Andrea Tarantino

Composer, pianist, piano educator

Italia

Author

About

Born in Legnago (Verona) in 1986, he graduated in piano at the age of twenty with prof. Giampaolo Stuani and Paolo Ballarin, at the Rovigo Conservatory. He then followed the two-year period in "Piano accompanist" with 110 cum laude. He collaborated for several years with the singing and instrument classes of the same Conservatory, performing numerous works in concert. In his career he plays in different chamber ensembles. For two years he worked at the Conservatory of Ferrara, accompanying the singing and instrument classes. In addition, one year he also works at the Conservatory of Darfo Boario (BS). In 2011 he obtained the qualification in Musical Didactics, for piano. From 2008 to 2014 he conducted the polyphonic choir "San Martino" of the Cathedral of Legnago (Salieri's hometown). He is the official piano accompanist from 2011 to 2013 of the international competition "G.Zinetti" in Sanguinetto (VR). Since 2014 he has been a piano teacher at middle schools with a musical orientation. In 2017 he graduated in Composition at the Verona Conservatory. As a composer he won first prize at the Favignana 2016 competition with the quartet "Un sogno di Circe", the second at the composition contest for Didactics of Montecchio Maggiore (VI) 2014, with "Il sortilegio della maga" for piano. He also won the second prize in the Barcelona Pozzo di Gotto competition (ME) 2014 with "Ombre" for four trombones and the third prize in the same competition 2015 edition, with "Serenata por un amor perdido" for soprano sax and piano. Still the second prize in the 2018 edition of the same competition, with the song "L'ira di Achille" for violin and piano. In 2016 two of his compositions, "Poseidon" and "Un sogno di Circe", recorded in two editions of the Florio Festival in Favignana, were broadcast on Vatican Radio and Radio Rai 7 Live. In 2019 he won first prize in the international composition competition "Città di Spoleto" with the score "Notturni celesti" for piano and accordion, with jury president Maestro Fabrizio De Rossi Re. In 2020 his score “Feelings of first love”, for flutes trio, is selected for execution in Call for scores/competition “Aforismi” in Novara. In 2021 is finalist in “A.Schnittke” international competition in Lviv, with “Primeval Chaos” for String Orchestra. Also is finalist in “Musicosmicamente” international competition in Perugia and “Carlo Sanvitale” competition in Ortona. In all 2021 Competitions his music was performed in concerts and recorded. In august he won 3rd prize in the “Academia Musica – 2. International Music Competition” in Vienna, with “Ave Maria” for Soprano and string quintet, with piano

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Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is my greatest passion, I started playing the piano since I was 5 years old. Even as a child, I liked to write some compositions, according to my personal tastes. Studying, I learned techniques and methods, but for me, my music must satisfy myself and the listeners too. That is the reason I try to write music that is enjoyable, but not trivial and that still has its own refinement.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

I think imagination and creativity are necessary in music, but also rationality and construction are important for me. So the balance, between fantasy and rationality, are the characteristics of my compositional style.

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

I never imagined myself outside the musical life, but maybe I would have worked in some other artistic areas.

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

I am rather a lot of worried, because today the young people appreciate poor musical genres, because this kind of music is lacking in melodic aspect and there are very limited and repetitive harmonies. Especially in my Country, Italy, the culture is poorly considered by governments, in fact many Italian musicians must go abroad, to survive and to be appreciated by the audience. Nowadays, the academic environments research only the musical interpretation of glorious past, while the experimental music by contemporary composers it results to be a genre very far from popular sensibility. In recent years, however, an intermediate culture has been growing, in which composers creates music that is not trivial, like commercial pop music, but also enjoyable to listeners. I would like to enter in this current, with the hope of being appreciated.

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?

I think that new music must extended to different musical genres, without being overwhelmed or impoverished from that. We should try to write new quality music, re-educating the new generations to listen to these new musical genres.

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

I think that I have to tell something of my own, starting from something that evokes the past. I am against experimentalisms, based only on acoustic effects, but without meaning. Unfortunately, in many competitions these types of music are still appreciated. This is because I like this Music channel, which tries to spread more enjoyable contemporary music, for the common public.

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

I think it is useful to start from musical education. As a piano teacher, I try to convey the passion for music and the piano to my students. I teach to them pieces of different musical genres, classic, blues, pop, new age, film music. In my own music, I sometimes use harmonies that could be find in jazz pieces, because I think it are interesting and sophisticated.

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

Sometimes I start playing the piano and then I find harmonies I like and then I start to composing. On these harmonies I create melodies or thematic elements. Other times, I compose using my computer and the music continues according to my inspiration, always starting from the harmonies. My own favourite pieces, composed by myself, are the Celestial Nocturnes, 2 pieces that I wrote in different versions (accordion and piano, flute-violin and piano, piano only). These compositions have a very rational construction, nevertheless I think they create a wonderful atmosphere.

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

I think the youngs can find a lot of music on YouTube. Youtube is full of classical music, I would give some indications to them, about pieces to listen and from there, maybe, they could become passionate, about the musical genre.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Not totally, but when I’m composing I imagine myself among the listeners of the piece. If the composition doesn't have appeal for me, as the same time I think that the public won't appreciate it. So I try not to write intellettualistic music, based only on effects or oddities, as so many contemporary composers do.

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

In this period I dedicate to writing new pieces and I participate in different competitions, in the same time I would like my music could have a greater diffusion. So I asked Anna Sutyagina, very popular on the web, to perform one of my compositions, and this is an honour for me.