João Dovicchi

Pianist and Composer

Brazil

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About

Pianist and composer. Studied piano at "Escola Pro-Arte de Sao Paulo" with Alfredo Cerquinho and at "Escola Magda Tagliaferro" with Zulmira Elias Jose, Magda Tagliaferro. Had also Hans Graff (Viena) e Conrad Hansen (Hamburg) as piano professors. Had classes on composition with Johannes Oelsener, György Ligeti and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Obtained his master degree at Univ. Sao Paulo (ECA/USP) oriented by Prof. Dr. Amilcar Zani Netto. After a doctorate in Electrical Engineering at Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, started to work on electro acoustic music. Was professor of music and computer music at Universidade Federal de Uberlândia and at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. His compositions includes modern, contemporary and electro acoustic music.

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Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Well, I am from Italian origin and music is part of my life since I was a kid. I started to study piano since the age of 6. At home, my parents owned an old gramophone where I used to hear opera and the great Italian singers (Gino Becchi, Caruso etc.). So, I could say that music is a fundamental part of my personality.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Partly yes. In my opinion, fantasy plays an important role at the process of art creation, but not only. I would like to say that not only inspiration is important but also "transpiration" is part of the work of musical creation.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

Actually I am also an engineer. This has a great influence on my music because that time I was making electronic / electroacoustic music. Now I am writing traditional scores and don't think it is less artistic then the contemporary movements.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

I think music is changeable. We don't hear medieval music today (or not so often) . The same is occurring with "classical" music. The modern and contemporary movements took the ethos of erudite music to an extremely difficult comprehension. Even Adorno recognizes that the cultural industry has promoted a great change in the way people like music.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

As an artist I experiment many ... let me say, kinds of musical styles. Nowadays I prefer to write comprehensive music, obviously elaborating and experimenting harmony in different ways. After John Cage, Shostakovitch, Millaud, Schoemberg, Webern and the electro acoustic composers of the late 20th century, what else do we have to experiment in art in general? I see a transformation and it seems that new composers are trying to find new forms of expression.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Well, art is creation and music is one of the highest form of expression, where creativity is fundamental, for sure, but we can not be afraid of mix "colours", if you understand what I mean.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

The younger generation overflow their concerts. That is the music they love. I think we need to show them that there are many kinds of music and, in my opinion, the absence of traditional folk music is responsible for this separation. It is fundamental that at school we use the language of our traditional music with kids. We must show them what means to be inserted in the occidental ethos.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

It is difficult to explain my creative process. Sometimes the idea comes and I try to write down what I think is a great melody. Sometimes I simply can't go on because I don't find the real novelty for its harmony. Sometimes I play with the notes and try to find its concatenation and how to find an harmony basis that is not so "outdated". My favorite piece is my Ballad for cello and piano. I started it as a sonata for piano and violin but when I tried the cello, I said: that's it! And finished as a free form abandoning the sonata form.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

I really don't know. You are like a sponge and music is the liquid... the more absorbent you are more liquid you can retain. So is music.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

No, definitely no. I always think how can I write a sonata after Beethoven, Brahms, Prokofiev etc. what am I doing new. This is always my recurrent think. But I write also music that I like to hear myself although it is not so "contemporary" (the Serenata you like is one of this).

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

Well my "tour de force" is my symphony. The first movement is ready but can't finish the second yet. I like to experiment as I said before. Sometimes a simple sequence of chords can lead to an interesting composition. This is the case of my Symphonic Variations. I like it very much even if it is very conventional.