HAPPENED TODAY - On November 29, 1797, the composer Gaetano Donizetti was born in Bergamo

There are many cellists who use the internet and social networks in an intelligent way, but among them, David Johnstone stands out for his desire to share and disseminate useful materials and information for cellists. A desire that MyCello shares with him. Therefore, I decided to contact him and ask him if he wants to answer some questions. He accepted the proposal with enthusiasm.

When, in your life, did you first see and hear a cello and why did you decide to choose it as your instrument?
Well, first of all, thanks so much for inviting me, and I will try to be very transparent and honest in my replies!
The truth to your first question is that I can’t really remember hearing a cello for the first time; apparently, I asked to play the violin at aged 6, but there weren’t any music lessons taking place at my village school at that moment. Then, soon after, we moved to the regional capital (Reading, Berkshire, England) and there yes there were many instruments available; I choose the cello and liked it a lot from the very beginning.
My parents didn’t play at home when I was a young child, but my father had once been an almost semi-pro jazz drummer in his youth and my mother also had quite a number of years of piano lessons and was able to play some ‘easier’ Chopin pieces; in turn, her father was the lead trumpet player in the town band. So, I suppose there were some musical genes passing from generation to generation.

Which of the teachers that you met during the years of study most influenced your training and from what points of view?
I grew up in the pre-internet age, so we didn’t have the advantage of seeing marvelous videos on YouTube, it was all face-to-face. At about 13 I was suffering a bit; I sensed that something was not right with my playing, I didn’t seem to be progressing like I wanted – I didn’t know at that moment that in fact my teacher was…very poor! However, the conductor of the local youth symphony orchestra where I had recently started playing fixed me up with a change to the cello professor at the local university – a then semi-retired German cellist called Martin Bochmann. This was like an answer from heaven! He was quite strict but very analytic (anecdotally he was almost the last student of Hugo Becker, and he was playing as orchestral principal cello in Germany/Austria in the 1940s), but just the sort of approach that I connected to. For example, when I started with him, he hated my circular-motion ‘croony’ vibrato and fixed two wooden blocks (tied by tough string) on top of and underneath my left arm to restrict unnecessary movement – it hurt a bit, but I loved doing it as I could see it was working!
The proof is that in just two years I went from the UK Grade 6 level to being accepted into the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
After school, I went to the Royal Academy of Music – for the first three of the four years I could have done much more, perhaps, but I was a bit overawed in London; not with music but learning how to cope for myself (and I’m not sure I did!). Musically I did not feel pushed enough, although my teacher Derek Simpson was a wonderfully kind man with whom I covered an amazing amount of repertoire which well served me later, so it was not a bad choice at all.
Towards the end of my time at the RAM I saw that cellists with a glorious tone such as Lynn Harrell were those who I most admired, and so I contacted him personally. I almost went with him to Juilliard, but anyway he would occasionally receive me in London and invited me onto his masterclasses. A definite big influence for me.
Finally, occasionally I sought a specific performer for specific works; for example, I worked on Rubbra and Enescu works with William Pleeth, or the Finzi Concerto with Christopher Bunting.

You studied in England, but now you work in Spain. What are, in your opinion, the main differences between the world of music in these two countries? Which of the two offers the best opportunities for students? Which offers the best job opportunity?

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A young cellist from Afghanistan contacts me. She tells me about her dreams. Her message shows all the enthusiasm of his 16 years. I propose an interview. Meena replies “Wow this is great and wonderful!” This is how my questions begin.

When did you start to play the cello, and why the cello and not another musical instrument?
I started playing cello when I was in fifth grade in Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM).  The first time that I heard cello, I was in fourth grade 4. Before that, I’ve never heard or seen a cello in my life. As soon as I heard the sound of the cello something really special and sweet happened to my heart. Cello has a really deep sound and really powerful sound that’s why cello got a huge part in my life and in my heart.

Are there many cellists in your country?
We don’t have many cellists in Afghanistan which makes me a little sad. We only have like 4 or 5 cellists throughout Afghanistan.

Is it easy to get a good cello in your country?
We can’t find cello or other instruments like viola, trumpet, obe, clarinet, etc… in here that’s why school gives instruments for all students.

Are there any music schools in your country?
There is only one music school in my entire country and it’s called “Afghanistan National Institute of Music” (ANIM).

