Virginia Guastella (1979) has been working professionally for twenty years. Born in Palermo, she works in different fields: contemporary classical, crossover and soundtracks to feature film and silent movies.
Her catalogue includes pieces for various instrumental and vocal combinations, and many publications among which there is her monographic cd So far so good. The CD contains different pieces that she wrote in these last years for string quartet, orchestra, piano, trio (alto sax, flute and piano), solo sax, viola d’amore and guitar, ensemble (6 performers).
She is artistic director of Urban Opera Festival (UOF – 2022/2023) in Bologna (City of Music Unesco) in collaboration with DAR – Departments of Arts, Music, Theatre, Cinema and Fashion of University of Bologna and DumBO.
Recently she has been composer, producer and pianist in residence at my site | in space Xenon Residency, produced and curated by Copenhagen Platform in collaboration with Assemble Theatre Collective (Copenhagen, Denmark).
Her last new opera L’ombra di un meriggio lontano commissioned by Fondazione Cantiere of Montepulciano has been premiered on July 2022.
Recently she founded the Dub’s Step Dialettica Ensemble (DSDE) of which she is conductor. The ensemble is involved in projects of music theatre, improvisation crossing into a broad range of genres.
In 2021 she has been Composer in residence at I Concerti della Normale of Pisa invited by the artistic director Carlo Boccadoro.
The last summer she composed the duodrama Floria, sì, sono io. for reciting voice and piano commissioned by Festival Puccini 2020 and performed by Stefania Sandrelli.
In the same month she has been invited by Ravenna Festival to write and perform her original music for a performance with the writer Massimo Gramellini.
In 2018 she was Composer in residence and Pianist at the “CLASSIX” Festival in Kempten (Germany).
Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, Les Vents Français, Hervé Joulain, Yura Lee, Isaac Rodriguez, Olivier Doise, Anna Garzuly- Wahlgren, Novus String Quartet, Roberto Abbondanza, Yves Abel, El Cimarròn Ensemble, Gustav Kuhn, Orchestra Haydn of Trento and Bolzano, Sentieri Selvaggi Ensemble, Orchestra regionale della Toscana (ORT), ContempoArtEnsemble, Gillian B. Anderson, Paolo Fresu, Aldo Ceccato, FontanaMix Ensemble, I Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, are some of the artists that perform her works.
Her music, edited by RaiCom, is performed at major international festivals, theaters and venues: MITO Festival, Turin and Milan; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; BARD College, New York; Spectrum, NYC; Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester – USA); Ferrara Musica (founded by Claudio Abbado); Musique à l’Emperi, under the artistic direction of Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer and Eric Le Sage, Salon de Provence (France); Voll Damm Jazz Festival, Barcelona (Spain); I Pomeriggi Musicali, Milano; Sentieri Selvaggi, Milano; Sofia Union of Bulgarian Composers, Sofia (Bulgaria); Orchestra Haydn of Trento and Bolzano; Puccini Festival Torre del lago; Società aquilana dei concerti Barattelli, L’Aquila; Nuova Consonanza, Rome; Fondazione ORT Play It Festival, Florence; Piano City Festival, Milan; Ravenna Festival; Elba Festival; Stresa Festival.
In June 2017 she has been invited in residence by the Festival of Aix en Provence to take part in the Women Opera Makers Workshopfor professionals in the field of contemporary opera with the supervision of the english director Katie Mitchell. The two steps of the workshop were in London (Royal Court Theatre) and Aix.
There was the second time for her in residence at the Festival. In 2015, in fact, she had been invited by the composer Fabio Vacchi to the Opera Creation Atelier.
In September 2016 she was on tour in US for five concerts with her original music. The tour started in Washington, DC, at the National Gallery of Arts that invited her for two performances, and then continued in New York at BARD College, at Spectrum (NYC) and at Paducah (UNESCO Creative City) in Kentucky.
In 2008 she won the International Composition Contest “Strumenti di pace” of Rovereto (with Giorgio Battistelli as Commission chairman) with the score “Pax virginis” for solo voice (baritone) and orchestra. The work was performed by the Orchestra Haydn of Trento and Bolzano under the direction of Gustav Kuhn and reprised in the following seasons of the Orchestra conducted by Yves Abel.
Winner of national piano competitions, also with international juries, she performed with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Alexander Lonquich, with the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, conducted by Daniele Gatti, and collaborated with Orchestra Mozart conducted by Claudio Abbado. In the same years she worked for the Cineteca of Bologna as pianist in ensembles playing soundtracks for silent movies, and as korrepetitor in “The Magic Flute” (conductor, Claudio Abbado – Director, Daniele Abbado) and in “Ariadne auf Naxos” with Toni Servillo as director.
She has worked as a music consultant and composer on the original soundtracks for the episodes of the documentary series “La Grande Storia” and “Correva l’anno” broadcast in prime time on RAI Tre, the national Italian television. In 2013 she wrote the soundtrack for the movie Yuki – produced by Movimento Film Production and the Department of Cinema of the University of Rome (Roma Tre).
With her Duo Improbabile, together with the drummer Claudio Trotta, she performed her original music for Ferrara Musica in collaboration with Il Torrione Jazz Club, Voll Damm Jazz Festival of Barcelona (Spain) and for Bologna Jazz Festival, among others. Their first cd is Slancio moderato has been published in 2009 by RaiCom Music Edition.
In 2012 she obtained a position as Professor in Theory of Harmony and Analysis and Computer music at the Conservatory of music “G. Puccini” of Gallarate, near Milan.
Furthermore, she offers masterclasses in other European and international conservatories and institutions like ESMUC (University of Music) and Conservatory of Music in Barcelona (Spain), DAR – Department of the Arts of the University of Bologna, Center for Moving Images at BARD College (NY – USA), Accademia Filarmonica (Bologna).