ITALIAN pianist and composer Roberto Cacciapaglia will perform for the first time in Slovakia; his concert will mark not only end of the Dolce Vitaj festival of Italian culture, but also the start of his country’s presidency over the European Union. The renowned musician will join forces with Slovak cellist Silvia Longauerová on July 3, and the performance in the Slovak Radio’s studio will be broadcast live over the radio.

Cacciapaglia is known for his innovative and experimental compositions. In Italy, he rose to fame thanks to his incorporation of less traditional sounds into classical instrumental music using electronic effects. He told the Italian Cultural Institute in Bratislava – the co-organiser of the concert – that a musician constructs the world of electronic sound and designs it as an architect, while the acoustic musical world (including vocal performance) “… is the transformation of energy through body”.

The composer was trained in classical music, but played rock in garage bands in his teens, and most of his work actually merges these two influences. As for the role of contemporary classical music, he opined that while nowadays it is perceived as an obscure genre, this was not always the case. In the time of opera composer Verdi, even those who were illiterate sang his arias in the streets, as classical music was meant for the masses. However, changes in recent years, in parallel with the big boom of rock and pop, gradually helped diminish people’s interest in it.

The Italian pianist’s music has become so popular in Italy that he composes soundtracks to films and advertisements for famous brands.

“To write music for a soundtrack is definitely different, as you have to stress the idea of the film, the feelings of the characters and the message of the director that he strives to give viewers through his work – all that via music,” Cacciapaglia told the Institute. He also focuses on sacred dances and on what he calls the magic power of sound.

As for what music means to him, Cacciapaglia said that it is a highway for bringing emotions of sounds into contact with the soul, with other beings and the spiritual realm.

“I have a philosophy, based on which I conceive music as a means, and not as a goal,” he explained.

Cacciapaglia also compared two “styles of music”: one directed inwardly, for concentration, for the soul, which changes only slightly and sits close to the very essence of existence. The other style is directed outwards, towards the community, and works in a different way: the music changes, adapting to fashions and time, just like clothes and centres of social life. That is why the sound directed inwardly does not change, while the one directed at society “changes coats” and puts on “masks of sound”, as he calls it.

Tickets for the Bratislava concert on July 3 cost €15 and can be purchased via the Ticketportal website.

“I am very glad to play in Slovakia,” Cacciapaglia said. “It may seem like an interesting coincidence that I have been collaborating for many years with Slovak cellist Silvia Longauerová, who comes from Bratislava. I have big expectations for this concert; I am sure it will be an exceptional encounter and a great experience.”