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HAPPENED TODAY - On April 21, 1951, the cellist and composer Aleksandr Krein died in Moscow

Riccardo Pes

A young cellist and composer, an Italian but resident in London, kindly answers our questions. How and when did you meet the cello in your life?
I started studying cello at the age of 9, after attending a concert lesson held in my city by a professor at the Conservatorio di Udine. I had already approached music, first with the study of the piano, flute, and participating in the courses of musical propaedeutics. The cello was an instrument already present in the house; my father, in fact, had taken some lessons, after being inspired by a memorable concert by cellist Alain Meunier held in Portogruaro in 1985. The spark for the instrument struck in me, however, only at the age of 16, after meeting the famous cellist Teodora Campagnaro. The passion, the determination, the tenacity of this person made me discover a vital tool full of “sacred fire”. Shortly thereafter I should have joined his class in the conservatory, but unfortunately, she passed away following a serious illness.

Can you briefly tell us about the most significant stages of your studies?
My training began with Professor Federico Ricardi di Netro in the Conservatorio di Udine, a fundamental figure. After graduating in Venice, I continued my studies with Giovanni Sollima at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, my idol along with Mario Brunello. Later I moved to London to study with Melissa Phelps, a student of Jaqueline Du Prè, at the Royal College of Music. Melissa was a very decisive and very generous teacher, to whom I owe a lot.

What are your most important interpreting experiences? Do you prefer to perform as a soloist or in chamber ensembles?

I like to perform both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. As a soloist, I played with Claudio Scimone and I Solisti Veneti, a truly unforgettable experience. I happen to play in many solo cello recitals, with a repertoire including classical composers and my compositions, often supported by electronics. I am a member of the Trio Klein, a London-based string trio, and I am about to debut a new project in the formation of a trio with piano. Certainly, my most important performances include the concerts in quartet formation with Mario Brunello, the 100 Cellos experience with Giovanni Sollima, my recital at the Royal Albert Hall, and my compositions performed at the Southbank Center.



How important is it for you to choose the place where a concert takes place? What are the characteristics of the places where you love to perform?
The venue is important to me. In general, I always look for a place that predisposes to the listening. The theater is certainly my favorite, but I also feel very comfortable performing in unconventional places for the inspirations I usually get from. For example, outdoor places, such as mountains, old castles, rivers, lakes, and also photographic studios or old industrial buildings, they all are able to convey people’s stories into music.

[to be continued]