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 began his piano studies as a child, at the Rimini Lettimi School. He later earned a Doctorate of Music at Ferrara’s Frescobaldi Conservatory. After earning a Master in Choral Conducting he studied music therapy with Professor Cremaschi of Milan University. His interests led him to the choral field, and he earned a Bachelor studying at the International Art Academy in Rome with Fulvio Angius. He also studied organ at Pesaro’s Conservatory of Music. Finally he got his doctorate in Choral Music at the Cesena Conservatoire of Music. He is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the professional group Musica Ficta Vocal Ensemble that frequently performs in important Festivals in Italy and abroad. For many years, Andrea Angelini has conducted concerts with the choir Carla Amori, in Italy and abroad. He has also conducted the Lithuanian Jauna Muzika Choir, the Belarusian State Chamber Choir, the Latvian Ave Sol and the Tudor Consort from New Zealand. Mr. Angelini is the Artistic Director of the Choral Festival Voci nei Chiostri held annually in Rimini each summer. 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. Recently his Master-class about the “Venetian Renaissance choral music” has been presented to the students of the prestigious Liszt Music Academy of Budapest and in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) for the Young Choral Academy. He has led similar workshops in Romania, Belarus and China too. He is the artistic director and one of the tutors at the Rimini International Choral Workshop, where he teaches with Peter Phillips of the Tallis Scholars. Mr. Angelini is also the artistic director of the Rimini International Choral Competition, the Queen of the Adriatic Sea Choral Festival and Competition, the Claudio Monteverdi International Choral Competition and the Liviu Borlan Choral Festival and Competition. He is the Managing Editor of the International Choral Bulletin (ICB), the membership magazine of the IFCM (International Federation for Choral Music). He has written numerous transcriptions and arrangements for choirs and chamber ensembles. His transcription of Faure’s Requiem is published by Gelber Hund Verlag of Berlin. For the American CanticaNOVA Publication, he has prepared transcriptions of important Renaissance Motets. He has published his composition with Eurarte and Ferrimontana.