Who was your first (or the most important) cello teacher?
When I started playing cello I only had a teacher for like 6 months and then she went back to her own country after five or six months another cello teacher came and she is the one who helped me to really understand cello and also helped me to stay strong in my hard times because playing music is not easy in Afghanistan especially when you are a girl.

When and where did you play in public for the first time?
My first concert for the public was in Germany and it was also my first time playing outside of Afghanistan as a member of Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra (Zohra).

What is the moment of your life as a cellist that you remember with more pleasure?
Every moment of playing the cello is a pleasure for me. The most beautiful moment of playing the cello was when I performed with Divino Sospiro Orchestra in Portugal.

What is your favorite composer and which is your favorite composition?
My favorite composer is Edward Elgar. His music has something really special and I love all his compositions.

Do you prefer to play alone, with other cellists, or with musicians who play other instruments?
I have never played with a group of cellists alone but I have played with different huge orchestras. In the future, I want to experience how it is to play with 20 cellists. And I also really like to play solo with orchestra and that’s why I have composed a piece for cello and orchestra. It’s called DAWN and it’s about women’s struggles in Afghanistan.

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Principal cello of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, passionate about cars, cooking, and nature. Agrees to answer our questions …
Son of a cellist. Your choice to play this instrument seems very natural, but … have you ever wished to play another musical instrument?
Of the cello, as of any other bowed instrument, the fact that it is only partially polyphonic weighs on me. Therefore, I would have liked to play the piano, which I play in an elementary way, in order to at least understand better the harmonies of what I am studying or writing.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of living under the same roof as your teacher?
From a strictly musical point of view, it is an advantage, because there is continuous control by the Maestro. By the law of retaliation, now that I’m a father, I tend to play a lot of games with my son.

What other cellists have been important in your training and from what points of view?
I have always had two teachers: my father at home and Maria Leali in the conservatory. Without her charge of positivity and confidence, I would have been unable to continue. For this reason, I realize that many of the kids often need to be supported psychologically, as well as being technically directed towards an in-depth and effective study method, for example, the study of the various types of vibrato, phrasing, etc. Returning to me, I then studied for 4 years with Rocco Filippini at Stauffer, and, with him, I had a great time: great culture, great refinement in the solutions of handling of the bow, and fingering that he proposed. With Mario Brunello, I attended courses at Romanini in Brescia for 3 years. His touch and communication in creating empathy for feelings with the public are absolutely unattainable. At the Musik Akademie in Basel, I studied with Thomas Demenga. He has been a wonderful teacher. A kind of hippie of great refinement and artistic caliber. It leaves the students free to express themselves, but also gives very technical / musical advice if asked. I certainly cannot forget the lessons in Venice, at the Fondazione Cini, with Eugenio Bagnoli, a great pianist of the past. He talked to me about how to improve my communication and expressiveness. And finally the chamber music lessons with the Amadeus Quartet, whose summer and winter courses in London I have followed for years.

Which cello do you play and which other cellos have you played during your artistic career?
The cello I currently play is a cello built in the early 1900s, whose characteristic is to have sound projection and ease of sound emission. Before, I used to play a 1730 Carlo Antonio Testore. Sweetness and quality, but we are in an era of Italy where there are no rooms with acoustics that allows these noble characteristics to emerge, if not supported by many dB. If I lived in Germany, Japan, Switzerland, it would be different for that a fantastic instrument, but here, with the dry acoustics of our theater, something that really pushes is needed.

A portfolio of important competitions. But, from your point of view, which were the most significant? Which one did you experience with the most emotion, and which one gave you the greatest satisfaction?
The chamber music and orchestra competitions I have made, and sometimes won, are the result of years and years of truly great sacrifices. I remember that the normal strategies of trying to always do everything better, in the classic triad of sound rhythm intonation, at some point were no longer enough, and I found my alternative strategies to try to differentiate myself from the competition. Some are small secrets, I can talk about others in general. However, a lot of creativity is also needed in the study phase.

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Caterina Isaia is one of the most interesting of the young Italian cellists. At the moment she is studying in London and is happy to accept an interview proposal that comes from Bergamo, the city where she spent a few years of her life.
Why music and why the cello? Do you think your family has somehow influenced your choice?
I lived the first years of my life in Sicily and, at the age of 6, I sang in the Chorus of white voices of the Teatro Lirico Vittorio Emanuele of Messina and in the Summer Season of the Greek Theater of Taormina. I grew up in theaters because my mother was the choir director and piano teacher. Listening to the rehearsal of the symphony orchestra, I was struck by the voice of the cello. I would have liked to start playing it right away but, due to my family’s travels, I was able to start my studies in Bergamo, a few years later.

