THE TRADITIONAL TRAINING OF COMPOSERS
The traditional training of composers, widespread in conservatories and academies, is devised to create scores, i.e. written documents, subsequently entrusted to the interpreters for their performance. According to such established practice, the composer's work ends when the score takes on its final draft, and from there on, the interpreter's work begins. Such division of roles reflects theoretical approaches that were in force in academic contexts in the past but contradicts the historical practice of composition and its nature. Indeed, no composer was ever alien to the performative process, and, recently, composers have become more often involved in the performance of their music.
The Academy aims to fill this gap with an innovative and unique proposal: a performance-oriented composition course devised by Francesco Antonioni. The performance-oriented composition course addresses the creative skills of composers towards the performance, through the direct and effective involvement of the composer in the executive act, as conductor or composer-performer. "Far from limiting the inventiveness of the composer, the practical aspects of playing music stimulate imagination and creativity and bridge the gap that sometimes exists between composers and performers, often responsible for the failure of new music concerts. The composer-performer has the invaluable task of motivating and convincing the other musicians through participation and therefore sharing the responsibility during the performance. By bridging the gap between composer and performers, we also intend to develop a new, fruitful and distinctive compositional mind", says Francesco Antonioni, defined by the Guardian as "a composer who knows exactly what to do and how to realize his ideas".
"The current academic system classifies composition among the theoretical disciplines, thus misrepresenting the reality of compositional work", declares Antonioni, going into more detail. "The practice-oriented composition course re-establishes continuity with the history of composition (I'm thinking of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Britten, Shostakovich, Boulez, Berio, Maderna, Rzewski) and with present times (Salonen, Benjamin, Adès, Eötvös, Pintscher). In the second half of the twentieth century, ensembles conducted and directed by composers have been flourishing. Thanks to the development of electronic music, many composer-performers nowadays integrate their musical imagination with its practical realization". The organic integration of compositional procedures into a performer's sensitivity represents a unique opportunity to practice and combine composer's and conductor's skills.
Composition tutor and supervisor of the course is Francesco Antonioni. His music has been commissioned by the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra (IT), Albany Symphony Orchestra (USA), Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt), Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Wigmore Hall (UK), Venice Biennale (2001, 2010, 2016), and performed by Antonio Pappano, Vladimir Ashkenazy, George Benjamin, Evelyn Glennie, Yuri Bashmet. Jonathan Stockhammer and Alessandro Cadario will take care of conducting training for composers. Monthly seminars with international guest composers will complement individual and group tuition in Composition and Conducting. The students are encouraged to take an active part in the performance and will conduct their compositions in the final concert.