The Musical Journey of Violinist Rebecca Raimondi
Interview by Abhijit Ganguly
Rebecca Raimondi, born in 1996, is now attending a Baroque Master with MechthildKarkow at the Musikhochschule of Frankfurt am Main. In 2018 she completed the Fellowship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Jacqueline Ross, where she also obtained the Master (CRD) with David Takeno and studied baroque violin with PavloBeznosiuk . She previously studied with Salvatore Accardo (Accademia W. Stauffer of Cremona, Accademia Chigiana) and Marco Fiorini (Music School of Fiesole) and with Roberto Gonzalez-Monjas (Accademia Praeneste). She graduated at the Conservatorio "O. Respighi" in Latina, under the guidance of Antonio De Secondi and obtaining the highest degreecum laude and honors . She has partecipated in masterclasses with: Dora Schwarzberg, Sergey Girshenko, George Mönch, Harald Herzl and Lorenzo Fabiani.As a soloist she has performed Brahms Concerto with the International Orchestra of Rome, Mozart Concerto no. 4 with the Symphonic Orchestra of Latina, BachBrandenburg Concerto No.4 with the Guildhall Baroque Ensemble in Milton Court Concert Hall in London and the Double Concerto with "I SolistiAquilani" and the violinist Gaia Trionfera under the baton of Amaury Du Closel. In 2016 she performed as a soloist "The Four Seasons" by Vivaldi with Rest Ensemble in London and in Rome on period instruments.She has founded the Ardorè Duo, devoted toContemporary Music succesfully performing at the Accademia Chigiana of Siena, the Museo del violino in Cremona - playing on theNicolò Amati ex-Collin 1669 -, the Macro Museum in Rome and the Milton Court Concert Hall in London.She is also member of the Avant Piano Trio(Urska Horvat, cello and Alessandro Viale, piano), which is specialized in Romantic and Contemporary repertoire, successfully performing in UK and Italy.She won many National and International competitions such as Anemos, Clivis, Città di Giussano, Marco Dall'Aquila and Riviera Etrusca. She has been awarded the "Excellentissimus" Prize, released by appointment of the President of the Italian Republic, the "Monte deiPaschi di Siena"Scholarship for the best students of Salvatore Accardo's class of the Chigiana International Summer Academy, and the "Scuola di Musica di Fiesole" Scholarship. In 2016 she has been selected for "Chamber Music Festival 2016", and in the same year she has been awarded a Scholarship by the "Guildhall School of Music and Drama". In 2018 she has been invited to take part in the East Neuk Festival retreat. With duo Ardorè she won in 2017 the Scotese festival, as best young ensemble of Nuova Consonanza Festival. She has been selected for Lucerne Festival Academy 2018. Abhijit Ganguly speaks with Rebecca Raimondi.
What was your earliest exposure to music? What interested you towards playing the violin?
Since I was very little, my parents have always exposed me to classical music: at home, my father used to listen to Symphonies and Concertos every evening on a good (and very loud!) Hi-Fi Stereo, and from time to time we used to go to the Opera House in Rome to watch ballets. From the age of three I started receiving propedeutic music lessons, and at three and a half I had my first violin lesson.
My mother told me that one day she asked me which instrument I would have liked to play, and I just answered: "The violin"! I must have listened to very good violinists at that time, to be so convinced for such a choice...
What was your earliest exposure to music? What interested you towards playing the violin?
Georg Moench, my second violin teacher, who taught me the majority of pieces from the main repertoire, represents the beginning of my passion for music, and I really enjoy going back with my mind to that moment of life. After, I had teachers who inspired me under many differen aspects, such as Antonio De Secondi, Lorenzo Fabiani, Salvatore Accardo, David Takeno and Jacqueline Ross. Last but not least, my partner, Alessandro, with whom I share and create the majority of my projects and concerts, and who especially developed in me the passion for Contemporary music.
You founded the Ardorè Duo,. Please tell us more about it.
