Artistic and cultural projects
Besides his concert activity, Roberto Prosseda frequently serves as artistic advisor, creating innovative cultural projects. He is one of the most active musicians in the promotion of new music. In 2006 he commissioned several composers, including Carlo Boccadoro, Nicola Campogrande, Paolo Castaldi, Aldo Clementi, Luca Lombardi, Marcello Panni, Alessandro Solbiati, Gabrio Taglietti, and Roberta Vacca, to write new piano compositions based on unpublished fragments by Mendelssohn. He also commissioned the reconstructions of some of Mendelssohn's unfinished works, like the Piano Concerto No. 3, completed in 2006 by Marcello Bufalini and performed more than 50 times with several top orchestras (London Philharmonic, Gewandhaus, Residentie Orkest, Santa Cecilia). In 2012, after his debut at the pedal piano, Prosseda commissioned and performed many new compositions for pedal piano, written for him by Michael Bakrnčev, Nimrod Borenstein, Nicola Campogrande, Cristian Carrara, Giuseppe Lupis, Ennio Morricone, and Michael Glenn Williams. Since 1997, Roberto Prosseda has collaborated with the Festival Pontino in Sermoneta as artistic advisor, also conceiving new formats, like the Concerti d'Inverno in 2006 and 2007, the Mendelssohniana project within the Festival Pontino 2009 and the round tables and concerts about "Musical Restoration" in 2010. In 2006 Prosseda planned and realized the "Mendelssohn Discovery Tour", a cycle of recitals in important European concert halls (including the Berlin Philharmonie, Leipzig Gewandhaus and London Wigmore Hall), presenting more than 20 World Premieres of unpublished works by Felix Mendelssohn. In 2008 he was the co-founder, with Maurizio Cantore, of "Donatori di Musica", a series of particular concert seasons in Italian hospitals, based on an idea by Gian Andrea Lodovici. Donatori di Musica is currently active in many Italian hospitals. The history of this project is narrated in the book "Donatori di Musica" (Curci editore, 2015). In 2009 Roberto Prosseda founded the Associazione Mendelssohn (www.associazionemendelssohn.it), of which he is currently president and artistic director. Associazione Mendelssohn realized seven CD productions for Decca dedicated to Mendelssohn's music and co-produced the documentary "Mendelssohn Unknown", in collaboration with Rai Educational, now released on DVD by Euroarts. In 2012 he conceived the innovative format "Robot Pianist Vs. Human Pianist", with the robot pianist TeoTronico, to help the audience to acquire a more conscious and perceptive listening. More than 20 shows have been staged, also at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Ankara Festival and in two sold-out concerts at the Beijing Concert Hall and at the Kinghai Symphony Hall in Guangzhou. In 2014 Prosseda conceived the "Ghost Concert", presented as the opening event of the Pianocity Festival in Naples. In this multimedia show, Sergej Rachmaninoff appears on stage as a ghost, giving a piano recital, based on his own piano rolls, played "live" on a Yamaha Disklavier piano, synchronized with Rachmaninoff's moving image. Prosseda also conceived and produced "iMendelssohn", realized by Ubyweb&Multimedia. It is the first app for iPhone and Android dedicated to Felix Mendelssohn, providing a full list of his works, a wide bigliography and discography, several letters and original manuscripts and a comprehensive media section. Since 2014 Roberto Prosseda is artistic advisor at Cremona Mondomusica and Cremona Pianoforte International Exhibitions and since 2018 he has been appointed artistic coordinator.
Roberto Prosseda is the conceiver and artistic director of the "Italian Piano Experience" Festival and Exhibition, whose first edition took place in Beijing from May 17 to June 3, 2018. The event was organized by the Italian Institute of Culture in Beijing, with the collaboration of Fazioli Pianoforti, Bizzi Historical Instruments on Keyboard and Cremona Musica, to celebrate the special cultural relationship between China, the world's leading market for pianos, and Italy: already in the 1500s, in fact, the Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci brought the first Italian harpsichord to the court of Wan Li, of the Ming dynasty.
ITALIAN PIANO EXPERIENCE
Three centuries of history of the Italian piano will amaze Beijing during two weeks of exhibitions, recitals and conferences dedicated to one of the key instruments of great music, invented in Italy at the end of the XVII century. Between 17 May and 3 June the “Italian Piano Experience” will recall the evolution of keyboard instruments with an exhibition of historical models, and a festival will bring together some of the greatest Italian musicians.
