Antonietta Loffredo, pianist and toy pianist, is a graduate of the Conservatorio “F.E. Dall'Abaco” in Italy and of the Conservatoire de Musique d'Issy les Moulineaux in France. She has also conducted studies in a teaching and educational context at the Department of Musicology and Cultural Heritage of Pavia University at Cremona and earned a Master of Music degree in musicology from the University of Milan with a thesis on the toy piano. An acclaimed interpreter of the contemporary piano and toy piano repertoire, she has performed in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. Since 2004 she has been holding lectures and seminars around the world on the subject of contemporary art music (Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, University of New South Wales, University of Canterbury - Christchurch, Liverpool Hope University, Conservatorio “Teresa Berganza” of Madrid, Conservatorio “Giuseppe Tartini” of Trieste, Florida International Toy Piano Festival). Her CDs of newly composed piano music include "Childhood in Music", "Shadows and Silhouettes – new music with a Chinese-Western confluence" and "Antarctica – new music for piano and/or toy piano" released by Wirripang Pty. Ltd. Antonietta has premiered toy piano pieces by Diana Blom, Mercedes Zavala, Sara Carvalho, Antonio Giacometti, Kaveh Azimi, Paolo Ricci, GoOkawa, Silvia Corda, Mauro Agagliate, Gian Paolo Luppi, Paul Smith and many other composers. Her book, entitled "The Toy Piano - From the Playroom to the Concert Platform", has been published by Ut Orpheus Edizioni (Bologna, Italy) in January 2019. Antonietta is co-artistic director of the Associazione Carducci/Music with Sabina Concari and Stefano Lamon.
Diana Blom, composer/pianist, has written works for toy piano and piano/toy piano. She studied composition and musicology in New Zealand, Australia and the USA.
Composition studies were with Peter Sculthorpe. Diana lived in Hong Kong and Malaysia for 8 years. She has an interest in Australian and New Zealand writers and has released a CD, “Songs by Diana Blom”.
Diana has co-curated composition/ performance/CD projects featuring Australian, New Zealand and European composers and performers: “Childhood in Music – new music for solo piano”; “Shadows and Silhouettes – new music for solo piano with a Western-Chinese confluence”; “Antarctica – new music for piano and/or toy piano” – all with Italian pianist/toy pianist Antonietta Loffredo; “Multiple Keyboards – new music for pianos, toy pianos” with Michael Hannan; “New art song of the Pacific Rim” with US tenor, Kevin Hanrahan. Scores and CDs are published by Wirripang Pty. Ltd., Orpheus Music and Wai-te-Ata Press.
“Music Composition Toolbox”, a co-authored composition textbook, is published by Science Press. Diana is Associate Professor of Music at Western Sydney University.
Published research is on higher education music performance, the artist as academic, student popular songwriters, composing, preparing new music for performance.
Mercedes Zavala studied piano and composition at the Madrid Music Conservatoire. She has been a pupil of Malcolm Singer, a main figure in her development as composer and teacher. Zavala had her first compositions premiered in the 90s in England, Wien and USA, and, since 1999, in Spain in significant Festivals and Institutions. She has been involved also in piano performing, teaching, and researching. Zavala has taught, since 1990, harmony at the Madrid Conservatory. She has worked as a pianist and composer at Grupo Secuencia, exploring theatrical and sociological aspects of musical performance. Zavala has researched aspects of African Music, and as part of this research, travelled to Senegal in 1996 to study percussion. In 1997 she graduated in Philosophy. In the 2000s she worked for Radio Nacional de España and was President of Spanish Women in Music Society. Nowadays Mercedes Zavala is in charge of the Composition Department at Madrid Conservatorio Teresa Berganza and is currently working on several projects for 2019 including commissions in Italy, Spain and the US. Within her nearly 80 works, there are chamber and orchestral works, pedagogical works, an occasional musical theatre work, and there is the persistent influence of literature.
