the “Apulia Cello Soloists”, a group of which Andrea Cavuoto and I took part, accompanied him in a program that ranged from Boccherini to Nirvana.
Who knows if the 2020 edition of the Loiacono Prize will be a bit ‘cross-over’ too; for now we expect to find a real “humanist cellist” and to be spoiled for choice!
Thanks again for your kind availability. Good luck to all the partecipants but also and above all to all the organizers of the “Loiacono Prize”.