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Ph credits Matteo Pasquali

Where were you born?

I was born in Prato, a medieval town near Florence.

Where do you live?

Actually, I live in Pistoia, in the middle of the wonderful Tuscany countryside.

Why did you start playing music?

I started playing piano at the age of five in a small school near my hometown. My mother loved music and introduced me to the musical world.

What is your favourite instrument? 

Obviously, I love my principal instrument, the harpsichord but I like very much the harp and the lute in the baroque world and saxophone and clarinet in the jazz world.

What music did you listen to as a child?        

I used to listen to different musical genres, such as classical, jazz, Italian popular songs, traditional, and blues. As far as I remember no shadow of baroque music I discovered when I was around sixteen.

What was your first record?

I was around seven years old and I was playing a Menuet by J.S. Bach, it was a sunny and bright afternoon and I felt myself a sort of magician….my fingers could reproduce music as colors.

What musical period would you like to live in?  

In the XVII century, absolutely.

Where do you prefer to listen to music? 

Usually, I listen to music during my long train or airplane trip. But I love to listen to it in my house, in total solitude. Of course, the best choice would be always a live concert!

Where can we find you when you are not making music?

I love painting, cooking, and writing, so I guess you can find me doing one of those things.

Where did you study? 

I studied piano in Florence with Gea D’Atri. After the degree in piano, I started studying Philosophy and Harpsichord at the University and Conservatory in Florence with Annaberta Conti. Then I won a scholarship to The Universitat fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Wien and I studied there for three years with Gordon Murray. Then I left for Amsterdam where I studied in a Master’s program for harpsichord with Bob van Asperen and Menno Van Delft and Basso Continuo with Richard Egarr.

What awards have you received?      

First prize at the International G. Gampi Harpsichord Competition in Pesaro

Third Price at European Harpsichord Competition P. Bernardi in Bologna

First price at Gottingen Haendel Competition

First price at Cluj Napoca Early Music Competition

Prize Weichlein at the Biber Wettbewerb Sankt Florian

Winner of membership for EUBO 2009

Winner of Membership for Ambronay Academy 2008

Many of the recordings in which I took part won Diapason D’Or, Echo Prize, Pries der Deutshen Schallplatten Kritik (my debut solo album), Choque de la Musique, ICMA, etc.

Who is your favourite composer?

L. Couperin, C. Monteverdi, J.S.Bach, M. da Perugia, and W.A. Mozart

Which composer would you like the public to rediscover?   

All the XVII instrumental music.

What is your first recording?

In the same period I recorded two different cd, the first of a long series 🙂

An instrumental one with my Amsterdam quartet “Ensemble Symposium” (a quartet we found when we were studying masters at the Amsterdam Conservatory) about Telemann Scherzi Melodichi. The second one was my first opera CD, with an incredible cast: “Catone in Utica” by L. Vinci with il Pomo d’Oro led by Riccardo Minasi, with Franco Fagioli in the main role. 

What is your favourite recording? (Passacaglia, with you)    

There are four Passacaille recordings that I love for different reasons:

My solo albums Aquila Altera, “Seicento” with Enrico Onofri and Imaginarium Ensemble, The first Dall’Abaco Album with Elinor Frey, and “Bach Sons” with my beloved Controcorrente Orchestra.

Who do you dream of recording with? (realistic or not)      

I recorded with many musicians I love as artists and human beings, so I think I am really lucky. But anyway, I would love to work and record with a myth of my musical path as Jordy Savall.

What do you do before a concert?  

Before a concert, I try to concentrate through some kinesiology exercises that were taught to me by my teacher Gordon Murray. It is a sort of propitatory rite for me, before every performance.

What do you do after a concert?  

After a concert, I love to drink a beer with the other musicians, relaxing and breathing.

What would you do if you were not a musician?    

I will discover it in my next life!