Dear colleagues and friends,
it is an honour and a pleasure to assume the leadership of DIRIGO, the new magazine of the National Association of the Italian Choirs Directors. Maybe we do not start under good auspices, but since I firmly believe in karma, on the one hand philosophically I accept what is happening, on the other hand I am sure we will receive a reward for today’s tribulations. If not us directly, our successors at least! And with that I close the topic covid-19.
So, it was said, a choral music magazine, another magazine will exclaim someone… It is far from me to think of inventing something new, of touching upon topics that have so far been unexplored. The intention, indeed, is to create a different magazine. Something written by many for everyone. Simple, useful ideas that tell the story of life, expectations, doubts, hunger for knowledge, the need to show, the difficulties of exclusion, the expectations of inclusion, the beauty of tradition, the desire for innovation, and much more… A perhaps ambitious project that will expose us to the criticism of some but also, I hope, to the gratitude of many. An editorial staff that will work with free generosity, that will deal with the base, which is not a trade union term, but an associative reality. And here is the question that I tremble only to pronounce: who are the choir directors? Professionals? Amateurs? New Don Quijote who believe in the art of music beyond everything and everyone? We will never find out, I think, because it is a varied and fragmented world. Is it lovely like this? Of course, we’re not really toy soldiers at the orders of some mysterious lobby. I thought that instead we could call ourselves the builders of a better world through choral music. And how choral music has grown in Italy! I remember that only twenty years ago, attending contests and festivals all over the world, one had to sprinkle one’s head with ashes in front of the holy sanctum, those who considered themselves, rightly or wrongly, the holders of choral truth. “Are you Italian?” – they said to me – “Nice Verdi, bravo Pavarotti!”. “Yes, but we also have Palestrina, Monteverdi…” And then the sentence arrived laconic: “Eh, but you don’t sing those well, better the interpretations of the English, Germans, Scandinavians choirs…”. Then something happened, the Italian choral world became more structured, the choirs understood that they had to train, the conductors as well, the schools had to equip themselves, the opera singing teachers of the conservatories loved their colleagues a little more to whom they did not send their students to sing in choir and much more. And so now we have many good conductors who win international competitions, who are called to hold masterclasses all over the world. What was missing and what was needed was an association that would make them talk to each other, that would open them up to confrontation, that would be through their experiences.
This is what the ANDCI is and, especially for me who am responsible for it, what DIRIGO is. Consider it a car that, arriving at the door of every director’s house, is able to unload a pill of knowledge and that knows how to leave with a new question. All seasoned with such optimism, the one that will unite us in this difficult but not impossible challenge.
I conclude, with the obvious appeal of the good editorial director: whoever wants to collaborate, contact me! Your card will also contribute to the success of the great mosaic!
Born in Bologna, Italy, Andrea Angelini studied piano and choral music at the Conservatoires of Rimini and Ferrara, where he got a Master. He got his Doctorate in Choral Music at the Cesena Conservatoire of Music. He studied Renaissance Choral Music in England and Rome. He is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the professional group Musica Ficta Vocal Ensemble. For many years, Andrea Angelini has conducted concerts with the choir Carla Amori, in Italy and abroad. He has also conducted, as guest conductor, many important ensembles. He has been member of the Jury at many International Choir’s Competitions in Italy, Europe and Asia. He frequently leads choral workshops in Italy and abroad. (Hungary, Malaysia, Russia, China, Moldavia, Romania, Croatia). Mr. Angelini is also the artistic director of the Rimini International Choral Competition, Claudio Monteverdi Choral Competition, Queen of the Adriatic Sea Choral Festival and Competition and Liviu Borlan Choral Festival. He has been for 11 years the Editor of the International Choral Bulletin (ICB), the membership magazine of the IFCM (International Federation for Choral Music) and now he is Editor of DIRIGO, the magazine of the National Association of Italian Choral Conductors, of which he is also a member of the Artistic Committee. He has been a member for Italy of the World Choir Council. Actually, he is the President of AERCO, the Emilia-Romagna Regional Association of Choirs. Actually, he teaches Choir Conducting at the Castelfranco Veneto Conservatoire of Music.