Virginio Aiello

Pianist, composer, author, accordionist, professor




Pianist, composer, author, accordionist, professor, Virginio Aiello boasts a senior education in classical music, which dates back to his very first studies in accordion and piano when he was only 6 years old. It all turned into a strong passion for extemporized music. He first graduated in Piano and Jazz Music at the "S. Giacomantonio" Conservatory in Cosenza and then he took the MA Degree in Jazz Composition. He won many competitions including the first prize at the Piano Competition "Città di Castellaneta" and the second prize in the piano competitions "AMA Calabria" and "Città di Terzo".

He joined different seminars and workshops with Roberto Spadoni, Luigi Giannatempo, Giancarlo Gazzani, Pietro Condorelli, Tino Tracanna, Riccardo Fassi, Ettore Fioravanti, Attilio Zanchi, Nicola Pisani, Stefano Battaglia, Franco D'Andrea, Enrico Pieranunzi, Nino De Rose, Marcello Piras, Stefano Zenni. He has performed with many jazz musicians in Italy for more than 20 years and he has been working on musical projects such as “Birdland Duo”- “Louisiana Dixieland Band”- “Calabria Logos” – “Quartetto Saudade” - "Sertango Quartet" - "Or che Strana" - "Nicola Pisani Sextet" - "Midnight Jazz Quartet" - "Radici Quartet" - "Big Band del Conservatorio di Cosenza" - "Ellington Jazz Combo" - "Tango Extremo Quartet" - "Piazzolla Project Quintet" - "Virginio Aiello Jazz Trio".

He performed in many festivals such as Roccella Jazz 2014, 2015, 2016 - Altomonte Divino Jazz 2015, 2016, 2017 - Ravello Concert Society 2015, 2016, 2017 - Festival Delle Serre, Cerisano 2016 - Torre in Jazz 2012 Torre Padia Acri (CS) - Tabularasa Festival 2012, 2015, 2016, Reggio Calabria - "Notte bianca" 2009, 2011, 2015 Altomonte - Zolfo e Malie 2010-2011 Guardia Piemontese (CS) - "Jazz in time" Roggiano Gravina (CS) 2011 - Festival "Nonfermarti" 2010 Cosenza - Università della Calabria C.A.M.S. 2010 - Franz Teatro 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017 - "Festa della musica" Biblioteca Nazionale (CS) 2006 - Settembre Rendese 2007 - Il Castello Dei Destini Incrociati (partner with Fondazione Petruzzelli di Bari) 2007 - Aspettando il Settembre Rendese 2006 - Corigliano Jazz 2006 with Nicola Pisani SINE LOCO, (Corigliano - CS). - Festival delle Invasioni 2005 with the Jazz Orchestra del Conservatorio di Cosenza - Belvedere in Jazz 2005 with the Jazz Orchestra del Conservatorio di Cosenza - Catanzaro Jazz Fest 2005 - Scalea Jazz Fest. 2004 - Catanzaro Jazz Fest. 2001 - Fondazione Odyssea - Crotone 2015, Radio Swiss Jazz 2015, Battiti Rai Radio Tre, Istituto Musicale F. Chopin - Corigliano 2015, Radio Tango - Velours Parigi 2015, Rotary Club Florense 2015, Associazione Amantea Musica - 2005, Festival Leoncavallo, Montalto Uffugo - 2005.

In 2015 he released “El Barrio” with the Sertango Quartet, a recording made of original classical “Tango Nuevo” tracks, which achieved a great feedback both from audience and critics and that was even mentioned by the periodical “Musica Jazz” as one of the best recordings of 2015. In 2019 he released “Piano Songs For Children”, an album of original piano pieces dedicated to children; also he released a series of singles for piano that have met with great public approval. He currently is a Piano Teacher at Secondary School for the music courses. He published the following books: "Metodo Pratico Di Pianoforte Jazz Complementare"; "Piano Works Vol. 1"; "55 Easy Piano Pieces 2, 3 & 4 hands"; "The Modern Piano Technique Pop/Jazz; "Il Pianista Accompagnatore Pop/Jazz Vol.1/2"; "The Modern Accordion Technique"; "The Jazz Accordion Complete Book". Also he wrote for music periodicals such as Musicheria, Composers & Musicians, Jazzit, InJazz, Strumenti & Musica.



What does music mean to you personally?

Music is my life. I couldn't live without practicing it or listening to it every day. It is my form of communication with the world.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy ?

Imagination is very important for a musician. Together with imagination, a profound knowledge of musical languages, history and theory are necessary. A complete preparation helps to develop imagination.

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

A musician. I started studying music when I was 6 years old and since then I haven't done anything else. Music is my life. I couldn't do anything else or live without music.

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

It is a difficult time for classical music. I am not worried about it but I believe that the language and communication of the musicians should also be renewed to involve a young audience. The role of a musician is fundamental for promoting and let young people follow in love with classical 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?

Music is a fundamental form of communication for people, a special need to express themselves and communicate their emotions. I don't think there is a transformation of music's role. Musical languages and the use of music itself are changing.

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

Creativity is essential for any form of art, including music. Creativity and innovation go hand in hand for me. Creativity is what makes a form of art unique and expresses its communicative power. In my compositional process, I start from creativity and then I elaborate my ideas to transform them in a complete and coherent form which reflects the way of expressing myself.

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

Musicians should renew the language and communication towards the audience. Every musician should also be a communicator. The moment of the live concert should be made more interesting and attractive also through the use of new technology and other forms of art, to interact with the music, to make the "concert" a unique, interesting and surprising show.

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

I don't have a favorite song. Each piece expresses a particular moment of inspiration of my life. Each song is important and represents a unique work. I love all my piano solo pieces. I work on ideas, small ideas which then I elaborate and develop. It is an artisan work, like the one of a sculptor who works on a piece of marble and then creates a work of art.

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

The role of musicians, educators and teachers is important to show the way to young people. They can give good advices about what to listen to, and help them how to recognize beauty and art. There are also many interesting books that help people to comprehend this amazing world.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

No, I don't think about the audience, but I hope that my music is authentic and that the audience can appreciate my sincerity.

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

Many new musical projects, new compositions for piano. A new collection of songs for children and new books dedicated to piano teaching.