Fabio Mastrangelo: “In Russia I’m very comfortable”

Fabio Mastrangelo: "In Russia I'm very comfortable"

Fabio Mastrangelo

On May 5 and 6, 2018 in Dobrograd, Vladimir Region, there will be a festival of classical and operatic music “PRODobro”, in which Fabio Mastrangelo will rise for the console of the symphony orchestra “Russian Philharmonic”.

On the eve of the festival with Fabio Mastrangelo, Anna Reshetnikova spoke.

– Tell, please, when did you realize that you want to devote all your life to music?

“In many respects, I owe my career to my father, who at the age of 5 put me at the piano – and I had no choice but to learn music and enjoy the sounds of a musical instrument.

Of course, as a knowledgeable person, Dad already realized that I have a certain talent. Like every child, then I tried to resist – all children want to play not on the piano, but in football. However, now I understand very well that the only way to develop a talent for a boy is to make him learn.

At the age of 10, I realized that music is my life, my way. I was madly passionate, and at that time I showed some success. As a child of ten, I was already a conservatory student in my hometown of Bari, which is on the Adriatic coast in Italy.

I was lucky that Nino Rota himself took me to the conservatory, then he was the chairman of the jury. And further, as the rector of the Conservatory, he followed the first steps of my progress.

After Italy, I continued to study first in Geneva, then in London. At the same time, I started taking lessons in conducting, after which I decided to continue my career as a conductor.

– Your father was a pianist, a grandfather, a violinist, do you think the musical talent was passed to you on a genetic level?

– Maybe. One of my friends, the professor, said that everything is tied up with DNA. I think that the musical talent as well.

– With what to start to bring up taste, what music to include the child since the childhood?

– In my opinion, any classical music is suitable for the education of taste. Speaking of my children, they began to listen to it from the first day of their lives. My daughter Sofia is 26 years old, she is a designer and does not deal with music, but she loves various opera parts and knows them by heart.

Son Stefan, who is 8 years old, already writes his own music on the piano. It is said that children still have a mother in their stomachs capable of listening and understanding music. I think parents should trust their intuition.

– Have your musical tastes changed over the course of your life?

– No, I think, during life, tastes develop, but do not change. I still love those composers who first conquered my heart as a child. Perhaps now the list is more authentic than before. But the most beloved ones are still Rachmaninov, Puccini, Debussy, Ravel, Brahms, Liszt – they have been with me all my life.

– What is most valuable for you in people? In the musicians with whom you play?

– Most of all I appreciate in people such quality, as gratitude. I believe that the feeling of gratitude is very important, as well as the ability and ability not to betray. For example, when you know for sure that if you are friends, then this friendship is forever.

– What did you learn from music?

“Neither is it another form of art that does not touch the soul as much as music. By the way, any quality music touches the strings of the soul, and no matter what it is: classical, opera, jazz or variety. I have long said: to understand classical music, to feel it, it is enough to have a heart. Most people, thank God, have a heart.

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– You come from sunny Italy, but subsequently decided to move to St. Petersburg and even received Russian citizenship. How comfortable are you in Petersburg, do not you miss your homeland?

– In Russia I am very comfortable – this country won me with its energy, soul, beauty, as well as its music and professionalism of Russian musicians.

When I first came to St. Petersburg, almost 20 years ago, then I immediately decided – I want to live in Russia, because I am very close to this country. And already a year and a half after my first visit, I moved to Russia.

– Where do you better play – here or abroad / how different is the audience?

– I like playing in Russia. In Russia there is a very emotional and sensitive music audience. For example, with the symphony orchestra of Moscow “Russian Philharmonic” I have been cooperating for more than 11 years. It was, so to speak, “love at first sight.”

Our first project was not at all classical, we performed the music of John the Lord – the legendary creator of Deep Purple. I can say that we understood each other at once. Now we are developing together, there are many conscientious projects in our plans.

In my opinion, the “Russian Philharmonic” is an outstanding orchestra, it has wonderful musicians. They make very interesting projects for the audience.

– What new performances do you have in mind?

There are a lot of plans, and not enough weeks to list everything. For example, on May 5-6 in the city of “Dobrograd” in the Vladimir region there will be a festival of classical and operatic music “PRODobro”, where we together with the “Russian Philharmonic” will present the enchanting and incendiary Poles of Johann Strauss. Both orchestral and operatic performances of famous compositions are planned.

A very interesting project is scheduled for June – the concert “Mad Dances”, which will be held at the Moscow International House of Music.

In St. Petersburg I will be engaged in the development of the theater “Music Hall” – this is an important project for me. To have your own theater is a great honor and responsibility for any musician. This, of course, is very difficult, but when you step on stage in your theater, you conduct your orchestra and chorus – these are inexpressible sensations!

Interviewed by Anna Reshetnik

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