Claudio Astronio: “Auditions for Theresia, a wonderful opportunity”

By Emilia Campagna

March 24, 2016

translation by Charlotte Michi

Claudio Astronio is the conductor who better knows Theresia: with him the orchestra made its debut in November 2012; with him the orchestra has grown in this years thank to many orchestral workshops, until the last wonderful effort, the film-concert “Zoroastro”, which will soon be presented to the public. Beside to the many productions, Astronio has participated to all the auditions to select TYBO’s musicians in these years: of course he will be there also this year, to kick off the new workshop’s formula in which the applicants will be selected not through a simple audition but during three days of intense orchestral and chamber music work.

What do you think about this formula?

All the best: it’s an extreme positive thing for all of us, and it contains in itself many elements that help to further develop the Theresia educational project. We avoid the short classical auditions and we connect all the candidates with their colleagues, with musicians who have already been part of the orchestra and with the conductors: with me there will be Alfredo Bernardini, starting his collaboration with Theresia, and Chiara Banchini, who has already done some projects with the orchestra. 

What will the program of the orchestra rehearsals be? From the conductor’s point of view what are the positive sides of this formula?

I will work mainly on the music of Martin Kraus, a very important composer for the repertoire of Theresia. For me it will be very important to see the musicians at work, in interaction with each other. There will be orchestral rehearsals but also section rehearsals, for strings alone and for winds alone.

The workshop will be a “virtual” orchestral stage, meaning that the study won’t be aimed at preparing the concert: will this change the way you work and your expectations?

Only partially: for sure there will be less stress, at least as far as I am concerned, in any case every time that we will be together to rehearse I expect the best from the musicians. That’s what a good football coach would say: we go forward match by match, and when we go on stage the work starts, the most important thing. And it doesnt’ matter if there is to prepare a concert or not.

What is more important, the individual technique or the ability to play together?

Both things are necessary but in a team the ability of working together is fundamental: I don’t search for a soloist attitude that creates problems in the group. On the other side, Theresia gives value to individual talents: all he soloists that have performed with Theresia come directly from the orchestra, they have worked with great humility, using individual talent to serve the group.

Which suggestions would you give to a candidate of the auditions?

First of all to be very well prepared, because the level of the young musicians that study in European schools is very high. And to be prepared to work in team, to networking, to seize the opportunities: joining Theresia Youth Baroque Orchestra means to start working seriously, not only for the excellent professional training achieved in orchestra but also for the encounters that can occur and from which further opportunities can arise. In conclusion, the suggestion that I give to everybody is: study a lot and play happily.

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Emilia Campagna

About Emilia Campagna

Journalist and musician, Emilia is a blogger for Theresia