A few steps from the Conservatorio Morlacchi of Perugia, I meet Francesco Pepicelli and I take the opportunity to ask if he is available for an interview. Accept with a smile and willingly answers my questions.
How many years did you start studying the cello and why the cello and not another instrument?
I started studying cello at the age of 11, after having had my first contact with music at the age of 6, when I put my hands on the piano for the first time. The cello was the instrument that, in 1974, had just started to study my cousin, Livio Fabiani, who today plays in the Abruzzese Symphony Orchestra. The fact of seeing this instrument live and hearing its sound had a great effect on me and from there began this wonderful adventure! Even today, after more than 40 years of relationship with him, I think I have made a choice that, day after day, allows me to deepen many aspects of my balance (in the sense of soul – mind – body) in order to share with others this that of the most beautiful I found in my research.
As a teacher, how do you evaluate the method used by your first teachers? Had he been in them, would he have done something different? Is there any of his teachers with whom you have felt more in tune?
My first cello teacher, Leonardo Boari, who passed away a few years ago, was a person with whom the right energy was created, so that the cello became more and more an extension of my body: he was always smiling and kind to me, and this gave me a great charge and great confidence.
It’s hard to imagine what I would have done if I had been in another person … I believe that every teacher always tries to grow up with the student and create the alchemy necessary for the young person to have the right stimuli to develop their own in the best possible way. talents. Of all the teachers, I certainly certainly have to remember Geringas and Tortelier, but also Filippini, Brunello and Baldovino.
What do you think are the compositions that a cellist must study?
Absolutely Bach, all the Suites, but also the Sonatas of Beethoven and Brahms, the Schumann Concert, and the Sonata of Debussy, as well as much music for piano trio or string quartet.
What are the reasons that most often lead cello students to leave the studio? And what characteristics have those who in life really work as cellist?
You give up the study of the cello when your passion is not so strong, when the meetings you have during the path of artistic growth are not useful to strengthen, day after day, this passion that allows you to overcome obstacles to achieve your goal.
You can be a cellist, if you have determination, joy, love, dedication, sharing and willpower that can multiply your basic talents during your artistic journey.
If, to teach, you were forced to give up the concert activity, what would you choose?
I would rather be a concert performer in this moment of my life, and in the future, having made more possible concert experiences, I would certainly be a better teacher than I am today. However, in all sincerity, I believe that one activity completes the other and therefore in my working world today I try to include both concertism and teaching.
Is it easy to play in a duo with a brother? Or do family problems interfere with artistic collaboration?
It never happened: playing with my brother Angelo has always been a natural and marvelous thing for me. I think it’s a great fortune to be able to grow together and share what is beautiful and always new in your musical research. Almost 40 years have passed since we played together with the first essays of cello and I can say that every time there is, more and more, an immense joy.
What was the moment of your career that gave you more satisfaction and what could, if you could, cancel (if any)? And what are the musicians with whom you collaborated more willingly?
There is not a particular moment that has given me satisfaction. I have many wonderful memories, many … from the first concert in Paris to the Salle Gaveau, the concert in New York at Carnegie Hall or Suntory Hall in Tokyo or the release of the first CD with the Trio Metamorphosi for the record company DECCA. I do not care to cancel anything because everything that I have experienced has led me to be what I am today, that is a musician extremely happy to do a job that I consider wonderful.
What are, among your musical projects for 2018, those that are closest to your heart at this moment?
The most important project for 2018 is certainly the beginning of the recording for the DECCA record company of the complete collection of Beethoven’s trios with my Trio Metamorphosi, in 4 CDs. I will also do many concerts in Italy and abroad, especially in Europe (Switzerland, France, Spain, Poland and Germany) in the next 2 years and in this month I’ll hold a short chamber music Masterclass in Poland with my trio.
Thanks for the kindness and … we hope to hear his CDs soon!