Antonio Spaccarotella is a professor of modern and classical accordion and diatonic accordion at the Institute of musical studies New Harmonies in Paola (CS). He holds master-class refinement in Italy and abroad, collaborating with internationally renowned accordionists. Among the most important are the collaboration with the Moscow Gnesin Academy with prof. Alexander Selivanov and with prof. Frederic Deschamps in V.I.P. Seminar. He has won prestigious awards and participated in festivals and competitions both in Italy and abroad. In 2001 he published, with saxophonist Albert Snow, the album “No time,” edited by NSJ Production.
When did you start playing and what has changed since then in the world of the accordion?
It was a hot August afternoon, a wedding of a relative or friend, I remember almost nothing of this story, only vaguely. My mother always tells it, when you touch the topic and it’s nice to hear her tell such a beautiful story, from which I am always fascinated and surprised when I realize to be the protagonist. It tells of the marriage where there are all the children playing and chasing and a child plant in front of the musicians for a whole day; was me and that was how I fell in love. That day I watched mesmerized as the accordionist tells, from there the desire to start their studies at a school in the village and then continue to grow with this tool, the only love that takes me forever. Since then many things have changed, styles, ways, generations of musicians and also reading keys, as the technologies applied to it. Only the emotions were unaffected.
You have a way to compare yourself with musicians and international environments. How change the image of the accordion abroad compared to what you have in Italy?
Well’ we say that the accordion is an accordion, I do not dwell on the names, models or on the different lines of thought that I got to know during my tour, but more than anything I want to emphasize the differences related to the traditions and customs that influence this tool and projected in a continuous process of evolution. Then, as with all things, even the accordion has its way, has come a long way too, we find today in the context of diverse artistic, as in classical music in POP music, jazz, etc.
The accordion is a niche or popular instrument?
The accordion is an instrument, period. I do not think we can give a precise definition, as it is a very young and versatile, used in many different facets of style. Obviously, in a large scale, is valid expose of popular cultures within specific contexts in which it is the main instrument.
I have a decent teaching diatonic accordion, inspired by my natural attraction to the costumes and ethno-folk style. I work for some time with Riccardo Tesi, with which development programs of ethnic music and thanks to whom I can obtain a strong support in the context of my class diatonic accordion, in an innovation project in tradition.
Can you talk about your last tour in Brazil?
Brazil is a beautiful land, which is giving me very great excitement and satisfaction. I remember the first time I went to Brazil, I was excited, I do not seem real and I have to thank Scandalli Castelfidardo, who has promoted me on that tour, and experience that has opened the way to start a profitable co-operation with foreign countries, which has currently a multitude of projects and represents a good part of my artistic and educational activities. My last tour was nothing short of fantastic, I worked furiously through five states of Brazil, I have held seminars on accordion at the University Federal of Paraiba, where I also held a solo concert, and performed in many events, all skillfully concerted and organized thanks to the excellent work of my new manager Sara Albuquerque, Quitanda Musical Director and curator of my artistic and teaching in Brazil.
What can you tell us about your collaboration with Oswaldinho do Accordeon, famous artists in Brazil?
I met him for the first time in Spoleto CIA during the World Cup 2012. We were introduced and already knew the greatness of his person and the caliber of its human soul and artistic. Since I had to keep on that occasion, the closing concert, I proposed a musical meeting at the end of my performance. It was fantastic, exciting and thank you very much immense pleasure, which gave rise to a pleasant and effective collaboration merged into a duo project with major concerts during my last tour in Brazil, in July.
Tell us about your experience as a musician performer and as a teacher. The two activities proceed in parallel with or influence each other?
For me it is a constant struggle between my concert activity and the teaching, which contrasts seamlessly to grab more time in my day, which unfortunately consists of only 24 hours! But it’s basically inevitable that the two activities influence each other and derive mutual inspiration and stimulation from each other.
This year, working both in academia and in the conservatory and in the meantime I am organizing a world tour in 2014 and I’m working on my next album due in July. It is a very hectic and the time available seems never enough. Easy to imagine that, in this context, eclectic, all the things they fit each other and that they often need each other.
But, after all, the fact of living on the run and in total chaos has a certain charm on my person and it is nice to see that all the work that I do, even though they may seem separate, they have several points of contact and the nexus of art.
What is the project you’re working on right now?
In part, I answered in the previous question, which hint at the design of my 2014 tour of my new album.
I’m also working on a project with contemporary string orchestra (with sect. Rhythm) with the string orchestra of Cilento and Vallo di Diano for a new project and arrangements of modern tango.
I’m defining these days then a tour of concerts and master classes in Mumbai, India and I’m reorganizing my international team of students who will have to face the international competition that will take place this year, I am referring to skype lessons with foreign students and to impressive work ahead of us to create and organize new programs and arrangements of the pieces that will present to future competitions.
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