Gian Paolo Luppi
Gian Paolo Luppi was born in 1959 in San Giovanni in Persiceto (Italy). After his classical studies he graduated in piano, choral music, instrumentation for wind ensemble, composition and conducting. His teachers were B.M. Furgeri, B. Bettinelli, F. Donatoni and A. Solbiati for composition and T. Gotti, G. Bellini and P. Olmi for conducting. During his studies, he also attended courses at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, the Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna and the Accademia St. Cecilia in Roma. Since 1984, he has been awarded many prizes in composition competitions. Several of his compositions were performed on Italian, Belgian, Spanish, Vatican and Romanian radio, and in many important festivals in Italy, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Japan, Hungary, Germany, Libya, Sweden and Romania. His works have been recorded by Edipan (Roma), Crescendo (Bari), Quadrivium (Perugia), Pentaphon (Roma) and Tactus (Bologna) and scores published by Peters (Frankfurt), Edipan (Roma) and Ut Orpheus (Bologna). Currently he is member of the “Real Accademia Filarmonica” in Bologna where he held the office as pro-rector from 1991 to 1993. Also he is teacher of composition at the Summercourse of Mirecourt (France) and at the "G. B. Martini" Conservatory of Bologna.
Stefano Lamon co-artistic director – Associazione Carducci/Music – has taught music in secondary schools since 1980. Following projects for kindergarten, primary and secondary schools, he is teacher by contract in the multidisciplinary musical Didactics courses of the PAS course at the Milan Università Statale. Stefano has been Supervisor for the internship activities in the II level academic courses for training of the Como Conservatory teachers; musical operator of the LAIV – Laboratorio Arti Interpretative dal Vivo (Live Interpretative Laboratory project) of the Cariplo Foundation, at the Giovani Scrittori BIMED Festival (Biennale delle Arti e delle Scienze del Mediterraneo) in Salerno; and seminar leader for the History Theatre and theatrical Literature Master in the Sciences Faculty of the Università degli Studi dell'Insubria.
He writes on music as music critic for Como’s “La Provincia” newspaper, for the Gulliver Didactics Editions of the didactics sections on music magazines dedicated to primary and secondary schools, for Musica Domani, Suonare News, and writes essays and conducts musicological research of the Insubria territory.
Paul Smith is a lecturer in music at the University of New England where he teaches composition and music theory. He holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts from Western Sydney University. His operatic works include "Fancy Me Dead", first performed as part of the New Music Network Mini Series in 2015, and "The Spider Maiden and the Runaway Plum Blossom", commissioned by Chamber Sounds and premiered in Singapore in 2016. His latest opera, “How to Build a Billy”, premiered in Sydney, July 2018. He is also composing a new large scale work - "Chop Chef: The Opera" - with librettist Julie Koh which has received three development grants. Paul's instrumental compositions include numerous pieces for keyboard. He has collaborated regularly with Italian pianist, Antonietta Loffredo, who has performed his work in Australia and Italy. She has released his pieces, "Kawaii Suite", "Iceberg Variations", and "Holding Masks" on three albums with Wirripang Pty. Ltd. "'Holding Masks" was performed at the Associazione Carducci in Como in May 2017. Other commissions include "The Death of Baldr" for sextet by the Sirius Chamber Ensemble. Paul is a represented artist with the Australian Music Centre and co-artistic director of Blush Opera.
Paul will present and perform his new work - "The City/The Forest for toy piano, electronics and voice" - at the Music as Play festival.
"The narrative of the opera has been inspired by the writing of ecological theorist David Abram whose work connects the human voice with the animal spirit. Abram argues that all language is connected to the natural world originally and that this connection is often forgotten in favour of semantic meaning".
Sara Carvalho is a Lecturer in the Department of Communication and Arts of the University of Aveiro, Portugal, where she holds the position of vice director of the music undergraduate degree course. She is a fellow researcher of INET-md, and her research interests centre on the fields of composition and music education.
As a composer, Sara is interested in the interaction of different Performing Arts as an extension and transformation of musical thinking, and all aspects associated with gesture, musical narrative and performer-composer collaboration. Her folio has over 50 pieces that are played regularly both in Portugal and around the world, including commissions by ensembles and soloists of international merit, and prestigious international institutions. Several of her pieces are available on CD. In 2012 Numérica edited her first monographic CD “7 pomegranate seeds”. Many of her scores are published by the Portuguese Music Information & Investigation Centre.
In the field of Music Education, Sara is researching the influence of creative processes on the development of musical thinking in children.
She is regularly invited to sit on the panel of experts of the European Commission to evaluate projects for “Culture” and “Creative Europe” programs. She has organized and been a panel member of the scientific committees of many academic conferences and journals. Her research work is presented at national and international conferences and is published in different journals and book chapters, such as ASHGATE/SEMPRE Studies in The Psychology of Music Series and Imperial College Press, London.