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The best place to personally meet many interesting people

18.10.2016


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Roberto Prosseda, one of the most respected Italian classical pianists of his generation, is also the artistic advisor of Mondomusica, the world famous music fair of Cremona. Mondomusica's latest edition was organized at the grounds of Cremona Fiere between 30th of September and 2nd of October this year. Andante was among the international music periodicals which was present during the fair. I talked with Roberto Prosseda about the fair, his role and also about the music industry in general. 

Mondomusica is one of a handful of events dedicated to the promotion of various products in the classical music industry. How do you see Mondomusica among other similar events in the world? What differs Mondomusica from the rest?


Cremona Mondomusica is quite different from the other music exhibitions. First of all, because of the venue: Cremona is one of the cities with the strongest music tradition. The best violins were born in Cremona (Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati), and still today classical music is the main core of Cremona's identity. Mondomusica attracts every year many thousands of visitors: this year they were 16.815, 10% more than in 2015. We also had more than 300 exhibitors, mostly from abroad. In its three days, Mondomusica offers the opportunity to meet several important persons among musicians, music entrepreneurs and instrument makers. Many trendsetters in the musical world are in Cremona Mondomusica. Nowadays, when internet apparently allows us to contact anybody from our computer, the personal meetings are more and more important. And Cremona Mondomusica is the best place to personally meet many interesting people at once.
 


As the artistic advisor could you please summarize your areas of responsibility in the Cremona Mondomusica?

I am one of the various artistic advisors. My role is to take care of the artistic events (concerts, round tables, lectures), to make Mondomusica also an attractive music festival, not just a commercial fair. We organize more than 100 cultural events in the three days of the exhibition, including concerts, symposiums, CD and book presentations, lectures, master classes. I doubt that you can find all of this in one single place elsewhere. This year I proposed and coordinated the Decca-Deutsche Grammophon Showcases, 15 CD presentations with live performances of Decca and DG artists, and two round tables: “Financing classical music”, hosting several patrons and directors of cultural foundations, and “Classical music in TV”, with the representatives of some European Televisions which produce and broadcast classical music programs. The goal of these symposiums is to put together persons which have an important power and a innovative vision of their business, in order to bring new ideas and opportunities to the musical world. I also took care of the Cremona Music Awards, which this year were given to Shlomo Mintz and Bruno Monsaingeon, who of course attended the Exhibition and gave their own speech. Shlomo Mintz also gave a short performance on the Vesuvius Stradivari, belonging to the Museo del Violino in Cremona. 
 
What do you think are the main current problems in today’s classical music industry in the fields of production and promoting?

My impression, as a concert pianist, is that often the artists are too disconnected from the system of production and communication of classical music. On the other side, some managers and artistic directors are giving too much importance to the financial aspects, avoiding taking risks or spending time to discover new artists or repertoire. My wish is that these two worlds (the active musicians and the managers-promoters) will work closer, understanding and comparing their different and complementary points of view, to have a greater success and personal satisfaction. This is possible with the indispensable collaboration of the media, like Andante Magazine. They are the bridge between the ideas of musicians and promoters and the audience, and without the audience our job would be useless!
 

Roberto Prosseda, one of the most respected Italian classical pianists of his generation, is also the artistic advisor of Mondomusica, the world famous music fair of Cremona.

Apart from the financial problems, do you think that there are other structural problems exclusive to the Italian classical music market?

I think that the Italian classical music world is quite similar to the French or German one. The main and most urgent need is to improve the communication between artists and audience. Most of people really do not know anything about classical music and never attended a classical concert in their life. Public televisions and media don't do much to help people to understand the meanings of classical music and its social and cultural importance. I feel that we, as performing musicians, must be more active in this task. I personally realize several radio programs for RAI3, explaining the dramatic and emotional meanings of a classical music piece to the audience, and try to find new concert formats to make classical music accessible and attractive to new audiences, but without simplifying or denaturing it.   

Hungary’s Boganyi Piano exhibited its brand new piano in Cremona in an ambitious stand. As a pianist what do you think about the sound and structure of this piano? 

I was very happy that the Boganyi piano was exhibited in Cremona, as this was something very new for almost all our visitors. The piano production has seen few innovations in the past century, and I welcome any new idea and project which brings new perspectives to the piano world. The Boganyi is undoubtedly a great innovation in piano design and production, due to the new materials that are used (carbon fibre and other composites) and the futuristic design. I was so busy during the exhibition that practically had no time to sit at the piano and try it properly. But from the few seconds that I could spend at the keyboard of the Boganyi I enjoyed the fast reaction of the action and the very refined dynamic control, specially in the pianissimo. I really hope to have the chance to play this piano in the future.


Roberto Prosseda: ''The Boganyi is undoubtedly a great innovation in piano design and production, due to the new materials that are used (carbon fibre and other composites) and the futuristic design.''

Do you have any plans and changes for the fair in 2017?

We are already planning new ideas for the 2017 exhibition, but it is too early to announce them. Our goal is to work in team to create a cultural event which is more and more unique and unmissable for all music professionals and music lovers. We will try to attract more and more people from abroad and to become a sort of musical “think-tank” to incubate and develop new ideas and projects for the future of classical music. 

Interview: Serhan Bali
Cremona, Italy

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