A che età hai iniziato lo studio del violoncello? Dove hai studiato e quali sono stati i tuoi primi maestri?
I started at the age of nine, taking lessons for nine months at the Bergamo Conservatory with Flavio Bombardieri and then, with the support of my family, to follow the lessons of the Sino-American cellist Marianne Chen, in Parma. Since 2015, I have been a student of Monika Leskovar. And, in October 2016, I participated in the “Antonio Janigro” International Cello Competition in Croatia. On that occasion, a jury member of the competition, cellist Giovanni Gnocchi, suggested that I try to enter the Yehudi Menuhin School in London, to continue my studies there. After two rounds of auditions (first video and then live in London), I was admitted with a scholarship covering 90% of the annual tuition amounting to forty-two thousand pounds! From Italy, the remaining 10% thanks to the Accademia Filarmonica di Verona and to UBI Banca, to which I am very grateful. At the age of fourteen, I moved to London to Menuhin School College to study under the guidance of the American cellist and teacher Bartholomew LaFollette.

Before moving to London, you attended a year of musical high school. Which of the subjects that have been proposed to you during your studies do you think are the most important for the training of a musician and which ones did you perceive as more distant from your interests?
I attended the first year of high school at the Liceo Musicale Secco Suardo in Bergamo, before moving to England. Having attended very little the Conservatory, or an institution with musical subjects, I immediately realized how important it was to have a vision of music also through the study of musical theory, harmony, and history of music; I also deeply understood the educational importance of Literature, Art History and Mathematics for the growth of a musician. I think all subjects are important because each of them offers you a different approach and perspective. Personally, I have a particular interest in humanities and foreign languages.

And now where are you studying? How is your study curriculum structured?
I am finishing my third year at Yehudi Menuhin School, where I will study until next summer. At the Menuhin School, the days are structured so that people study school subjects, such as English, German, Mathematics, Biology, etc. together with theoretical-musical subjects such as History of Music, Harmony, Composition, and Ear Training. During the day we have about four / five hours to study our main musical instrument and in the evening one hour to pay for the homework. The day starts at 7:45 in the morning with the first hour of study for everyone and ends at 8 in the evening. We receive two instrument lessons per week from the main teacher and one lesson from the assistant. The school curriculum follows the guidelines of the British government, so we have summer exams at sixteen (called GCSE) and then at eighteen (A Levels). In addition, we have chamber music groups, such as string quartets or trios for violin, cello, and piano. Chamber music is very important to the growth of each of us, both as musicians and as people.

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When I interview some cellist, he usually tells me that he started playing when he was very young, that dad and mom were musicians and, at home, they all lived on bread and music, but it doesn’t always happen that way, and not all children who are fascinated by a cello have the opportunity to start playing immediately. However, the dream remains, kept in a hidden corner of the heart, and it happens that sooner or later it turns into reality. This is what happened to Michèle Ferron, a nice Canadian cellist who has never stopped dreaming …
When and where did you see and hear a cello for the first time in your life?
I was really young, maybe 8 years old, when my best friend’s mom brought me a concert for the first time. It was wonderful! I don’t come from a family where you listen to music and we don’t have records or musical instruments at home. This woman opened a window to me in an extraordinary world that I could not have imagined without her. We got a season ticket for the Saturday morning concerts of the symphony orchestra. They were events organized specifically for children. This woman gave my life the color of joy. It made me discover Art, Beauty, and Nature. She was the most important person in my life.

When did you decide to learn to play the cello? And why exactly the cello? Is there, in particular, a cellist or a cello piece that gave birth to this desire?
I started playing in 2005, a quieter year than previous years in my professional and personal life. I decided to enroll in a cello course. I had been dreaming of it for years, but it hadn’t been possible before. Unfortunately, I just had time to start taking lessons that I got sick, and I had to quit, mainly because of financial problems. And, in the following years, I was too busy to think about it. Then, in 2017, in Venice during a concert by the singer Flo, I “fell in love” with his cellist, Marco di Palo. I was about to go home, I was leaving the next day. As soon as I got off the plane, I looked for a cellist professor, and, in the same week, I started lessons with Alejandro Calzadilla.

