Bradford Cathedral’s Coffee Concerts return on Tuesday 10th September with a piano recital with Ida Pelliccioli. We spoke to her ahead of the concert about her musical background and what to expect when she arrives in West Yorkshire this September.
How did you get into music?
My father was a surrealistic painter and painted while listening to classical music. My first approach with music was in his studio. When I was younger my parents introduced me to several activities (dance, music and sports), so I started my musical education in the South of France before moving to Paris. At that time I was still very young, having finished high school at sixteen-years-old, so I hadn’t made my mind up about focusing solely on music. That’s how I underwent also academic studies, completing two masters’ degrees, one in Italian literature and the other in ancient Greek history, where I specialised in music during the Hellenistic period. After finishing those degrees I moved to dedicate my time entirely to music.
What attracted you to the piano?
We had a friend who had a piano and when I was five years old my parents asked me if I would like to learn it, and that was really exciting for me. Growing up I also tried the violin and did some piano jazz, but I always came back to my first love of classical piano!
Has being involved with music helped you see the world?
I’m half-Italian and half-Croatian but grew up in France. As my father was a painter and exhibited all over Europe I’ve been used to travelling from a very young age. That side of life has always attracted me and I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and different cultures, and discovering new places. So being involved with music has definitely led me to continue discovering the world.
Have you got a favourite country that you’ve visited?
It’s difficult to pick one. Even with home countries, people ask me if I feel more Italian or Croatian and it’s so difficult to say! I consider myself a citizen of the world and I feel at home anywhere. I’m capable of adapting myself to my surroundings. Every country has its own charm and differences!
What are you most looking forward to in the UK?
I’ve been coming more and more to the UK in the last two years and what I appreciate the most is the organisation. English people are very professional when it comes to classical music. I always appreciate how relaxed I feel when I go to the UK as I know that everything will be taken care of, and people are always very proactive with what they are doing. Even if it’s only a small organisation or a small audience there’s always lots of excitement from people, and they’re always keen to meet me before and after the concert.
How would you describe your musical style?
I often say that I don’t consider myself as a technical pianist. I’m more interested in the sound approach of the instrument – working on the sound and textures.
Do you have a favourite piece you like to perform?
It does tend to change, but I usually like what I happen to be performing or practicing at the moment. However, over the years there’s one particular piece that stays with me and that’s the first Brahms concerto for piano and orchestra, as I just love Brahms’ writing. It’s very orchestral, it uses the full potential of the piano, and it’s one of the best examples of brilliantly achieved dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra. Physically it’s very demanding and challenging and I love that, and embracing the whole instrument. It’s an intimidating piece, but I’m always excited to play it.
Ida Pelliccioli was born in Bergamo, Italy. She studied at the Nice Conservatoire de Région and at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris – Alfred Cortot in the class of Serguei Markarov, Unesco Artist for Peace.
During her studies, Ida Pelliccioli was awarded several scholarships, amongst them, one from the Zygmunt Zaleski Foundation and one from Fondation Albert Roussel. Ida also received guidance from Jean-Claude Pennetier, Gerard Wyss, Norma Fisher (RCM London), Stephen Gutman, and the Cuban concert pianist Jorge Luis Prats.
Ida has been performing troughout Europe. She will make her debut in Norway, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain and the US in 2019.
Ida shows a great interest in contemporary music and she will be premiering works from the following composers in 2019 – Raffaele Bellafronte and Jean-Luc Gillet.
You’re performing at Bradford Cathedral in September; what can people expect from your coffee concert?
I always try to bring to the audiences some pieces that are not often played, so I can help them discover something new. What I will present will be exactly that, especially the Schubert piece. With my programme I want the audience to be immersed in the different sonic textures of the piano. The concert will start with a Bach’s organ Prelude and Fugue – transcribed for the piano by F. Liszt – and continue with an organ-like writing with the Prelude, Chorale and Fugue by C. Franck, an organist himself, who admired and was inspired by Bach. He actually wrote this piece as a homage to the composer. The last part of the concert will shift to a more intimate and chamber music-like sound with Schubert. One common point that unifies these three pieces is their mature construction, a masterful use of the cyclic form and thematic evocations, that illustrate the composer’s spiritual preoccupations and deep reflections upon life.
Do you have any particular musicians you particularly enjoy?
There are a lot of them! Not many of them are still alive unfortunately, but I would say Richter, Gilels, Cortot, Brendel, Volodos… I was mentored by one of the best pianist alive, a Cuban called Jorge Luis Prats. I so admire his enthusiasm on stage and his generosity, and how he shares his art with the public. You can always see how much he enjoys performing, and he transmits that to the audience.
Is that something you’d like to explore in the future?
Who knows!? While I was studying jazz, I also had to learn the basics of composition and I really enjoyed that focus, and it’s something I’d like to go back to.
Finally, what are your upcoming plans?
The end of the year will be very busy; I’m visiting Canada and Cyprus and in 2020 I’ll be furthering my horizons even more and it’ll be an exciting year. Next year I’m also going back to chamber music with a new collaboration with a Berlin based quartet.
The Coffee Concert takes place on Tuesday 10th September at 11am with refreshments from 10:30am. Find out more about Ida on Facebook at fb.com/pianist.idapelliccioli/.
You can reserve your free place at https://ida-pelliccioli.eventbrite.co.uk