Virginia Guastella

Virginia Guastella


Virginia Guastella Composer and Pianist
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AllgÄuer zeitung (2018)


Virginia Guastella (1979) has been working professionally for fifteen years. Born in Palermo, she works in different fields: contemporary classical, crossover and soundtracks to feature film and silent movies.
Her catalogue includes pieces for various instrumental and vocal combinations, and twenty publications among which there is her monographic cd "So far so good". The CD contains different pieces that she wrote in these last years for string quartet, orchestra, piano, trio (alto sax, flute and piano), solo sax, viola d’amore and guitar, ensemble (6 performers).

Recently, she has been invited as Composer in residence and Pianist at the "CLASSIX" Festival in Kempten (Germany). 

In October and November 2018 the TV Channel "SKY Classica" will broadcast her piano solo performance recorded live at the Festival Piano City Festival 2017 in Milan at Casa degli Atellani - La Vigna di Leonardo. In that occasion Virginia performed her original music. 

The last May her opera project "My name is Floria" won the international selection of Classical Next 2018 (category "Project Pitch"). 

Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, Les Vents Français, Hervé Joulain, Yura Lee, Isaac Rodriguez, Olivier Doise, Anna Garzuly- Wahlgren, Novus String Quartet, Roberto Abbondanza, Yves Abel, El Cimarròn Ensemble, Gustav Kuhn, Orchestra Haydn of Trento and Bolzano, Sentieri Selvaggi Ensemble, Orchestra regionale della Toscana (ORT), ContempoArtEnsemble, Gillian B. Anderson, Paolo Fresu, Aldo Ceccato, FontanaMix Ensemble, I Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, are some of the artists that perform her works.
Her music, edited by RaiCom, is performed at major international festivals, theaters and venues: MITO Festival, Turin and Milan; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; BARD College, New York; Spectrum, NYC; Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester – USA); Ferrara Musica (founded by Claudio Abbado); Musique à l'Emperi, under the artistic direction of Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer and Eric Le Sage, Salon de Provence (France); Voll Damm Jazz Festival, Barcelona (Spain); I Pomeriggi Musicali, Milano; Sentieri Selvaggi, Milano; Sofia Union of Bulgarian Composers, Sofia (Bulgaria); Orchestra Haydn of Trento and Bolzano; Rive gauche, Torino; Società aquilana dei concerti Barattelli, L’Aquila; Nuova Consonanza, Rome; Fondazione ORT Play It Festival (directed by Giorgio Battistelli), Florence; Piano City Festival, Milan.
In June 2017 she has been invited by the "Festival of Aix en Provence" to take part in the "Women Opera Makers Workshop" for professionals in the field of contemporary opera with the supervision of the english director Katie Mitchell. The two steps of the workshop were in London (Royal Court Theatre) and Aix. 

There was the second time for her at the Festival. In 2015, in fact, she had been invited by the composer Fabio Vacchi to the "Opera Creation Workshop".
In September 2016 she was on tour in US for five concerts with her original music. The tour started in Washington, DC, at the National Gallery of Arts that invited her for two performances, and then continued in New York at BARD College, at Spectrum (NYC) and at Paducah (UNESCO Creative City) in Kentucky.

In 2008 she won the International Composition Contest “Strumenti di pace” of Rovereto (with Giorgio Battistelli as Commission chairman) with the score "Pax virginis" for solo voice (baritone) and orchestra. The work was performed by the Orchestra Haydn of Trento and Bolzano under the direction of Gustav Kuhn and reprised in the following seasons of the Orchestra conducted by Yves Abel.
Winner of national piano competitions, also with international juries, she performed with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Alexander Lonquich, with the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, conducted by Daniele Gatti, and collaborated with Orchestra Mozart conducted by Claudio Abbado. In the same years she worked for the Cineteca of Bologna as pianist in ensembles playing soundtracks for silent movies, and as korrepetitor in "The Magic Flute" (conductor, Claudio Abbado – Director, Daniele Abbado) and in "Ariadne auf Naxos" (conductor, Zoltan Pesko – director, Toni Servillo).
She has worked as a music consultant and composer on the original soundtracks for the episodes of the documentary series “La Grande Storia” and “Correva l'anno” broadcast in prime time on RAI Tre, the national Italian television. In 2013 she wrote the soundtrack for the movie Yuki - produced by Movimento Film Production and the Department of Cinema of the University of Rome (Roma Tre).
With her Duo Improbabile, together with the drummer Claudio Trotta, she performed for Ferrara Musica in collaboration with Il Torrione Jazz Club, Voll Damm Jazz Festival of Barcelona (Spain) and for Bologna Jazz Festival. For this project she writes pieces that transfigure different backgrounds absorbing them to generate new ideas in appropriate musical shapes. Each piece contains improvising sessions. Their first cd is "Slancio moderato", published in 2008 by RaiCom Music Edition.

In 2012 she obtained a position as Professor in Theory of Harmony and Analysis, Principles and Techniques of Harmony, Computer music, Analysis of the Repertoire I and II, History of the Musical Forms and of the Repertoire and Analysis of Musical Forms at the Conservatory of music “G. Puccini” of Gallarate, near Milan. Furthermore, she offers masterclasses in other European conservatories and institutions like ESMUC (University of Music) and Conservatory of Music in Barcelona, Spain.

At the age of 17 she received her MA in Piano in her native city, then in Composition at 22 under the guidance of Adriano Guarnieri in Bologna, where she took also her MA in Aesthetics of Music with Maurizio Giani at DAMS (Disciplines of Art, Music and Drama), Faculty of Literature and Philosophy at the University of Bologna, graduating magna cum laude. In 1994 she received a prize in recognition of her outstanding musicianship in Jazz playing and Composition at the Berklee School of Boston Clinics at the Umbria Jazz Festival (Perugia). In 2001 she attended the conducting course with Piero Bellugi and the Florence Symphonietta. In the same year she took part in the course on Use of Live Electronics in Music Composition with A. Guarnieri and Alvise Vidolin (Luigi Nono's Sound Engineer). Then, she went on for advanced studies in Piano with Aquiles Delle Vigne, Boris Petrushansky and in Composition with Salvatore Sciarrino at the Accademia musicale Chigiana in Siena. In July 2011 she obtained the Teaching Certificate in Music Technology by MIDIWARE and IITM (Italian Institute for music technology).

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international composition contest "strumenti di pace"