On the eve January 8, 1822, the bicentenary of the birth of cellist Alfredo Piatti, Andrea Bergamelli gladly accepts to answer some of my questions to introduce himself, and to introduce the Alfredo Piatti Association, of which he is artistic director.
What were the most significant stages of your artistic training?
Certainly, my artistic training was born in the family. My father, Attilio Bergamelli, is a very active pianist, not only in the field of chamber music, but also in organizing concerts, and therefore I have always grown in contact with music and musicians. I believe I inherited from him, in addition to the passion for music, two objectives: to discover the lesser-known repertoire and to enhance young musicians. In fact, my father founded the “Rare Music Association” and he has always organized musical seasons to give space to young performers. After some initial uncertainty about which instrument was most suitable for me, I chose the cello and began my studies at the Bergamo Conservatory. However, I soon moved to Budapest, where I studied at the “Franz Liszt” Academy with Csaba Onczay. Upon my return to Italy, I obtained my diploma as a private student under the guidance of Giovanni Sollima and I have deepened my studies with Mario Brunello, Antonio Meneses, and the Trio di Trieste. I think that a particularly significant experience for me, both from a human and a professional point of view, was the one with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, but it was certainly very important to have the opportunity to collaborate not only with Giovanni Sollima, but also with interpreters such as Jörg Demus, Antony Pay, Bruno Canino, Calogero Palermo, Dimitri Ashkenazy
When was your interest in particular for Alfredo Piatti born? And what were the steps that led to the creation of the Associazione Alfredo Piatti?
For any musician who lives in Bergamo, the Sala Piatti is a particularly significant space: a space where you play, but also a meeting space, where bonds of friendship with other musicians are easily intertwined. I believe that all the musicians of Bergamo have wonderful memories of their youth linked to this room: the first essays, the first concerts, the first friends … For a cellist, then, playing under the watchful gaze of Alfredo Piatti, serious and benevolent in his portrait, becomes an even more precious experience. Of course, like all cellists, I got to know his compositions starting from the 12 Capricci, but soon, I dedicated myself to the discovery of his other compositions. An easy task for me, because almost all Piatti’s compositions are kept in Bergamo, in the Fondo Piatti Lochis, and therefore very accessible for a Bergamo cellist. So, already in the late 1980s, before the idea of a real association was born, together with my father, I started performing Piatti’s compositions in public. And then, in June 1997, the Associazione Alfredo Piatti was born. At first, the distant goal was to organize a Festival for Piatti, and the closest goal was to organize the celebrations for the centenary of Piatti’s death in 2001. At the end of the intense activities of 2001, together with my father, I recorded, in a CD Phoenix Records, two of the six sonatas and other particularly significant chamber compositions by Alfredo Piatti. In the following years, together with my sister Ljuba, who in the meantime had graduated in singing, we dedicated ourselves to spreading also Piatti’s vocal compositions, creating the Trio di Bergamo. The first edition of the Festival Violoncellistico Internazionale Alfredo Piatti, in 2006, was however the most important milestone we reached because, at that time, there was no other Festival entirely dedicated to the cello in Italy.