Thursday, October 19th, at 18:00, in Livorno, at Symphony Record Shop, Piazza Cavour, 23, appointment with the Livorno pianist Gabriele Baldocci, for the release and preview presentation of his new CD ANGELESS for solo piano dedicated to his London friend Ezio Bosso
On the occasion, Symphony will propose a promotional price of €15.00 for the launch of the CD. The event is organized by Symphony Record Shop in collaboration with The Cage and the official Facebook page of Gabriele Baldocci (Gabry). The video link, directed by Anton Giulio Onofri, is visible on vimeo.com/848782273/fde7f5e040 .
Two Italian musicians in London, a pen friendship lasting for years, the desire to compose compressed for decades by the life of an esteemed soloist and teacher, Gabriele Baldocci finally opens the breach and arrives Ageless for the ageless friend Ezio Bosso, in anticipation of a debut album of solo piano compositions to be released on October 13th ’23 simultaneously with the complete Beethoven symphonies in the famous Liszt transcriptions, as a seal of a career that will continue on both fronts: composer and performer of himself, and virtuosic classical keyboard artist.
Described by Gramophone as “a pianist of formidable abilities” and protégé of Martha Argerich for years, starting from the tour together that the Argentine diva offers him as a “special prize” for not winning, as she believed he deserved, the 2003 edition of the competition named after her. A respected pianist worldwide and today a professor at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and director of the keyboard department at Haileybury College, Gabriele Baldocci from Livorno has cultivated the instinctive need to compose since childhood, gradually presenting it to the public both in the form of intense improvisations during his concerts in the most prestigious halls in the world, and in solo piano reinterpretations of rock classics, starting with Queen, which have earned him millions of online views as well as the respect, official recognition, and friendship of those closest to Freddie Mercury.
But the need to compose urges Gabriele’s fingers from his difficult childhood, one of the many shared experiences that will bind him to Bosso during their long-standing relationship as London expats, and it is for this vintage-flavored epistolary friendship that the first of the eleven tracks of Baldocci’s debut as a composer is born: a stylistic homage to Bosso’s piano writing, a moment of contemplation with a minimalist flavor for the eternally young friend, or rather ageless friend, in the heart of a true flamboyant and eclectic cavalcade in Baldocci’s virtuosic pianism.
Gabriele says: “The whole album is made up of songs inspired by members of my family or friends like my maid of honor Martha Argerich, or my hometown, Livorno, and the whole project must continue to live in a circle of affections and friendships, from the talented Anton Giulio Onofri who made my first video to the Virzì brothers, who will surely reserve nice surprises for us. But I felt from the beginning that I had to start with the music I wrote to pay homage to Ezio’s genius, to step out of myself, even out of my style, to meet him again in music as we always were, jugglers of notes looking for their own path in London in the 2000s when we perceived together the first signs of confirmation, success of a vocation that had made us different, certainly happy, but that had also made us suffer for many years, him in working-class Turin, me in working-class Livorno, in crisis and unemployed. Ezio always said that the phrase ‘We can’t afford it’ had been the Leitmotiv of his life, and I couldn’t help but feel like his brother in this”.
Indeed, Gabriele Baldocci was born into a working-class family in Livorno, heavily affected by the city’s industrial crisis and for a long time left unemployed, therefore to precarious jobs, to money that always runs out too quickly. However, just like Bosso’s parents, they are people who have the utmost respect for culture, starting with music, so much so that his father buys a second-hand upright piano with the hope of one day being able to afford music lessons, but it is Gabriele who, at barely 3 years old, begins to replicate cartoon theme songs on the keyboard, showing a vocation and talent that nobody seems to know how to manage, so he continues to play the piano alone and without teachers until the age of six. At the age of seven, he is struck by a rare autoimmune disease that prevents him from attending regular school until the age of 11, but in return, he finally finds a piano teacher, and with great financial effort from his family, his childhood instinct begins to take shape, and the piano, a refuge from illness first, and then from bullying when he returns to school as a different and fragile teenager, begins to become a springboard for competitions – which he wins -, scholarships, and increasingly important teachers, such as in Imola first – and Vienna later -, which he commutes to during high school with the family making great financial sacrifices, where his father has finally become a garbage collector and his mother a teacher, and finally in the safe haven of the International Foundation for Piano “Theo Lieven” in Cadenabbia. Then, in 2003, the turning point: he participates in the Martha Argerich Competition in Buenos Aires, he doesn’t win, but Martha is so convinced of the jury’s mistake that she improvises a “special mention” for him, which materializes in a tour together with her. Thus begins the long adventure with Argerich, made up of concerts all over the world, studying together, living together for months, with Martha studying at night and Gabriele witnessing how the greatest living pianist, his “aunt”, prepares her concerts. Since then, the road has finally been downhill, and after many successes as a pianist, confirmed also by the Beethoven/Liszt complete set coming out at the end of ’23, Gabriele Baldocci can now test himself as a composer not only live but above all in the AGELESS album, which will be released in October.
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