PREVIEW: Portrait of an Italian

Posted on October 17, 2011

The next concert in Manchester Camerata’s 2011/12 Concert series – Portrait of an Italian – is shaping up to be very special indeed. The unique and charismatic Giovanni Sollima joins the orchestra for what promises to be a stunning evening.

Manchester Camerata welcomes Giovanni Solima as guest director and soloist for this programme.  The internationally-renowned Italian cellist and composer is a performer quite unlike any other, with a rock musician’s energy and directness of communication, and a musicality that sits happily across many genres.

This programme, blends the traditional and the more modern, features two of his own works, the lyrical Violoncelles Vibrez! for two cello soloists and strings, and LB Files, a mini dramatisation of the life of Luigi Boccherini, a work that embraces jazz, world, contemporary and rock all in one.

Sollima is joined by Manchester Camerata’s Principal Cello Hannah Roberts for what should be a truly amazing performance.

Giovanni Sollima joins Manchester Camerata
Born in Palermo into a family of musicians, Giovanni Sollima studied cello with Giovanni Perriera and Antonio Janigro and composition with his father Eliodoro Sollima and Milko Kelemen.

He began an international career as cellist, collaborating among others with Claudio Abbado, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Jörg Demus, Martha Argerich, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Bruno Canino, DJ Scanner, Victoria Mullova, Riccardo Muti, Ruggero Raimondi, Patti Smith, Philip Glass and Yo-Yo Ma.

Sollima performed in prestigious places, but also in alternative venues: Carnegie Hall, BAM, Alice Tully Hall, Knitting Factory in New York, Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Musicgebouw in Amsterdam, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Kunstfest in Weimar, La Scala in Milan, Santa Cecilia in Rome, Festivals of Kronberg, Kuopio, Istanbul, Tokyo, Venice, Ravenna, Spoleto, Shanghai (Expo 2010).

As a composer, Sollima has been captivated by every kind of language. By combining elements of classical, rock and Mediterranean music, he has created new blends among the most diverse genres. He composes for acoustic and electric instruments, and others invented by himself or created for him.

He’s also composed music for directors and choreographers. These include Peter Greenaway, Bob Wilson, Peter Stein, John Turturro, Karole Armitage and Carolyn Carlson. With the videographer Lasse Gjertsen he realized Daydream.

Among the CDs worth mentioning is Aquilarco, Works and We Were Trees. They were recorded in 2008 with cellist Monika Leskovar and the Solistenensemble Kaleidoscop from Berlin.

In September 2009 he performed in Budapest, Linz and Koln. His new cello concerto Folktales commissioned by the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Sollima teaches at the Romanini Foundation in Brescia. Starting in 2010 he will be teaching at the Accademia of Santa Cecilia in Rome. He was appointed Member of the Academy, the highest honour in Italy for a musician.

He plays a cello by Francesco Ruggeri (Cremona, 1679).

Visit Giovanni Sollima’s Website

Find out more about Hannah Roberts