Is Italy a source of classical music

sounds and silence

The musicians

Arvo Pärt

Born in Estonia in 1935. Pärt is considered one of the most important living composers of contemporary classical music. In 1954 he began studying music, worked as a sound engineer for the Estonian radio and studied composition in Tallinn from 1958 to 1963. His early neoclassical work was influenced by the music of Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Bartók. Pärt then experimented with Schönberg's twelve-tone technique and musical serialism.

Pärt's music aroused the displeasure of the Soviet cultural functionaries because of the modern way of composing, which was not regarded as conforming to the system, and because of its religious content. In the early 1970s, Pärt joined the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1980 he emigrated abroad with his family and lived in Berlin-Lankwitz. After Estonia gained independence, he moved back to Tallinn.

Pärt enjoys an unusually great popularity for a contemporary classical composer, which is documented in a number of awards he has received, including the 2005 European Church Music Prize, the International Bridge Prize, and an honorary doctorate from the Catholic Theological Faculty of Albert Ludwig in 2007 -University of Freiburg and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Torino Settembre Musica Festival honored Pärt with the commissioned composition “La Sindone” (The Shroud), which premiered in 2006 in Turin Cathedral. (Source: Wikipedia).
Further information:

Dino Saluzzi

Born in Argentina in 1935. Dino Saluzzi belongs to that generation of men for whom working and playing an instrument express almost the same vital necessity. In the family Saluzzi received lessons on the bandoneon. As a teenager he moved to Buenos Aires. Soon he received a permanent contract in the orchestra of the radio station "El Mundo".

In the early 1970s he was involved in Gato Barbieri's recordings, in which free jazz and Argentine music were combined. He toured other Latin American countries with Mariano Mores. As a soloist and arranger he worked for the touring production Sinfonia de Tango, with which he could be heard in Japan in 1977. In 1979 he founded his own Cuarteto Dino Saluzzi, whose appearances in Europe, for example at the JazzFest Berlin, were received with great enthusiasm.

Saluzzi is a co-founder of the experimental ensemble Música Creativa, which performed jazz, folklore and chamber music. In 1982 he became a member of the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band. He has also worked with numerous musicians from Europe and the USA, including Louis Sclavis, Charlie Mariano, Enrico Rava, David Friedman, Erika Stucky and Edward Vesala. (Source: Wikipedia).
More information:

Anja Lechner

Anja Lechner, born in Kassel, grew up in Neubeuert am Inn. She studied with Heinrich Schiff in Cologne and Basel. A scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation enabled her to stay in Bloomington / USA, where she received further suggestions from Janos Starker. Since 1996 her recordings appear on ECM New Series. Anja Lechner is a founding member of the Rosamunde Quartet, whose numerous recordings on ECM have received critical acclaim. The Silvestrov interpretations of “leggiero, pesante” were nominated for a Grammy.

In addition to the classical repertoire, Anja Lechner is particularly dedicated to contemporary music. She has premiered works by composers such as Günter Bialas, Tigran Mansurian and Valentin Silvestrov. Her preoccupation with Tango Nuevo and improvised music formed the basis of the “Kultrum” project, a collaboration between the Rosamunde Quartet and the Argentinian bandoneonist and composer Dino Saluzzi. Lechner's duo performances with Saluzzi received enthusiastic reviews. ("As close to perfection as any music-making I can recently recall"; Richard Cook, "Jazz Review"). The release of the album "Ojos Negros" in spring 2007 was accompanied by a celebrated tour through the USA.

Further projects in the border area between notated and improvised music were created in collaboration with musicians such as Alexej Lubimov, Silke Avenhaus, Sylvie Courvoisier, Mark Feldman and Peter Ludwig. “Nostalghia - Song for Tarkovsky”, published in 2006, is a joint project with the three Frenchmen François Couturier, Jean-Marc Larché and Jean-Louis Matinier.

Since 2000 there has been another duo with the Greek pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos. The CD “Chants, Hymns and Dances” with music by Georges I. Gurdjieff from 2004 occupied one of the top positions in the US classical music charts for several weeks.

Anouar Brahem

Born in 1957 in Tunis-Halfaouine, Tunisia. Brahem, who lived in Paris from 1981 to 1985 after training as a musician, is an oud player and composer. He not only creates music for his instrument, but also for classical Arabic ensembles or various third-stream formations. In addition to his own albums, he has composed music for films and plays (including for Maurice Béjart).

His combination of the different modal characteristics of the Eastern (Maschrek) and the Western (Maghreb) Arabic music with complex improvisations creates a music far from nostalgic orientalisms in a distance to the current music business.

