Especially in the world of art, it is necessary to be formed at a young age, since working as a singer, as a dancer and as a musician requires a constant commitment. I would like to underline the importance of starting to play an instrument very soon, because the body of the musician, and particularly that of a violinist, is shaped over time and becomes one body with the instrument.
This study requires a lot of effort and dedication, in addition to an important economic support from parents. The sacrifice we are talking about would be much less hard, if the social context considered it as something “normal”.
I still remember very clearly the many times in which my schoolmates made fun of me, instead of supporting and admiring me. Even the teachers were not supportive towards my music activity, because it was not a school activity. This attitude is still present today in some music high schools that linked to the conservatories, where music, paradoxically, is still considered as a secondary subject.
The disapproval towards my parents, from their relatives and friends, was big too, when the latters realized how much they were economically investing in my studies and in buying me a violin.
These social attitudes are, according to me, unacceptable in a country such as Italy that has created and spread art all around the world and that much too often forgets about it, when it grants attention and funds to activities that only contribute to a short and superficial prestige. If the investments in culture were much more courageous, we would have more long lasting and important results for our society, as history has taught us.
The Students Festivals of the city of Vittorio Veneto, when I was eleven, were to me, and my parents, a demonstration and an incentive to continue to believe and invest in my talent.
After having participated in three Students Festivals and proud of the prizes that I won there, my parents allowed me to perfection my technique with one of the best teachers of that time. I was fourteen, and I followed my teacher Tibor Varga in Switzerland, France and Germany. The latter was a place where I have had my first important experiences in an orchestra. It was exactly during these experiences that I have learned how important it is to be able to have relationships in an international context, so as to appreciate even more my Italian origins and the demanding lifestyle that I had chosen, a lifestyle that is completely bound to music.
The Vittorio Veneto Violin Competition is a fundamental starting point for Italian violinists and a goal also for the youngest musicians, who often, since their early childhood, have striven to it. I still remember how enthusiastically and with admiration, I used to look up to the older candidates, as if they were unattainable heroes. For this reason, it is really important that an opportunity such as this competition, where participants can measure themselves with others, gets supported and is given value by the Italian culture and institutions. The history of music and the history of violin are and have to be something the nation is proud of.
The days before the examinations are always full of normal tensions and the whole city of Vittorio Veneto swings around the theme of the violin and of music. Young artists from all Italy, full of hopes and fears, get together to take part to a big show that was and, hopefully, will be indispensable to the Italian cultural and music world.
The idea of opening up the competition to the European Union, that I pursued with determination and that was welcomed with huge enthusiasm by the city council, represents, especially today, a great chance of spreading our culture and of exchanging experiences, not only from the musical point of view, just as it was for me when I still was a student.
It is with this strong certainty, that I have worked in order to put together an internationally renowned jury, that I hope will allow the Prize to have a stronger visibility and prestige in order to look at Europe without fear, but instead with justified pride.
Francesco De Angelis
Art Director of the Vittorio Veneto Violin Competition