The evening of November 11, 2013 was the beginning of a whole new chapter of my life: I won the first prestigious competition of my life, and it offered me new scenarios, completely new experiences and so many reasons to be happy.
I will never be grateful enough for all the opportunities I have had thanks to the Venetians. Up until that moment I had had a very modest concert career, only a few engagements per year, in which I tried to do my best, though there was certainly little room for experimentation.
After winning, however, my activity increased considerably, within a year I had reached the very respectable figure of twenty engagements – I was quite proud of the fact. But pride and joy aside, for the first time I could experience (or at least get a foretaste of…) the life of the “concert pianist”, albeit just the outset. And so I experienced my first delays – and relative invectives – at railway stations, a variety of misfortunes, pianos that we not too good and others that were splendid, audiences that reacted warmly, others less so. This whole collection of sensations, feelings and impressions inevitably had their influence on my personality both as a musician and as a man.
In the course of that year I came to truly appreciate the value of playing in public: it is in itself an incredible experience, both unique and unrepeatable, it is of inestimable value. Being part of that phenomenon that creates sound – because this is precisely what it is: the power of the senses that overrides material reason – is a special moment indeed, even more so within a framework of this kind. So I learned to love Sound, to listen and listen to myself more and more attentively, both while practicing and especially when performing, to perceive the energy in the hall, the audience’s willingness to listen, or indeed sometimes not to listen.
On 2 and 4 April 2015, I even had the opportunity to play with an orchestra, a concert I will never forget at La Fenice in Venice: Shostakovich’s First Piano Concerto under the baton of the legendary Yuri Temirkanov. That concert was then broadcast as part of the “season” of concerts on the main Italian cultural radio station, RAI Radio 3, and there is even a video on YouTube:
All in all, I can say that the Premio Venezia was the real start to my solo career, and it is certainly thanks to it that many other things happened that have brought me to where I am today!