Brahem was awarded the Tunisian State Prize for Music for his contribution to the Carthage Festival in 1985 and was director of the music ensemble of the city of Tunis between 1987 and 1990. He has played with musicians from different musical cultures from the Orient and India as well as with well-known jazz musicians, among others. with Jan Garbarek, Jean-Louis Matinier and Richard Galliano. (Source: Wikipedia)
Further information:

Gianluigi Trovesi

Born in 1944 in Nembro, Bergamo province. Trovesi studied composition, counterpoint and clarinet at the Bergamo Conservatory of Music (graduated in 1966). From 1977 he was a member of the Giorgio Gaslini Quintet, but at the same time founded his own trio that combined folk music and jazz. In 1978 he won first prize in the saxophone and clarinet sections of the Italian national music competition and became a member of the Broadcasting Big Band in Milan.

He received numerous invitations to concerts and festival appearances in Europe, taught temporarily at the Stockholm University of Music and took part in the European Broadcasting Big Band. In the early 1980s he won several jazz competitions and awards for his recordings. He performed with important representatives of the European jazz scene such as Albert Mangelsdorff, Michel Portal and Enrico Rava. Together with Gianni Coscia on the accordion, he has been an indestructible duo for 20 years.

Finally he founded his own octet, which won the Italian Jazz Prize (best CD of the year) with its first recording (“From G to G”, 1992). In 1993 the band was named the best Italian jazz ensemble. The CD received five stars in the renowned American jazz magazine Down Beat. The Gianluigi Octet (occasionally also in a nonet line-up) is one of the most important contemporary jazz groups around the world. It is known for its enormous virtuosity, improvisational art and the skillful fusion of jazz, folk and serious music of the past and the present. (Source: Wikipedia)
Further information:

Nik Bärtsch

Born in Zurich in 1971. Pianist, composer and producer. Lives in Zurich. Lessons in jazz piano and drums from the age of eight. 1997 classical piano diploma at the Zurich University of Music. 1998-2001 studied philosophy, linguistics and musicology at the University of Zurich. 2003/04 six months in Japan.

As a pianist and composer, Bärtsch is always working on his “Ritual Groove Music”. Leader of Mobile (since 1997; with Kaspar Rast, Mats Eser & Sha) and the Zenfunk quintet Ronin (since 2001; with Kaspar Rast, Björn Meyer, Andi Pupato & Sha). Lecturer in 'Practical Aesthetics' at the Musikhochschule ZH / Winterthur (2000-2003).

1999 and 2002 sponsorship award from the UBS Cultural Foundation
2002 working year for the city of Zurich
2004 Culture Prize of the municipality of Zollikon (recognition prize)
2006 Priority jazz funding from the Swiss cultural foundation Pro Helvetia
2007 composition commission from Pro Helvetia

Interest in the influence and combination of music and movement, especially the following body techniques: Aikido, Feldenkrais, Gyrotonic. (Source:
Further information:

Eleni Karaindrou

Born in 1939 in a mountain village in Fokida / Greece. Eleni Karaindrou grew up in Athens and studied piano and music theory at the local conservatory and history and archeology at the university. From 1969 to 1974 she continued her education in Paris at the Sorbonne (folk music) and the Scuola Cantorum (composition).

Back in Greece, she founded the Laboratory for Traditional Instruments at the ORA Cultural Center. She has been composing theater and film music since 1975. Since 1982 she has been working with the Greek director Theo Angelopoulos, whose work is significantly influenced by her music. (Source: Wikipedia)

Marilyn Mazur

Born in New York in 1955. Marilyn Mazur has lived in Denmark since she was six. In the early 1970s she initially worked as a dancer and pianist for various dance groups. At the same time, she founded her first band in 1973. She learned most of her numerous percussion instruments in self-study. As a percussionist, she first played with Andreas Vollenweider and Charlie Mariano, but also with Irène Schweizer and the other musicians of the Feminist Improvising Group.

From 1982 to 1984 she directed the female-only music and theater group Primi Band. From 1985 to 1989 she was engaged as a permanent drummer for Miles Davis, which shaped her image. In addition, she played with musicians such as Gil Evans, Wayne Shorter, Mathias Rüegg, Jan Garbarek and many others.

In 1983 she received the Ben Webster Award and in 2001 the highly endowed Jazzpar Prize. In 2004 she was also honored with the Edition Wilhelm Hansens Prize, which usually only classical composers receive. (Source: Wikipedia)
Further information:

Musicians from the ECM repertoire on tour