If you are no lover of classical music, this could be the night that may change your mind. It is enough to have a look at Stefano Bollani's extensive discography to understand that he's a unique personality in Italy's contemporary music scene. Studio and live registrations for labels like Verve and ECM have the Italian pianist partnering up with the grand masters of jazz (Chick Chorea, Enrico Rava and Paul Motion to name a few), whilst his originally classical training shines through in two recent recordings in collaboration with Riccardo Chailly and Germany's famous Gewandhaus orchestra.
But obviously, being a true son of that 'let's just do it all' - Renaissance spirit, Bollani doesn't dedicate himself solely to the more serious fractions of contemporary music, but just registered a CD with Florence born pop/rock singer Irene Grandi. In fact, Bollani started off his career playing along with Grandi, Laura Pausini and many another star of the Italian pop music scene (I hope you remember Jovanotti by now!).
It can't get more Tuscan than this
Irene Grandi and Stefano Bollani's take on La Pappa col Pomodor'
But quite apart of his immense talent and cosmopolitan nature, the thing that surprised me most when listening to Bollani a couple of years ago at Montalcino Jazz & Wine, was his comedian nature. His report of a radio interview gone wrong during the months he spent preparing his Carioca CD in Brasil had as in tears with laughter. You'll know what I mean, when watching the video below - at least if you understand some Italian and happen to be a fan of Franco Battiato's music (my Tuscan native is, and this had him in tears - again!).
Whatever musical preferences you may have, it is refreshing to know that there is this talented and good spirited Italian musician out there, who keeps rocking that grand piano oblivious of the musical stereotypes the world is trying to impose on him. So go and meet him live!
ACCADEMIA CHIGIANA, MICAT IN VERTICE 2012/2013
Friday 8th of February, 2013, Teatro dei Rozzi, 9pm
STEFANO BOLLANI, piano
ORCHESTRA DELLA TOSCANA, director MARCO ANGIUS
BOLLANI Piano solo - improvisations
RAVEL Ma mère l'oye
STRAVINSKY The firebird
TICKETS: 8 to 25 Euro from 4pm on the day of the concert at the ticket office of Teatro dei Rozzi. Or book on the internet or via phone +39 0577 22091