Conversation avec Luca Ciammarughi

Conversation avec Luca Ciammarughi

Published by Zecchini, 2018


The uniqueness of Ciammarughi’s work lies in investigating how that climate of terror during the stalinist purges, affected Russian pianists’s behaviours. From the persecutions to the hostility towards minorities like Jews and homosexuals, the author portraits the changes in pianists’ personalities. (Classic voice)

As a teenager, Horowitz saw his piano thrown out of a window while the young Cherkassky heard the whistle of a bullet as it passed above his head and stucked into a wall in his house; the little prince, Magaloff, fled on a slay with his family. These three flashbacks immerse the reader in the October Revolution’s period making him breathing the atmosphere of an historical event that shocked the world and changed the lives of many pianists. Starting with the artists’ fearful reactions to the Bolsheviks’ dominance, Ciammarughi’s book gives for the first time a comprehensive picture of the relations between the classical pianists and the Soviet regime during the years from 1917 to 1991. 19th-century Russia is the background of all these stories where heroism and drama come together: Sofronitsky’s lonely pride, Maria Yudina’s rebellion against Stalin, Neuhaus’s arrest caused by his German origins and Shtarkman’s one caused by his homosexuality; Richter and Gilels’s inner troubles, the adventures and misadventures with the KGB of Ashkenazi, Egorov, Berman, Rudy, Gavrilov and many more. In that particular era of heroes and antiheroes, all the pianists matured in a perfect school system but were often prevented from crossing the iron curtain.In the mystery of an artform that flourished under the regime, these artists speak with us about cruelty and beauty, about eternal clash between materialism and spirituality, in the unpredictable blend of ethics and aesthetics.

Luca Ciammarughi studied piano in Milan at G. Verdi Conservatory, graduating with full marks and honors in Paolo Bordoni’s class. He obtained also an academic diploma with an honourable mention vocal camera in Stelia Doz’s class. As a concert pianist Ciammarughi played during “Festival dei Due Mondi” in Spoleto, “Mito Settembre Musica”, “Taormina Arte”, “La Verdi”, “Mantova Chamber Music Festival”, “Società dei Concerti di Milano”, “Spoleto Festival USA di Charleston”, “Festivaocal music l Guadalquivir” in Spain, “European Union Youth Orchestra”, “Salle Cortot” in Paris, “Milano Piano City” and many more. His recordings of Schubert’s sonatas D 894 and D 960 have received unanimous critical acclaim. Ciammarughi has been hosted by Rai Radio 3 many times, playing live a vast repertoire, from Rameau to Reynaldo Hahn. Since ten years is daily on air on the italian radio “Radio Classica”: his program “Il Pianista” (“The pianists”) is now a reference point for the italian divulgative scene. Contributor of the Italian magazine “MUSICA” (“Music”), Ciammarughi is also the editor in chief of ClassicaViva network. Furthermore, Ciammarughi the Italian pianists wrote 30 voices for the concert music’s complete guide edited by Zecchini Editore and published a monographic volume “Le ultime sonate di Schubert – Contesto Testo Interpretazione” (“Schubert’s Last Sonatas- Context Text and Interpretations”) for the publishing house LIM. In add-on to this, Ciammarughi also wrote essays about Schumann lideristic and Poulenc and Debussy’s melodies and composed the music for Elsa’s Kitchen and Anna and Marcel’s short films projected in Paris at Le Centre Pompidou.