You come from Belgium: what is the importance of the accordion in your culture?
I’m from Mons, the French-speaking part of Belgium then we have a great culture of the accordion. A large part of our population is of Italian origin and then the accordion is known from the beginning of the twentieth century. The particularity of Mons is also to have a Royal Conservatory, whose new name is Arts ² where courses are organized accordion since 1976 and issue a diploma and master and is the only academy in the French-speaking part of Belgium. So the accordion in belgium is very important.
How did your passion for the accordion?
I started at 7 years old. My father was an accordionist and also my grandfather, who also played in Paris. So they told me: do you want to play the accordion? as if they had told me you want to play football or tennis. I said yes and I was taught.
A long experience and now the jury at the PIF Castelfidardo: What do you expect from this adventure?
It’s a nice opportunity to be invited to Castelfidardo. I am a professor at the conservatory and see what moves at the international level is very important. I keep too many master classes but it is always good to meet other students, discuss with other methods of teaching and other modes of play. That’s how you get better and introduce new features in Mons in their own way.
You are very familiar with Europe: how it is perceived in Europe as a competition to the PIF Castelfidardo?
It is very important because it is a competition that not only existed for many years but the opportunity to get an overview on the young. I think it’s more important international opportunity for a constructive dialogue at all levels.
The accordion was born here: is Castelfidardo a place more magical or more technical?
It is a magical place. When I arrived in 2007, I met Toni Alessandrini who made me see the city, I found myself immersed in my world. Arrivals in Castelfidardo accordion and see everywhere, in every way: I find it extraordinary.
You are on the stage and it is 5 minutes about to start playing. What do you feel inside?
A fun and entertaining to listen to those around me. This is the most important thing. Often at festivals in Belgium as the accordion is still little known in concerts with classical repertoire where you usually see the violin and ensemble woodwind instruments that are historically deputies. When we try to prove that the accordion has a role to play in these kinds of viewers usually change their minds and end of the concert say “I did not know” and “I did not know it was so.” This is the positive side of everything you do.
In 2015 Mons will be European Capital of Culture and the city is structuring initiatives. In 2015 Castelfidardo celebrates the fortieth anniversary of his award. An opportunity that has given rise to a collaboration between Castelfidardo and Mons. Which are in particular?
I had the idea of launching an international accordion competition in Belgium, there is a first. They are tied in Castelfidardo for many years now and I said to myself: why not meet with the Mayor and the artistic director of the PIF to see to cooperate in one way or another. I went to Castelfidardo a few months ago where I was greeted politely and with enthusiasm. After the meeting, we decided that the first European in the classified section of the classic 2014 PIF will hold a concert at Bishop The winner of the contest to be held in Mons, 10 to 12 April 2015 at the conservatory and the dining Arsonic will hold a concert in Castelfidardo under the PIF 2015.
I believe that this partnership is very important because the city and its mayor have granted the patronage of allowing too, which is quite rare, the use of the coat of arms for the promotion of our contest called Accordeonous.org. A recognition of the seriousness of our organizers and a competition that matches one as prestigious as that of Castelfidardo. I hope to be able to develop many more future collaborations between the two competitions.
In Belgium, the competition will be two years, while the annual festival and in 2015 there will be competition. The president of the jury is Michel Stockhem who is the director general of the Royal Conservatory of Arts ² is a lover of the accordion while being classically trained, not an accordionist and is very involved in this project.
There will be an international conference on the theme of Belgian contemporary music in which the accordion is very little known, as well as on the history of the accordion of Castelfidardo for which there will be experts who will show vintage instruments produced in the city and an exhibition of companies producing Castelfidardo accordion. There will also be many concerts of artists Castelfidardo and other regions. In short, for three days Mons live accordion.
We also wanted this contest to promote the Belgian contemporary music. There will be parts required and this is new for the Belgian composers never liked too write music for the accordion. They will do this for the senior and junior categories Classic and the Variety Category. The pieces will be required of Belgian composers written for piano or button accordion.
For 2015 at you will make an high level of concerts, taking things to an excellence artistic level, never done before. What’s news about?
We will make a work, Germinal by Emile Zola whose libretto was written by Frederic Rouss director of the Opera of Rouen while the music is by Pascal Charpentier. The feature of this work is to be written for a quartet of accordions. The quartet will perform the Belgian Hybris that will take the place of the orchestra. There will be five singers of the courses diploma and master’s Conservatory of Mons and the circus. The peculiarity is that the show will be held under a circus tent. We are excited to offer a modern thing, but to everyone who is a central element of our organization in 2015.
Why the quartet is called Hybris?
We set up in 2007 in the name of “immensity”. It has the footprint of a group of “fools” who have joined together to do things. For example, the festival of Malo, ultra classic with opera singers in which the theme was “The composers of the King”, the Quartet has played Hybris Lully, Handel, Mozart, Cjaikovskij adapted for the accordion so as to make known the potential. It adapts to all situations: it is in this that lies the immensity.
Before arriving in Castelfidardo, you want to give a salute to the musicians and organizers?
As we say, a 5-letter word on TV …. you can not say what
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