Saria Convertino, child prodigy, answers my questions with her harmonious and determined decision and that winning smile in which there is all the women of southern Italy, and any woman who has seen the world blowing with its accordions an extraordinary music. She dictates to me the title … I smile and say … in truth I would have liked more entitle Saria Convertino: Chocolate successes, we laugh together. With this sweet note she prepares every performance … some piece of chocolate noire is also the opening words of my speaking with her.
Saria is a human being, is not a robot as you may think through his biography. She is a young woman, she is authentic smiling, intelligent, cultured and simple.
At what age did you start making music?
Very young, no one in the house was musician … I saw one day an accordion … that instrument I just spoke to me. My parents caught my enthusiasm and I received an accordion for Christmas. Since then I have never left it. My father contacted a teacher of my village Patrizia Miccolis and I started studying music, I was only 8 years old.
To graduate with full marks and honourable mention at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Yes, I studied under the guidance of Massimiliano Pitocco, graduating in accordion in 2008 with honours. I did not stop; at the same Conservatory, in 2011, I obtained the Academic Diploma of second level in accordion, always with Maestro Pitocco and even a 110 and praise; follows, in 2014, the academic degree of II level in chamber music with Maestro De Matteis and here magna cum laude is accompanied by the Honourable Mention; and moreover last December 1st I obtained the II Level Master in interpretation of contemporary music, with grade110/110, released for the first time by the only Conservatory in Italy, the Santa Cecilia in Rome.
So, the dark chocolate is always in your bag! It is chocolate which gives energy to your muscles to move the bellows of your piano Accordion and Bayan? Because… she plays them both. What is the difference? She laughs, then says:
Yes, I carry with me every concert… I like that with 72% of cocoa. So, Accordion I mean piano accordion; It has the keys like those of the piano, while the Bayan – in which well I am specialized – has buttons similar to those of an old typewriter, small and round; it is not easy to play them both, in addition to the difference of the keys, they have two different mechanic system.
Yes, It is so, but I love them equally. In 2003, with my dad we began travelling every 15 days from Puglia, (on Sunday because I did not go to school and at that time I attended the High School), to take lessons with Maestro Gianluca Pica in Anagni (FR). Each trip was exciting, because my passion was realized more and more, and to see my father proud of me was my greatest happiness. And so, with the Maestro we decided to prepare the agenda for tackling accordion competitions. The selection have been chosen to represent Italy at the World Trophy C.M.A. (Junior categorie) and then I took part in Hungary to the finals; I still feel the thrill me vibrate the arteries and the heart. I also won the first place, of the “Coupe Mondiale Junior Categorie” … In Mottola it was organized a big party!
I know that it is quite rare, perhaps unique, be so clever and versatile, plus you teach both and, even more, you stand out for having reached excellent levels with both accordions, for the difficulties that involves using different systems.
You get me embarrassed, but it’s true. I love the instrument, I love music, I could not breathe without the music, I could not live without my accordions, but I cannot deny to sweat a lot, continuous and continuous study to specialize with important teachers, such as: Frederich Lips, Viacheslav Semionov, Yuri Shishkin , Franck Angelis, Alfred Melichar, Jacques Mornet and sometimes I am inexhausted. A few days ago I dived into another beautiful adventure that will take me soon in Korea. Moreover, I held a Masterclass, which is arrived to the third edition, for Korean students of LifeMusic School of Seoul. It was in Italy, in Rome at The Aimart, the International Academy of Music and Arts in Rome. The Italian art overwhelms again, so as to create an Italian-South Korean twinning. The breath of my accordions will push me right there.
We can talk about magical breath? The same that led you to the notes of the great Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina, awarded at the Biennale di Venezia del Leone d’oro to the lifetime. And you played an arrangement for Bayan of the original piano piece: “MUSICAL TOYS” and then presented it, in premiere, on last December 1st during the final exam of Master in Contemporary Music at the Conservatory “Santa Cecilia”.
It is a magical breath that married my inexhaustible passion. This passion is constantly renewing itself and reverberates with increasing force, carried under myself and I marvel that bears the stigma that flourished in that first time I saw an accordion. The rest is done by inflating the bellows … the passion year after year, the swollen, nourishes and gives me the physical strength to move … with the dark chocolate. Soon there will be some wonderful news about this great artist, from which I had the honour to have been authorized for the publication of my arrangement for bayan.
This article is available also in: Italian