Acclaimed Pianist Giuliano Mazzoccante Delivers Special Lecture at University of Malta
The celebrated Italian musician led a four-hour lecture for various music students from the University of Malta in an event organised by the European Foundation for Support of Culture and the University.
On Friday 11th March, students from the University of Malta's Music Department had the unique opportunity to attend a lecture hosted by the renowned Italian pianist and pedagogue Giuliano Mazzoccante. Organised by the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EUFSC), in partnership with the University itself, this event allowed the students in attendance to gain an insight into the mind of a man who is widely regarded as one of the leading music professors of our time.
Throughout his career, Mazzocante has won various competitions, including the “M. Clementi” in Florence, “Agorà 80″ in Rome, “F. Liszt” in Lucca, and “Città di Stresa”. In 1997, he won second prize at the ‘T. I. M. ” – International Music Tournament; in 1998, he was awarded the prestigious “Prix Venice”; in 1999 he won second prize at the international competition “Ecomusic” of Monopoli (BA); in 2002 was the winner of the 40th International Piano Competition “Arcangelo Speranza” in Taranto, and in October 2009 he was awarded in the “4th International Tbilisi Piano Competition” in Georgia (WFIMC).
His considerable concert activities have seen him engaged both as a soloist and as a chamber musician at major Italian venues, and overseas in locations such as Cologne “Hochshule” (Germany), Brno “Sale Bretislava Bakaly” (Czech Republic), Istanbul (Turkey), Utrecht “Concert Hall” (Netherlands), Oxford “Holywell Music Room” (England), Schaffusen (Switzerland), Shanghai (China) and the Manoel Theatre (Malta).
He is regularly invited to hold concerts and masterclasses at international festivals such as “ClaviCologne Festival” in Germany, the “Malta International Music Festival” and the “International Piano Festival & Competition” in Italy, and often serves on juries for national and international piano competitions, including the ”Citta di San Giovanni Teatino”, which he founded and directs to this day.
He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the Camerata Baltica, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonica Abruzzese, Sinfonica di Lecce, Sinfonica di Bari and Solisti Aquilani.
For his lecture in Malta, Mazzoccante dedicated the first half of the 4-hour session to the topic of romanticism in music, before turning to the question of the contemporary state of classical music and the future which lies in store. Providing various examples of how classical music can be kept current and relevant, the Italian professor explained that it is ultimately up to the younger generation to ensure that the beauty and inestimable worth of classical music can continue to be nourished and cultivated.
"I really loved it", one student said. "I don’t think I ever paid so much attention in a lecture! It was very inspiring. The first part about romanticism was extremely interesting and as a pianist I learnt a lot and saw a lot more different perspectives; it was extremely inspiring. It makes you conscious about the world we’re living in – that the classical is important and we need to work to preserve it".
Another student meanwhile, remarked that “I’m more interested in pop music usually but I know that the music course offered by the University is more focused on classical so I’ve always been trying to connect aspects of classical music with pop music and this lecture was exactly about that so I think it’s very interesting to see how you can connect things. We are aware of the beauty of both sides, both pop and classical, and it’s crucial that we continue to spread both”.
These sentiments were echoed by a colleague of his, who noted that “I also liked that he had an interest in how to ensure that classical music will live on, because what he was trying to tell us is that there is a need for music which we tend to associate with older people to continue living, and we need to be the people who make sure that it lives on. He gave us a lot of examples on how this can be done, and the work he himself has done in this regard, and it was very very informative”.
Mazzoccante himself also spoke highly of his experience in Malta, declaring that "it was great because you know, I felt so much responsibility to speak to this kind of audience; we must feel the responsibility for the new generation, for the future, for classical music, and I was very proud to be here. The people were very nice with me and it was great, I really enjoyed every moment. Everybody, I think, realised that it was a different kind of lesson because I brought things to their attention from the side of the artist not the professor, because I am an artist first and foremost. It was my first time at the University and I was very impressed. The students were very interesting all of them, for 4 hours, it’s not easy!"
Mazzoccante, who is in Malta for the Paganini Festival which is being organised by the EUFSC, shall also be delivering a masterclass at the Malta School of Music on Monday 14th March, before joining his compatriot, and Paganini Competition winner, Giuseppe Gibboni, for a joint lecture at the Italian Cultural Institute on the morning of Wednesday 16th March, followed by a concert at Manoel Theatre in the evening.
To keep yourself updated on the latest events organised by the EUFSC, please follow the official website here.