Our devoted readers,
You will probably agree with us that the June of 2016 was extremely interesting and buzzy. Plenty of events caused the unification of true music lovers, talented artists, honored delegates all in one place, in our lovely Armenia. The impressions from the 12th Aram Khachaturian International Competition still live in our hearts and minds. The sublime contestants of our competition became the members of our cultural family, for sure. And today, we're much delighted to say that one of our adorable participants, Beatrice Venezi from Italy, kindly agreed to tell us about the experience she has received in Yerevan, about the Italian conducting school and much else.
Beatrice is the chief conductor of the Orchestra Scarlatti Young, Napoli. Her young age did not prevent her to receive a brilliant education, collaborate with widely accepted festivals, conduct numerous orchestras and just in short to build a career one can dream of.
- Dear Beatrice, first of all we'd like to congratulate you for your stunning performance in the Aram Khachaturian International Competition as well as for the award you've received. You didn't have that much time to rehearse with artists you've never seen before. Was it too difficult to keep together almost 70 musicians of the Youth Orchestra?
(B)- Thank you very much for appreciation. Actually I didn't find it difficult at all, in that I felt as if we knew each other since long time. Everything was natural and flowing. And they're such great instrumentalists and musicians that, despite such a short time, I could focus totally on interpretation.
- Did they obey you as their leader, female leader?
(B)- I admit I was kind of worried before conducting as I was well-aware that I was the very first woman conducting in Yerevan, so I didn't know how they would react to a feminine leadership. But, as I've already said, everything was easy-flowing. The orchestra and I had the common will to make music together and we really did - which was hoped for but not predictable!
- It is clear that musical sensitivity and hearing should be educated from the childhood or even be congenital. But what is happening with the musical pedagogy, particularly in Italy which offers probably the most perfect education in the sphere of classical music?
(B)- Unfortunately, it’s not precisely this. Although we have a high level of education within the Conservatories, it is not the same for primary and secondary school. During the 30s and 40s of the 20th century, musical education at those stages was based on choral training; in my opinion, learning music by singing is the most natural and proper way. Nowadays, musical education only involves the study of the recorder, which doesn’t really work. Moreover there are no classes about our history of music. I do believe we all should be aware of our roots to fully appreciate our tradition and background.
- Listening to classical music is inspiring and enjoyable for the people who are fans of this genre. Anyway the percentage of those people is not so high. Which methods of promotion of the classical music would you suggest?
(B.)- In my opinion, renovation is necessary in the world of classical music. And this renovation passes through: a) divulgation - as one can't appreciate what one doesn't know, b) entertainment - which is not a bad word at all, as in fact it could be a newer container, new packaging, through which classical music and its tradition can be spread and enhanced. c) contamination with other arts or musical genres, so to create a full work of art, or what Wagner has called a Wort Ton Drama, d) to offer new unexpected figures of classical musicians. Generally the common opinion looks at us as old, distant or boring: we should show that we are the very opposite.
- Milan is the city where you stay for most of your time, don’t you? Legendary Teatro alla Scala can be rightly regarded as the visiting card of Milan. As a true citizen of Italy, what do you think about the extraordinary popularity of this theatre? Is it embellished or not? And why does it beckon so many opera divas and well known orchestras?
(B)- La Scala is much more than a theatre. It stands as the symbol of the classical tradition of Italian opera, home of the Italian musical culture. Something on the border between history and myth, reality and dream. I guess it’s so appealing for singers, conductors and orchestras, not just because it’s so prestigious to perform there, but also because, when you get in, you feel you’re in a true untouched temple of music.
- How did you learn about the Aram Khachaturian International Competition? By the way, is it popular in Italy?
(B)- Of course I had knowledge of your prestigious Aram Khachaturian International Competition, as well as for your renowned orchestra. Moreover, a dear friend of mine, a conductor, when asked about your competition couldn’t stop talking well about it all! So, the international attention paid to the Aram Khachaturian Competition - which is well-known in Italy, too - , together with the suggestions of my friend, made me to decide to try this experience, experience that turned out to be a fantastic one.
- How do you see your role? Is it about to inspire the players or maybe it’s about to convey the vision and purpose of the composer?
(B)- I think the purpose of the composer has to be introjected and and re-elaborated through the sensitiveness of the conductor, who - then - has to be able to convey it to the orchestra and to inspire the orchestra with his/her own vision.
Moreover, every musician of the orchestra may interpret the score in a different way, but then there would possibly be 70 different interpretations of the same piece. So here is the role of the conductor: to gather and unify the visions of all the musicians under his/her own powerful overview.
- You have been selected for the position of assistant-conductor of the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia. What does this collaboration mean to you and what do you expect from it?
(B)- I’m really pleased about this role, as I consider it a challenge for professional growth. This is for me a unique opportunity to gain experience with such a high - skilled orchestra, to learn more about your music and to fully embrace your culture. I also wish I could bring in turn my musical background to you, especially as for the Italian symphonic repertoire such as Respighi, Martucci, Busoni, etc.
I am deeply motivated and determined to reach a new level through my work, efforts and talent and with the great help of the SYOA!