Please share your background with us.
I started learning the piano at the age 7, in a local music school outside Turin, Italy. No one is a musician in my family, but my parents are fond of classical music and I asked often to hear some recordings. From there on I kept going, looking for better teachers and ways to express myself as I felt the need to be able to. I entered the Turin Conservatory when I was 14 and graduated at 17. I then worked for a few years with Andrea Lucchesini, at Pinerolo’s Accademia di Musica (where I now teach!) and in Paris with Aldo Ciccolini. I eventually moved there and enrolled for a Master’s course at the Conservatoire Superieur de Paris with Nicholas Angelich, while following lessons from Marie-Françoise Bucquetl. I then decided to go live in Berlin where I’ve been since, with a parenthesis in NYC. Since then, I had occasion to work sporadically with Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida, Leon Fleisher and others.
Why did you decide to tour India? Was it out of curiosity or were you encouraged and supported by organizations in India?
It all begun for personal reasons. One of my best friend was getting married to an Indian groom and had just moved to New Delhi. I was to attend their wedding and thought of contacting the Italian Institute of Culture to propose a collaboration, as some friends came to perform in India before and I was curious to experience it too. I like playing in new places, it’s a great and a unique way to get in touch with the country and the people there.
Both the Italian Institutes of Culture in New Delhi and Mumbai and the India International Centre in New Delhi were supportive. The Poona Music Society and their directors, Jehangir Batiwala and Binaifer Malegam were immensely helpful as they hosted a concert there and connected me with the NCPA in Mumbai.
How has your India experience been?
It has been very good and intense, in many different ways. Personally speaking, it was my first time here and I found the country to be too vast in every way (geographically, culturally, humanly) to be understood in just one trip. The energy is unique, so is the beauty and some strong contradictions. It’s another world from Europe, with such a deep and present culture and tradition. I’ve found people to be really open and generous, both in personal and working terms. The audience reacted well and was responsive, also to the Berio piece I presented!
Do you think it is about time for artists to have India on the world map for tours?
It will probably be more and more so over time, considering what a huge country it is and the tremendous interest from the public. Of course, the musical traditions in terms of classical music are different for the most, but it doesn’t mean people aren’t curious. There are certain areas that require improvement, maybe in terms of quality of instruments, but there is a great deal of potential in having more concerts and venues. Most importantly, it seemed to me that the Indian public is curious about Western occidental music. I believe things will pick up more and more in the future and I definitely hope to come back!