When did you start studying, what were the main difficulties you had to overcome? Did you find it harder to learn to use your right or left hand?
I was so naive! I grew up with the idea that the result depends only on the effort one is willing to make to achieve it. And I was ready to work hard. Unfortunately, it does not work exactly like that for the arts … I would say that I quickly fell out of my pink cloud. Everything has been (and still is!) difficult. When I focus on the left hand, the bow goes everywhere and, when I focus on the bow, the intonation would kill everyone with a barely sensitive ear. It is difficult for me to put it all together. And I’m not talking about interpretation … Another difficulty comes from my age. I started playing at 64. I already had a bit of pain here and there and getting all these old joints moving is not easy and it is often painful. But my professor is an angel of patience and knows how to adapt the lessons to my situation.

Were you able to find the teacher right for you right away, or did you have to change several teachers?
I have never changed teachers and I don’t want to. He knows me well and, knowing that I will never be able to play many complex compositions, such as studies, sonatas, etc … he helps me with great attention to slowly improve my sound. We focus on this.

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Giovanni Gnocchi needs no introduction. During the quarantine period, his busy life stopped for a moment and Giovanni wants and has time to answer my questions.
Do you think that being born in Cremona, the home of luthiers, has somehow influenced your choice of playing the cello? Do you remember when you first saw and heard a cello?
It certainly influenced my choice of cello! Thanks to a German friend: Reiner Hertel, a German biologist, my father’s partner in the Ghislieri College of Pavia, and then a professor at the University of Freiburg, took his violinist son, Wolfgang, to Cremona to look for an instrument to buy, and I first listened to the sound of the violin, a beautiful instrument by Bissolotti that had fascinated me and completely kidnapped me! The warmth of the sound, the magic that was caused by the rubbing of the hair on the strings, the depth of the vibration and the ability to immediately tune in to the depth of our emotion and really “talking to us”, as I had never heard, marked me for always! Then my events within the Cremona music school were a little complicated, certainly not rosy or happy from the beginning. It was then a reality just born and at the beginning, and therefore also very provincial and in some ways a school for amateurs. I think I was put in the cello class a little to fill a half-empty class when the violin ones were full, and strangely I didn’t give up like all my companions, but maybe even then my perseverance, loyalty to a task came out, or simply if you prefer, the hardness of my head … Then I also had the good fortune to meet a couple of people who certainly helped me not to feel like an “alien”, and maybe they really changed my life then: the luthier Marcello Villa, who is also an excellent violinist, with whom, since I was 12 and he was 24, I spent several afternoons in the shop talking about music, listening to recordings and who made me know a lot, about the history of music, the repertoire, and with whom I certainly shared the great passion for listening, research and discovery, and the violinist Andrea Rognoni, a few years older than me, who is now the soloist and shoulder of the second in Fabio Biondi’s Europa Galante, and who as a young man was very seriously determined to be a professional musician (which he is doing very well, playing precisely as well as with Biondi, with Zefiro, Ottavio Dantone and the Accademia Bizantina, the Collegium of Gent with Herreweghe, and in his fantastic AleaEnsemble!), even if such a choice, in Cremona between the 80s and 90s, seemed absurd and a huge gamble, almost crazy, unfortunately. So, especially thanks to them, in the beginning, I managed to survive and hold on! Then, certainly, the opportunity to listen to the lessons of Rocco Filippini in Cremona, as well as those of Accardo, Giuranna, and Petracchi, who clearly had the merit of being able to attract the best young instrumentalists in circulation at that time, contributed substantially, thanks to which I discovered, listening to the lessons, another repertoire, and I learned some musical and instrumental principles. I remember very well the lessons and concerts with the young Marco Decimo, Relja Lukic, Simonide Braconi, Francesco Fiore, Alfredo Persichilli, Federico Guglielmo, Massimo Quarta, Sonig Tchakerian, Marco Rizzi, Sergey Krylov! I think I spent whole afternoons sitting in those classrooms diving, into sharing music and discovering a world that I already felt was mine. In retrospect, Simonide (Braconi) confessed to me that they said to each other: “Who is that boy who stays here all day?”. Of the cello sound listened to as a child, however, I have some memories that are not perfectly defined, but I remember a Triplo by Beethoven with Accardo, Filippini and Maria Tipo and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, which Accardo often invited to the Cremona Festival, and then a concert by Paul Tortelier in Cremona, where he presented and played his Mon Cirque! My parents have always been very passionate about music (they told me I was born on the notes of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater!) And I was lucky enough to be able to go to concerts since I was a child. In particular, my mom loves opera (Mozart and Carmen his favorites!) while my father has always had a great culture of the German instrumental repertoire. For example, it took me, around the age of 12, to hear the Takacs Quartet playing Webern and the Quartet op. 132 by Beethoven and I remember that I was a little bit upset in hearing that these instrumentalists “quarreled” or had real “musical quarrels” on stage, but then I was very intrigued, so much so that, in the early days of my second media, there was not a morning that I didn’t listen to a bit of the Op. 132 before going to school!

