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Biography

I come from a family of musicians (both of my parents and my grandfather!) so music was a massive part of growing up. I started to learn the violin when I was five but my parents luckily never pushed me too hard to be a professional performer. I was 19 when I felt for the first time that this was what I want to do every day of my life. At this age I had the chance to spend a year on the Erasmus programme at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Some wonderful teachers inspired me to dig deeper into every piece and also to learn about the connections between music and other forms of art. It was too exciting for me to keep it only as a hobby!

I come from a family of musicians (both of my parents and my grandfather!) so music was a massive part of growing up. I started to learn the violin when I was five but my parents luckily never pushed me too hard to be a professional performer. I was 19 when I felt for the first time that this was what I want to do every day of my life. At this age I had the chance to spend a year on the Erasmus programme at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Some wonderful teachers inspired me to dig deeper into every piece and also to learn about the connections between music and other forms of art. It was too exciting for me to keep it only as a hobby! 

My hometown is Gorgonzola (yes - the cheese!) but I spent most of my teenage life in Milan. 

After my undergraduate studies in the Conservatory of Milan I decided to follow one of my former teachers to London where I studied for a Master of Performance degree at the Royal College of Music. These were two very intense years where I met incredible people, learnt so much about music and set up some life goals regarding sharing culture and making art. I spent a lot of time thinking about my role as an artist in the 21st century and the power of culture in our society. I now think that, as musicians and artists, we have big responsibilities regarding communicating important human values that only the arts can communicate so directly. 

This is the reason why I decided to focus my musical career into two pathways: the performance (chamber music, orchestra, solo..) for sharing music; and the management path, to try to practically improve the world around us through culture. I’m Artistic Director and curator of a Festival in Italy (Tolma, Festival of Music and Art) where people from different backgrounds experience the beauty of solidarity and respect through musical and artistic activities that make them cooperate and listen to each other. 

Outside music, I like colours. Therefore, I like both watching and making art: visiting museums is one of my favourite pastimes but I also love to colour (not draw…) albums or walls. I painted my room back home covering the walls with abstract colours and lines!

I play a Paolo de Barbieri (1942) violin kindly loaned to me by the Fondazione Antonio Carlo Monzino.


Education

Royal College of Music
London, UK

Conservatorio G. Verdi
Milan, Italy

Universität Mozarteum
Salzburg, Austria


Other Projects

Tolma Festival of Music and Art
Duo Fontanelli-Mascetti


Quickfire Questions

Where’s your favourite place to listen to music and why?
I like small concert halls where I can feel the music is surrounding me completely. Sometimes it’s really hard to feel it in huge concert halls. I think music has to be listened with the entire body, (that’s why live music is so important) so you can get every single vibe and change of harmonies written by the composer and get the effect that he/she wanted in the piece.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
I grew up in Italy but I’m half Hungarian and I speak Hungarian. It’s a language that is really different from other European languages so when non-hungarian friends hear me speaking Hungarian for the first time they always get scared! They think I have a double personality…

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