Ardorè Duo was born five years ago, as an ensemble committed to Modern and Contemporary Classical music. Today, we have more than ten pieces dedicated and written for us, and we commission at least one piece every year.
In the past two years, I started to specialize in the Baroque repertoire - now being enrolled at the Master with Prof. Mechthild Karkow at the Musikhochschule of Frankfurt am Main - and in the last months, thanks to Prof. Jacqueline Ross, me and Alessandro developed, as a duo, a philological approach also to Classical and Romantic music. Since then, our repertoire has expanded with no exceptions. This is why I can say that the Duo's purpose is always that to achieve a musical and natural performance style, simultaneously free from dogma - through research on sources such as letters, old recordings, treatises, testimoniances - yet also rigorous, and with a passionate commitment.
In 2017 we recorded a monographic CD of David Collins' Violin sonatas for Sheva Contemporary (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Name/Ardor%C3%A8-Duo/Ensemble/489438-4) receiving excellent reviews on many magazines, among which Gramophone (March 2018), a CD for Cremona Records with sonatas by Mozart, Brahms and Beethoven, and, in February, we will record a mono graphic CD with the music composed by Marco Quagliarini, for Stradivarius.The name? We chose it on one eveing, while walking on the beach in my hometown... you can read it as A(Alessandro) R(Reecca) DO (the note C in Italian) and RE' (the note D in Italian), but also - more simply! - as the word "ardore", which in Italian means "something which burns of passion, enthusiasm, impetus".
Is there any concert that you feel was a breakthrough for you in more recent times?
For me it certainly was the one when I performed Brahms violin concerto, in 2014, and my final recital in Lonodon in 2017. In both circumstances I had a very strong energy, which I always try to recreate in every concert. Every concert I do has its own positive aspects, which will always change, depending on the period of life, people I play with, the venue where I perform, etc... Therefore, if I think about past recent concerts, I will find that each one of them helped me to make a step forward.
How was your experience to be a part of the Ananta Makhal Tribute concert?
To perform for the Ananta Makhal Tribute Concert, and alongise his former students, was a great honor for me. Already before coming to India I heard so many good things and stories about Ananta as a teacher, and when I met people who knew him, I could really feel a strong respect and love towards him. Moreover, the project that Michael Makhal and Alessandro Viale led this year, and in which me, Urska, and many Indian musicians took part, has been, in a way, a continuation of what Ananta did for almost his entire life. We gave masterclasses in three different places (Hyderabad, Bangalore Greenwood International and Vio Voi music school), we involved the students in the final concert of the Autumn International Music Fest in Hyderabad, we shared our knowledge and insights about western Classical music with the musicians from Calcutta's Oxford Mission Orphanage. And being Ananta a violin player... I felt particularly attached to the stories of those musicians who I performed with in Calcutta, and a particular responsibility as well.
What kind of projects are you currently working on?
At the moment I am living in Frankfurt, where I just started a Master in Baroque performance. I really wanted to specialise in this repertoire, from which European classical-musical tradition starts, and I am happy to have had the chance to take this path.
Alongside this, I am devoting myself to the performance of the Contemporary Classical repertoire, commissioning and performing premieres of new pieces, both in duo with Alessandro, in trio with Urska, and for solo violin. Moreover, this year I also have a couple of "virtuosistic" projects, in which I will perform the six "sonate a quattro" by Rossini, Bottesini "Gran Duo" for violin and double bass, and some Paganini. I have got two recording projects for the upcoming year, one with the music for violin solo and violin and piano by Maro Quagliarini, for Stradivarius, and the second for Brilliant, with the chamber and solo music by Riccardo Malipiero. I am really excited to follow a road that I am building from my own choices. The most important thing I learned from the modest amount of experience I have, is that it does not exist only one way of doing things and pursuing aims - although the world seems to want us accept the opposite as right, but there are many that can and will succeed, provided that you really believe in them.