Italian classical pianist, Alessandro Deljavan talks about hitting the high notes
Italy-based Alessandro Deljavan began learning music at the age of two and started performing when he was three, making him quite the prodigy. In fact, his story is quite interesting and in his words, “funny”. “One of my father’s friends observed my long fingers two days after I was born and thought I could be a pianist,” he laughs. He was soon put into a music academy in Pescara (Italy) where he learnt both – piano and violin. “At the age of four, I thought I was ‘old enough’ to decide I wanted to continue playing the piano,” the 30-year-old musician adds.
Deljavan is known to be one of the few pianists from his generation whose participation in the renowned Van Cliburn International Piano Competition brought him admiration from audiences across the globe, despite being eliminated before the finals in 2009. His second presence at the contest was in 2013, where audience praised his artistry and expressed their emotional connect with his music. “It makes me proud that people express some of their deepest feelings when they listen to my tunes,” says the artiste, who has released more than 40 albums in his two-and-a-half decade-long career. He adds that such experiences help a performer believe in themselves and not be scared of people’s opinions or judgements – be it the jury or public in general.
Though he would still be eligible for international competitions, he doesn’t intend to be a part of them as a competitor. “In sports, the winner of a competition is quite obvious. In music, one needs to have an average score from all the jury members to be the winner,” he reasons. As a music teacher back in Italy, Deljavan makes sure his students develop a strong musical understanding and personal point of view. Many such lessons that he teaches his students today have been influenced by his masters including the American classical pianist William Grant Naboré. “Maestro William Naboré was the man who shaped my musical thought,” he says. Among the Indian musicians, Mumbai-born Zubin Mehta is his favourite conductor.
Having played in Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan and the United States, Deljavan feels that the reaction he gets from people in different countries for the same piece of music is quite amazing. “Once I performed in two different cities in the USA. For me, my first concert was a success while the second was not even satisfactory. But the audience’s reactions were vice-versa. I received a standing ovation for the second and people didn’t like the first one as much,” he explains.
While many are aware that Deljavan is a classical pianist, only a few know that he’s also a great cook. “I love to make Eggplants Parmigiana. I’m addicted to traditional dishes like Pasta Alla Carbonara and Amatriciana,” he says. He will be playing at the SOTA Resonance 2018 in the Westin Mindspace on Saturday. The audience can expect 12 Chopin Etudes Op. 25 and Schubert Violin Sonatina in A Minor.
On January 6, 7 pm onwards.
At Westin Mindspace.
Pictures: Max Pelagatti