A career in music: exclusive interview with Trio Debussy

Trio Debussy was founded in 1989 when its three members were students at the Conservatory of Turin. At present it is the longest-lived trio in Italy and also one of the very few “full time” trios in the world of Italian chamber music. The Trio has performed hundreds of concerts for the most prestigious musical associations in Italy and abroad, and has performed with musicians working in a range of different music styles, from Massimo Pitzianti to Paolo Conte. Since 2010 Trio Debussy has collaborated with the Unione Musicale.

At the Accademia di Musica Trio Debussy – Antonio Valentino piano, Piergiorgio Rosso violin and Francesca Gosio cello – teached an Advanced course in chamber music and now teach a Masterclass of advanced chamber music at the Musica d’Estate summer camp. As part of our section A Career in Music, we interviewed him to ask what advice he would give to our students, who are set to become the future generation of music professionals.  


What were the key experiences that marked your development and training as a musician? At what time of your life did they take place? Why were they significant?

Making chamber music your life’s work is an experience of continual initiation, to the point where it’s difficult to make a clear distinction between the years of your “apprenticeship” and the beginning of your career. You actually realise that you have accumulated and absorbed a great deal of experience, and a corresponding depth of knowledge, when you find yourself trying to communicate these skills to students. However, even when you’ve become the teacher, it doesn’t mean you have stopped learning – that’s an ongoing, neverending process.(Francesca)


Can you describe one or two turning points in your career? What impact did they have on your career? Why were they important?

Surprisingly, I don’t have a clear memory of any precise turning points. I do remember though how exciting it was when we invented and organized our music festival Tra futuro e passato (Between Past and Future). It was a wonderfully satisfying experience to perform new compositions (which have remained in our repertoire) and to plan themed concerts. (Francesca)

Trio Debussy


Often our mistakes teach us important lessons. If you could go back in time in your career what would you do differently?

If I could go back in time, I would take care not to allow myself to be undermined by an excessive tendency towards self criticism and intellectual honesty. What I mean is that whenever you set out to present and sell a public image of yourself, a purely idealistic vision can be a hindrance. Today, we live in a society that is harsh and unforgiving and that more often than not favours style over substance. In this situation, I believe that we must become necessarily our own promotors, even though we are well aware that this has nothing to do with our art. We have to strike a balance between these two factors, which are apparently polar opposites, while maintaining our ethics and transparency intact. I believe that finding this balance is one of the most difficult challenges facing anyone who sets out to become a career musician today. (Piergiorgio)


Along a musician’s career path there are always many important decisions to be made and these often depend on and result from the opportunities that are offered to them. What helped you to stay focused and not to lose sight of your goals?

What helped me was the awareness of being part of a “trinity, one and three”. I’m certain that, in moments of great difficulty, if I had been free and alone I would not have had the tenacity to continue. (Francesca)


Apart from studying with great passion and dedication, what advice would you give to young musicians who are starting out on a career in music?

I would say that perserverence is the your winning card. Determination is the most valuable talent and it is the one in which (no surprise here) your own free will plays the most important role. (Francesca)


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