VIRGINIA GUASTELLA

Composer/Pianist

BIO

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.

At the age of 17 she received her MA in Piano in her native city, then in Composition at 22 under the guidance of Adriano Guarnieri in Bologna, where she took also her MA in Aesthetics of Music with Maurizio Giani at DAMS (Disciplines of Art, Music and Drama), Faculty of Literature and Philosophy at the University of Bologna, graduating magna cum laude. In 1994 she received a prize in recognition of her outstanding musicianship in Jazz playing and Composition at the Berklee School of Boston Clinics at the Umbria Jazz Festival (Perugia).

Then, she went on for advanced studies in Piano with Aquiles Delle Vigne, Boris Petrushansky and in Composition with Salvatore Sciarrino at the Accademia musicale Chigiana in Siena.

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 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.

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); Filmoteca de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain); I Pomeriggi Musicali, Milano; Sentieri Selvaggi, Milano; Sofia Union of Bulgarian Composers, Sofia (Bulgaria); Orchestra Haydn of Trento and Bolzano; Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana; Società aquilana dei concerti Barattelli, L’Aquila; Nuova Consonanza, Rome; Fondazione ORT Play It Festival (directed by Giorgio Battistelli), Florence; Teatro Massimo (Palermo).

Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, Les Vents Français, Silvia Careddu, Novus String Quartet, Roberto Abbondanza, Yves Abel, Carlo Boccadoro, Orchestra Haydn of Trento and Bolzano, Sentieri Selvaggi Ensemble, Orchestra regionale della Toscana (ORT), Gillian B. Anderson,  Aldo Ceccato, FontanaMix Ensemble, Nyky Trio, I Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra, Quartetto Prometeo, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Quartetto Tetraktis are some of the artists that perform her works.

Her catalogue includes pieces for various instrumental and vocal combinations, and twenty 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).

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.

Recently, she has been invited as Composer in residence and Pianist at the CLASSIX Festival in Kempten (Germany) where her music has been performed by musicians coming from the most important orchestras of the world: Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Concertgebouw (Amsterdam and Leipzig), Philarmonique de Radio France, National de France, Lucerne Festival. The concerts have been broadcast by Bayerischer Rundfunk and Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

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 Bologna 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 at the Conservatory of music G. Puccini of Gallarate (Varese), near Milan. Furthermore, she offers masterclasses in other Italian and European conservatories and institutions.