The pianist with the suitcase
From the Balkans to South East Asia, passing through the Middle East, the story of Giovanni De Cecco.
Udine pianist Giovanni De Cecco is a nomadic and eclectic figure, but at the same time anchored in the solid aesthetic values of classical music.
He began his career stimulated by his love for the folklore of Romania and Hungary; travelling in the footprints of Béla Bartòk in Transylvania and then in Moldavia, collecting from Gipsy musicians and peasants splendid musical gems, that he then presented to the public in innumerable Klezmer music festivals, chamber music seasons and jazz clubs in many countries.
To sum up, De Cecco’s virtuosity is limitless, because of his conception of music: he plays folk music in a traditional manner, that he acquired during his travels among Transylvanian peasants; or he improvises on Balkan music in numerous jazz clubs throughout the world (Switzerland, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Germany, Austria) or in the footprints of Franz Liszt and Béla Bartòk he presents in chamber music seasons, piano suites composed by him, based on traditional themes. He also continues to perform his repertoire of late romantics and twentieth century pieces that are dear to him (Wagner, Brahms, Bartòk).
He has become a well-known exponent of Romanian music, performing for two Romanian Presidents. He was the only non Romanian artist to represent the country with his music in Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan. Then he began to combine concerts with teaching, holding master classes in countries throughout the world. In 2012 he was invited twice to perform and hold lessons and lectures in Universities and music schools in Thailand. He fitted between the two trips to South East Asia a master class at Teheran conservatory in Iran.
Like Roma musicians from India, in the centuries migrated to Europe, passing through the Persian and Ottoman Empires, absorbing music, habits and customs of the people they encountered, so De Cecco retraces the path backwards, going to Romania and bringing the sound of that land to Europe and Asia; at the same time he travels to South East Asia and the Middle East, holding piano master classes, firmly anchored to the traditions of Western piano music.
His nomadism, that does not allow him to stay in one place for more than two months, is mirrored also in the concerts that he will dedicate to Richard Wagner in 2013, the bicentenary of his birth. Richard Wagner is in fact the musician of continuous modulation, of chromatism and incessant flow. It is the sign of an artist who can only find peace in continuous change, but with a firm foundation in traditional values.