Federica Castro, Simone Cricenti, Carla Scandura and Francesco Tanzi, four young friends who have decided to form a cello quartet: the “Quartetto Zuena”.
How old were you when you started playing the cello? Why did you choose the cello, and what was your course of study?
FEDERICA: I started studying cello when I was 8 years old with Maestro Flavio Bombardieri, whom I still consider my dad-of-cello and to whom I will be forever grateful for being able to sow such a particular passion in a small girl and in such a constant and lasting way. I believe that attention to music was naturally passed on to me by the family, in my house listening has always been something habitual, something that I learned naturally and spontaneously. I fell in love with the cello in 2001, the first time I hugged it. And since then it has become like an extension of my body. I continued my studies at the conservatory “G. Donizetti “of Bergamo with Maestro Roberto Ranieri and, after the traditional diploma, I chose to improve with Maestro Andrea Cavuoto whose precepts I still follow.
FRANCESCO: I started playing the cello when I was 11 years old as a “fallback” from piano studies. I could not know then that unconditional love would be born. I followed the teacher Marcello Forte in Monopoli until I graduated in Conservatory and then moved to Milan for my master’s studies. Here I met Maestro Andrea Cavuoto and now I work with him.
CARLA: I started studying the cello at the age of seven, actually a little bit for fun. One day my father brought me to hear a concert lesson during which a cellist played “Pierino e il lupo” and from that day my goal was to play that piece. Since that day a lot of years have passed during which I attended the Conservatory, I graduated from “B. Marcello ”of Venice. Later I attended some specialization courses including those of M ° Sollima and I was part of the Italian Youth Orchestra.
SIMONE: I am Simone Cricenti, born in Genoa on 19/02/1994. I started studying cello at the age of 10, because the violin class of the school extracurricular course was full! I graduated and completed the Master at the N. Paganini Conservatory, I attended the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala and studied at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Portogruaro in the class of E. Bronzi; I attended masterclasses with U. Clerici, G. Gnocchi, M. Polidori and G. Geminiani. I am in the second year of Music Therapy at the Associazione Espressione Project. I study every day!
During your study years, you have had experiences of ensemble music, which were the most significant?
FEDERICA: During the years of study in the Conservatory, I have always participated with passion and dedication in academic activity, gaining good experience in chamber ensembles, as well as orchestral ones. For this reason, I believe that chamber music is the language that I feel closest to, similar to my way of expressing myself and that, for this reason, I prefer. The most significant experience to date, and among many in the orchestral field, is certainly the collaboration with the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala for the two-year period 2017-19. In this context, I not only had the opportunity to fulfill the dream in every artist’s drawer, that is to perform at the Teatro alla Scala but also to have experience in symphonic, operatic and ballet programs accompanied by names of an international caliber such as David Coleman, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Michele Mariotti, Ádám Fischer, Paul Murphy, Daniel Oren, Leo Nucci, Woody Allen. To date, I continue to cultivate my passion for chamber music not only with the Zuena Quartet, of which I am extremely proud, but also deepening the chamber repertoire in other formations (duo, trio, and quartet) with other colleagues.