An exhibition of keyboard instruments, including models from the XVIII century and Fazioli’s modern masterpieces, piano recitals by the greatest Italian masters and three conferences. These are the main ingredients of the “Italian Piano Experience”, the event that will take place at the Millennium Monument Museum in Beijing next May, within the “Meet in Beijing” Festival, where Italy is “Country of Honor”. The project, conceived by Italian pianist Roberto Prosseda, is organized by the Italian Culture Institute in Beijing, in collaboration with Cremona Musica, to celebrate the Italian identity of one of the key instruments in the history of music, invented in Italy, in 1699, from an idea by Bartolomeo Cristofori. After Beijing, the exhibition and the concerts will be held in Cremona (Italy) as well, between 28 and 30 September, during Cremona Musica International Exhibitions and Festival 2018.
This is the first time an event like this has been held in China. Between 17 May and 3 June at the Millennium Monument Museum in Beijing the ancestors of the modern piano will be on display, including models from the first half of the XVIII century and today’s pianos, like the most recent pianos by Fazioli, one of the most famous brands in the world and a regular guest of “Piano Experience” in Cremona Musica. A unique opportunity to travel along the evolution of the piano, thanks to the explanations by Guido Bizzi and the live performances by Claudio Brizi, the two curators of the exhibition, who will enable the audience to sample the sound of the different pianos and of their “cousins”. For those that want to discover something more about the piano, Nicola Sani will hold a conference about the contemporary Italian piano repertoire, while Roberto Prosseda and Luca Fazioli will explain the evolution of the instrument from the Fortepiano of Mozart’s era to modern grand pianos.
There will obviously be the opportunity to listen to some of the greatest Italian keyboard players. Claudio Brizi will inaugurate the stage, allowing the audience to discover the ancient sounds of the Harpsichord, Organ and Harmonium, also combining different instruments that the famous musician will play at the same time. In the final concert, Roberto Prosseda will publicly introduce the pedal piano for the first time in China: an instrument that is ancient and modern at the same time, that he rediscovered and promoted during recent years. Four piano recitals will complete the program, involving four of the most uprising young Italian pianists: Leonora Armellini, Mariangela Vacatello, Axel Trolese and Vanessa Benelli Mosell, also including Italian keyboard repertoire, from Scarlatti to Stroppa.
Beijing is the perfect location for this great event, organized with the cooperation of Cremona Musica, Bizzi Clavicembali and Fazioli Pianoforti, not just because China is first market in the world for pianos. In fact, a cultural bridge connects Italy to the Asian country: during the XVI Century the Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci took the first Italian harpsichord to the court of Wan Li, from the Ming dynasty; following in his steps, at the beginning of the last century, Mario Paci undertook an important work of music education and production in China, leading to the foundation of the first modern Chinese symphony orchestra.
So the date for piano lovers is in Beijing, from 15 May, or at Cremona Musica 2018, between 28 and 30 September.
The program of events:
- 17 May: Opening concert: Claudio Brizi, Organ, Harmonium, Harpsichord, Clavi-harmonium: “Concerto nel gusto italiano” (Zipoli, Gibbons, Scarlatti, Bach, Vivaldi, Marcello)
- 18 May: conference by Guido Bizzi and Claudio Brizi: “The evolution of keyboard instruments between 1600 and 1800”.
- 19 May: Axel Trolese, piano (Brahms, Clementi, Mozart, Caetani, Rossini/Liszt)
- 20 May: Leonora Armellini, piano (Liszt, Brahms, Busoni, Debussy)
- 25 May: Mariangela Vacatello, piano (Scarlatti, Beethoven, Rossini, Liszt, Ginastera)
- 29 May: Conference by Nicola Sani “Contemporary Italian Piano"
- 29 May: Vanessa Benelli Mosell, piano (Rachmaninoff, Skrjabin, Debussy, Stroppa)
- 29 May: Conference by Roberto Prosseda: “The evolution of the pianoforte, from Mozart’s instrument to the modern Fazioli grand piano”
- 30 May: Roberto Prosseda, pedalpiano (Schumann, Boëly, Alkan, Gounod, Sani, Liszt)
The instruments on display:
Feliciano Fedeli Organ (Foligno, before 1746);
Pfeiffer Pedalpiano (Stuttgart, end of XIX century)
Debain Harmonino (Paris, around 1870);
Italian Clavichord from the 1700s;
Italian Spinet from the 1700s;
Harpsichord, replica of an historical French model;
Fortepiano, replica by Walter;
“Harpsichord col piano e col forte”, replica by Cristofori;
Fazioli “Marco Polo” Piano.