by Salvatore La Lota di Blasi

Italian theatres adore him and he is sought after abroad! It’s Francesco Pasqualetti, a young orchestra conductor from Pisa back from last autumn’s Festival Verdi at Bussetto and now, in the new year, going towards Lubecca to conduct two concerts: in Georgia for “Simon Boccanegra” and, lastly, in France for “Rigoletto”. A professional life dedicated to music and travelling. “Ever since I was a child, I used to sing anything that came within earshot,” the Maestro recounts. “So my parents sent me to study piano. I became the organ player of the parish church and then conductor of the small local choir.” His passion grew so much that at seventeen years and a half he conducted Schubert’s ‘unfinished’ Symphony for the first time. Francesco Pasqualetti became a pianist, composer and orchestra conductor graduating from the conservatories of Florence and Lucca. His meeting with the maestro Gianluigi Gelmetti was important because not only did he specialize with him at the “Accademia Musicale Chigiana” but he was also his personal assistant at “Teatro dell’Opera” in Rome. “At that time I was twenty-three,” continues Pasqualetti, “and I was happy to have found my road.” A musical prodigy who graduated cum laude in Philosophy from the University of Pisa he used philosophy to better understand music. Finally, he specialised at the Royal Academy of Music in London guided by the Maestro sir Colin Davis. “It was like something that had to happen,” the conductor adds, “that enabled me to tie together three aspects of my artistic profession: to prepare an opera score I play it on the piano before conducting it and to complete the study, I examine it through the eyes of the composer; then I grasp the nuances of the orchestration and harmonic language. At that point, I am ready to conduct it.” The secret of such a success is revealed when his thoughts go to his dear partner, Sonia a soprano, with whom he shares his life in harmony. Because, it is a fact, where there is a team and harmony, you always win. “When the dates of a concert draw nearer, mine or hers,” concludes the maestro, “it’s necessary to be careful to avoid sparks.” And how can you not let go to feelings if, amongst the notes of every single day a careful observer, who listens to them, turns up? Is it your first passionate critic? I ask the maestro. “No, no, it’s Leone, our two-year-old child, our real boss.”

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