Flavio Villani, the star of the film Crossing Rachmaninoff, which screened in Matakana recently, will give a solo piano recital at the Warkworth Town Hall on Sunday June 25, at 4pm.
The concert is part of the annual Warkworth Music concert series.
Villani completed a Bachelor of Piano Performance at the Music Conservatory G. Martucci in Salerno in 2007 and attained a Master in Piano Performance at the University of Auckland with first class honours in 2012, under the tutelage of Stephen De Pledge.
He is the winner of a number of prestigious piano competitions, including the Llewelyn Piano Competition, which he won in both 2011 and 2012. He has played extensively in New Zealand and abroad, performing the Rachmaninoff Concerto No 2 with the Orchestra Filarmonica of Calabria in Italy and the Orchestra of CalArts in Los Angeles.
Villani was born in Italy but now lives in Auckland where he teaches piano and collaborates with other musicians in New Zealand and overseas.
His solo programme will include the Mozart Fantasy in C Minor, Brahms Rhapsodies Op 79, Chopin Ballade No 4, and Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D Minor.
Villani says he is interested in exploring the ‘fantasy’ form which, coming from the art of improvisation, offers a compositional outline for a freer exploration of the possibilities of music.
“It is clear from Mozart’s unassertive start and wide change of material throughout his piece to the variating character of the Ballade,” he says. “The Chaconne, from an earlier time when a lot of the music was improvised, has its roots in variation, figuration and melodic invention. It explores the different corners and shades of a repeated harmonic progression, and is one of my favourite pieces for solo piano.”