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How did you choose to study the cello? Were there musicians in the family? How was your “musical” childhood?
I come from a family of art historians, passionate music lovers. From an early age, I was taken to the Opera: first at the Fenice (I grew up in Venice) and then at the Municipal Theatre of Florence. Needless to say that, for a few years, I slept, lulled by the notes that surrounded me. It is said, in the family, that the turning point was when I was eight, with a splendid Beethovenian Fidelio, who held me close from start to finish! I confess that when I enrolled in the Conservatory of Florence, my desire was to play the double bass, or the horn. In the 1980s, in Italy, it was not common for a 10-year-old to be able to start directly with one of these instruments, and I was advised to do two years of cello, then move on to the double bass class when I had grown up a bit. Needless to say, it never happened! I was more and more fascinated by the voice of this instrument, and I never abandoned it. Mine was a childhood where music has certainly played a fundamental role, but alongside figurative art (the family traveled regularly to visit exhibitions of all kinds), to reading (the home library was provided and has become well soon to be discovered), to the cinema and (needless to deny it!) to more “prosaic” interests such as football and … comics !! I believe that the sum of all these stimuli, of which I thank my parents, was fundamental for the type of musician I am today: in love with sounds, but thirsty and curious also towards other forms of art and creativity.

Can you tell us briefly about your studies? The Conservatory, the teachers who trained and, I believe, encouraged you. With which cellists did you then study to improve yourself? Can you tell us about the main details, also to understand their importance in your professional growth?
The first fundamental teacher was certainly that of the Conservatory years in Florence: Andrea Nannoni. He helped me develop my musical curiosities without foreclosures, sending me the precious lessons of bow technique learned at the school of André Navarra.  In parallel, and in the following years, I perfected myself with famous cellists such as Amedeo Baldovino – a man of extraordinary vitality, a witness of a great tradition that descended from MainardiMario Brunello – who supported me and always appreciated my musical research and David Geringas – thanks to which I worked a lot on the relaxation of the body, the executive rigor and the focus of the gestures. I cannot fail to mention a few more sporadic encounters in masterclasses which have been decisive for my journey – firstly two long summer courses with Jozif Levinson at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in the last years of the Soviet Union.

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Surfing the web, I find a very suggestive video: a cellist plays in the ruins of ancient Ephesus. Intrigued, I decided so to contact him to find out more about him. So begins my conversation with Melih Selen, a Turkish cellist.
When did you see and hear a cello first?
When I was 13 years old, I saw and I listened to a cello during a concert.

And, when did you decide that you wanted to play that instrument?
Since I was 12 years old, I have been playing classical guitar. When I was 18 years old, I have won the Music Faculty exam and the professors told me that my talent and physiological structure fitted very well to play the cello. So, they suggested that I try playing the cello. When I took the instrument to play the first time, they really surprised to notice that I have been playing the cello with great ease as if I have been playing it for a long time. So, at that moment, my teachers discovered my natural talent for cello. It is told that I was really born to play the cello. This was, for me, the start of playing the cello and ending of playing the guitar. I have adapted to cello many exercises and etudes which I have been applied for guitar. That’s why, following this way, I improved very fast.

Which of your teachers do you think was the most important for your musical and human training?
First of all, my music teacher at primary school, Sultan Göknil Kara was the first person who discovered my talent. After that, these 3 teachers such as one of them was an Azerbaijan conductor Associate Prof. Dr. Yusuf Habibov, the other one was an old cellist at Moscow Radio Yuri Semerov and the last one was a folk artist & cellist Prof. Dr. Eldar İskenderov, who were the most important people holding me at the forefront and affected both my music education and my music career as well.

