With the International Cello Competition Benedetto Mazzacurati, the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Turin, and the whole city, pay homage to a great cellist, Neapolitan by birth, but Turinese by adoption. For years Mazzacurati, in the Conservatory classrooms, cared for young cellists during their artistic and professional growth. For years he played in the Turin orchestras: Eiar, RAI, Teatro Regio.
Born in Naples on September 17, 1898, he died in San Remo on March 29, 1984. Between these two dates, his life was filled with music. After graduating in his hometown in 1915, under the guidance of Francesco Serato, Mazzacurati moved to Northen Italy. In Turin he worked in the orchestra, soon becoming principal cellist, and then devoted himself to teaching, not only his instrument, but also ensemble music, first in Turin and then in Bologna. Here, as President of the Accademia Filarmonica, he dedicated himself with passion and competence to cultural and musical promotion activities. Meanwhile, his professional life was flowing intensively and was full of satisfactions: he played with the “I Virtuosi di Roma” Orchestra d’Archi, in the “Double Quintetto di Torino”, in the “Eiar Quartet” and in the “Italian Trio” (with Nino Rossi and Remy Principe). Nevertheless, he still had time to compose, devoting himself above all to his instrument. Among his compositions are the Borlesca, the nostalgic song and the violin studies of Kreutzer and Fiorillo, which he transcribed for cello, thinking of his students.
Shortly after his death, the family decided to donate to the Conservatory of Turin the precious musical property left by Benedetto Mazzacurati. In 1996 they promoted a cello prize dedicated to Mazzacurati, within the Viotti Competition, but the experience did not have a continuation.
The real competition was born from an idea of M ° Vito Maggiolino, who found a valid support in Valentino Castellani, President of the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory. The direction of the competition is entrusted to Maestro Marco Zuccarini. At the base of the project, the idea of remembering a cellist like Mazzacurati, a scholar of his instrument, a teacher, a musician in orchestras and in chamber groups, can represent a significant emotional experience for every contestant who aspires to achieve important goals, making him at the same time aware of the fact that such goals require method, commitment, determination and above all a lot of effort.
An all-Italian contest, therefore, from an organizational, historical, and musicological point of view, but that also has a strong international projection: to the young promising cellists who wish to show their talent and their artistic personality will be offered a precious opportunity to test themselves in front of a jury of the highest level, composed not only by the most qualified protagonists of the musical world of Turin, such as the Director of the Conservatory Giuseppe Verdi and the Artistic Director of the RAI National Orchestra, but also by the cello world protagonists: Enrico Dindo, Giovanni Sollima, Asier Polo, Jens Peter Maintz, Frans Helmerson.
For the first three places there will be important cash prizes. The winner will have the opportunity to perform in concert with the Unione Musicale di Torino, the Pinerolo International Academy, the Roman Philharmonic Academy, the Musica Insieme Bologna Foundation, the San Remo Symphony Orchestra.
The Benedetto Mazzacurati International Competition includes an elimination round by video, a semi-final and a final with an orchestra. Candidates of all nationalities, born after September 1, 1988, can register for the competition. The semi-final will take place in Turin from 27 September to 4 October 2019 at the Concert Hall of the “G. Verdi “di Torino, via Mazzini 1. The two finals with orchestra will be at the RAI Auditorium in Turin. In the semi-final it will be possible to repeat the sonata chosen for the video. At the disposal of the candidates there will be pianists with great experience: Elena Camerio, Monica Cattarossi, Giorgia Delorenzi, Valentina Mass, Stefano Musso, Andrea Stefanelli, Sandro Zanchi.
The Competition Rules, the Program and the Registration Form that must be submitted online by April 20, 2019.
At the first edition of the contest, in 2016, partecipated 114 violoncellists from all over the world, 18 of them under the age of 18. Finalists were Italian Alessio Pinelli, who won the competition, Julia Hagen and Min Ji Kim.