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The 30 th Italian Guitar Convention

Posted By Emma Markham, Sunday, October 29, 2017

The first Convention of this type took place in 1933 in the Italian city of Modena as this was the seat of its originator, Romolo Ferrari. Usually it takes place every year in an Italian city but there have been exceptions such as 1957 and 1958 when it took place in Germany and in 1962, Tokyo. The war years of course form a hiatus and also between 1962 and 2009 there were no conventions simply because of lack of an organizing board.

Fortunately as of 2009, the scientific committee consisting of luminaries Giuliano Balestra, Simona Boni, Giovanni Indulti, Vincenzo Pocci and Enrico Tagliavini the yearly convention became uninterrupted. On October 14 th , 2017 it took place in Modena, as it did already eight times before. This convention contained lectures and recitals. With a good balance between the speeches and the music, this was a most interesting and enjoyable day. First Paolo Cherici played music from the times of the vihuela on the real instrument. Then a wonderful duo of the Spanish soprano Pilar Moral and accompanying guitarist Nicola Jappelli sang a series of seguidillas by Fernando Sor as well as the Italian arietta from Sor’s method. For me the high note of the program. Alberto Mesirca told us about the discovery of an original guitar manuscript in a San Francisco library. He illustrated it with musical examples. I had earlier heard his English version in a convention of the Guitar Foundation of America. Then it was my turn to talk about the Italian correspondence I located at IGRA – letters written in the twentieth century to Vahdah Olcott-Bickford. Some great names are represented in that collection: Miguel Ablóniz, Teresa de Rogatis, Maria Rita Brondi, Romolo Ferrari, Nilo Peraldo Bert, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, the painter/guitar collector Piero Sansalvadore and some others presented with interesting visual support. Followed a recital by tenor Leonardo De Lisi accompanied by guitarist Luca Trabucchi. They performed four German songs from the cycle Vogelweide by Castelnuovo-Tedesco and music by Ettore Desderi. Massimo Felice then spoke about the Segovia repertoire. Music was announced but probably cut short for timing restrictions. After lunch, a homage to Ida Presti was played and recounted by Cinzia Milani (photo). She played several pieces from her recent CD ‘A tribute to Ida Presti’. A lecture-recital with music of Toru Takemitsu was presented by Andrea Dieci. The richest variety of sounds that you have ever heard coming from a guitar were played by Ganesh Del Vescovo in a number of his original compositions. Journalist-guitarist Filippo Michelangeli spoke about the task of the media including internet to document guitaristic phenomena. This was an excellent one-day convention in the medieval center of beautiful Modena. I am looking forward to next year’s activity… Jan de Kloe

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