What was the moment of your professional career that you remember with more pleasure?  
All concerts which were given by myself in each time makes me happy and pleasure much more rather than before. My very best pleasure moments come first are that the concert in 2018 which I have played cello as a soloist with Ukraine Poltova Symphony Orchestra and also the concert in 2019 which I have both played cello as a soloist, composed and conducted my own composition as a maestro with Ukraine Ahşaruma Chamber. Besides, one of the other moments which I remembered with more pleasure is that, filming my music projects which have been realized at antique cities in Turkey and foreign countries such as Ephesus Suite Music, Nysa Suite Music Documentary, Tralleis Seikilos Music Documentary, Music Envoy Ukraine.

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Dear Maestro Waterhouse thank you for your interest in our website but above all thank you for agreeing to answer our questions.
Can you briefly give us some information about your background, about your life as a musician, related to your studies and training? Were there already musicians or composers in your family?
I was born into a musical family in North London. My father was a bassoonist and my mother a pianist, who trained in Munich and became a violin teacher. As children, my sisters and myself were soon started on stringed instruments and piano. Whilst a musically inclined schoolboy at a London public school, the emphasis was on a broad musical education. Cello was always my main instrument, but I also sang in a choir, learned piano, organ, composition and conducting. At University I studied composition and musicology; at German Hochschulen, I studied cello, also conducting and for a short while piano as well. The wide field of study was partly influenced by my father, who, besides being an eminent bassoonist, was also a musician of wide interests, embracing piano, viola, and musicology (more specifically organology – the history of musical instruments). I have always pursued a varied musical life, finding the different disciplines complementary to one another, especially cello and composition. Whilst cello playing and composing have remained constants, I have also worked as a conductor and a pianist. In recent years composing has become a greater priority.

Why did you choose the cello as your instrument?
To be frank, as six-year-old I did not choose cello, but my mother did, seeing I had strong hands and an apparent affinity for the instrument.

Who were your most significant teachers? Have you worked with other musicians who have, obviously, influenced your artistic growth?
My most memorable cello teachers were Maria Kliegel, Young-Chang Cho and Siegfried Palm, each of whom combined cellistic prowess with a high degree of musicality. Another strong influence was Celibidache, who encouraged me as a composer when I played under his direction with the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra. In conversation, several of my literary London friends have offered inspiring ideas, as have also musician colleagues, family members, publishers…

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Enrico Bronzi is one of the most interesting cellists on the Italian scene today. In the home of his website he welcomes visitors with a Nietsche maxim: “Without music, life would be a mistake”. And of course, with his life full of music, Enrico Bronzi did everything to prevent his life from being a mistake. But … let’s start from the beginning.

When did you see a cello for the time and hear its sound? What impression did it make you?
When I was a child, my parents were subscribers to the Parma Concert Society. My first clear memory of a cellist is that of Paul Tortelier, who combined the energy of sound with impressive physicality.

Was that the moment you decided to play the cello?
When I started, I wanted to be a luthier and the cello would have been only a preparatory approach to the world of bowed instruments. Then things turned out differently.

Which teachers have been important in your training path and from which points of view?
I have had an infinite number of teachers with different and fascinating ideas. I can’t name them all, but only the ones I spent the most time with Enrico Contini was my first teacher, then Vendramelli, Janigro, Brunello, Geringas, Meneses and above all the decisive experience of meeting with the Trio of Trieste. So many possible worlds, I would say. Then there is the need for a personal summary.

When and where did you play in public for the first time? What do you remember about that experience?
We experimented in small cultural associations in our city with those who would later become my partners in the Trio di Parma. Often ramshackle situations, but useful to start with. What I felt like a debut was a cello recital at the beautiful Sala Bossi in Bologna.

Working in a prestigious orchestra or working as a “free” concert player: advantages and disadvantages of the two options?
In the second case, you have to take on many things of organization, study, calendars, travel. But enjoy some intellectual freedom. In the first case, you have the privilege of regularly attending the most ambitious and largest repertoire that there is, the symphonic repertoire.

How important is the type of audience in front of a concert performer? And how important are the characteristics of the place where you play? And how important is the tool you use?
It may be that the cellist plays facing the audience, but I feel enough about the atmosphere that is generated in the concert hall. As for the instrument, there is an unstable balance relationship with an object that makes you feel the limit of your possibilities, but which also gives you the great privilege of expressing yourself.

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