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Music breaks the barriers of language and goes beyond superstructures, judgments or stereotypes

Nil Venditti is more than a promise, in the field of classical music. Born in Perugia, 23 years ago, she is a real “magic wand“. Despite her young age he has already directed many orchestra. Recenty she has performed with famous soloists like Fazil Say at the piano and the Philarmonica of Ljubljana or Vladim Brodsky at the violin and Rossini’s symphony. In October 2017 she won the second prize, and the special prize of the orchestra at the Jeunesses Musical competition in Bucharest with Lup Octavian at the cello. Now she is attending the master’s degree in conducting at the Hochschule der Künste in Zurich under the guidance of Master Johannes Schlaefli, one of the world’s most famous master for conductors.

 

Nil Venditti

What is your link with Umbria?

I was lucky enough to be born in the beautiful Perugia in a curious way: my mother is from Ankara in Turkey, she came to Perugia to study Italian at the University for Foreigners. My father, is from Ciociaria, he was born in Rome, came to Perugia supported in his studies by the ONAOASI. They met in front of the Fountain Maggiore, in Piazza IV Novembre, and there, their love story began.

You started studying and playing the cello, when did you decided to become a conductor?

More than choosing it, I was directed to it. I played in the Juniorchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia and one day the conductor, Master Simone Genuini, decided to encourage some of us to direct , for educational purposes. He must have noticed something interesting in my gestures because he directed me to the best schools and suggested  methe best Italian teachers.

At the age of 23, you have already directed a Christmas Concert in the Chamber of Deputies and one at the Quirinale and in 2015, you have been awarded the Abbado prize instituted by the Miur: where do you want to get there? What is your dream?­

It seems perhaps banal, even a little naive, but my greatest dream has always been to change the world through music. Music has supernatural power, capable of breaking the barriers of language and communicating directly with that part of us that does not depend on superstructures, judgments or stereotypes.

How do you make yourself obey by an entire orchestra?

Rather than being obeyed by an orchestra, I would say that it would be better if you succeed in seducing its components. If you get on the podium with humility towards people who are unquestionably much more experienced than me, you will always meet smiling eyes and, I dare say, musicians will be always ready to help you in order to realize a wonderful concert.

And above all how do you transmit your ideas, your vision of music to the other components?

The first rule to convey your ideas is to have them in mind. The clearer the musical idea is in your mind, the easier it will be to find a gesture for expressing it. Then it is clear that when the gesture is not enough we can resort to the use of the word, but this usually occurs rarely.

A necessary characteristic for a conductor?

Empathy. Anyone can study music in every smallest detail for years and years. But what can not be learned is the ability to communicate with many living beings in a few thousandths of a second and be able to create a serene and productive work environment.

The gestures that a director  seem almost made by chance: which  are the characteristic of the relationship to create with the orchestra?

Every little movement of a conductor is always a concentrate of information for one or more instrumentalists. There are no movements that means nothing. In general we use the right hand to give information about the rhythm, while the left hand to manage the expressiveness and interpretation of the piece that is being performed. The orchestra is always to be considered as a family and the conductor as a stranger, “a guest” who becomes part of that family for a couple of days. It is clear  that, not with all the orchestras there is always the same feeling but in any case we should be able to build the best possible contact so as to be free to perform the concert without stress.

The Umbrians, and especially the citizens of Perugia, have the reputation of being closed: do you consider yourself as a close person?

I was born, grew up and I learned to love it. Of course having traveled so much, I do not recognize myself  in this characteristic and I can not say whether it is an advantage or a disadvantage.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Green, warm, protected.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

The wonderful Umbrian hills in the summer, covered with that particular green that we only have in our beautiful region.