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VC INTERVIEW | Ludovica Punzi & John Holloway - Founders of the Vivace Matera Festival

The Violin Channel recently caught up with Ludovica Punzi and John Holloway - Founders of the Vivace Matera Festival

The Violin Channel recently caught up with Ludovica Punzi and John Holloway - Founders of the Vivace Matera Festival.


Please tell us about the Vivace Matera Festival. What was your mission for starting this new international event and what was your connection to Matera - Italy’s oldest town?

“Vivace serves a dual mission: one, to create dynamic and innovative learning experiences for aspiring musicians, regardless of their financial resources and two, to present world-class concerts and events for music lovers from around the globe.''

“Matera is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We considered many locations for Vivace, and in Matera, we found a conservatory with amazing facilities and a supportive community hungry for great music. It's a magical place - very fitting for the music we are all creating together''


How does Vivace differ to other summer festival programmes and academies and what special initiatives do you have in place?

“The in-person version of Vivace is unique in that every participant has the opportunity to perform a concerto with our resident professional orchestra. It's an intense two weeks and participants are surrounded by art and history in Matera's culture-rich museums, landscape and concert halls. Due to the pandemic, we shifted to an online debut for Vivace, and are eagerly awaiting our Materan debut in July 2021''


What are the highlights of this year’s programme and what are you most looking forward to?

“We have to start with our world-class faculty. We have more than 50 faculty artists joining us from the most renowned conservatories and concert halls. Our programming is extensive and unique - from more than 750 master classes and courses to interactive discussions exploring legendary recordings. One of our series of courses, Listening Together, allows individual faculty members to talk about their musical heroes and what shaped them musically. There is something special about Ida Kavafian discussing her experience studying the Rode Caprices with Oscar Shumsky; Miriam Fried talking about her life's work with the Bach Sonatas and Partitas; and Alisa Weilerstein and Osvaldo Golijov team-teaching a master class on Golijov's Omaramor. We don't always find time for these types of discussions in conservatories and "regular" summer music festivals. In some ways, social distancing provides opportunites for more intense and specialized learning.''

“We're thrilled to be able to partner with the Violin Channel, Sound Bridges International Company and the American Viola Society''


Considering the difficult situation with COVID19, you moved everything online very efficiently. Can you tell us about this process and how you managed to adapt so quickly?

“In February/March when everything shut down, we felt like our industry as a whole settled for less than a great level when it came to online sound. With the right equipment and preparation, students CAN sound great and get a lot of out of online lessons. We developed a plan to change the perception of online lessons, and we have been able to create a unique learning opportunity. All Vivace participants receive a Blue Yeti microphone and extensive audio training before the festival and everyone can hear the difference. Come see for yourself!''

“From an audience standpoint, the ability to watch master classes from home provides a special environment. The second you hear something intriguing from a teaching artist, you can immediately try it out at home in real time. In-person master classes do not provide this opportunity"


How important to you is art in this time of COVID19?

“Our goal is to improve the lives of music lovers - students, faculty and fans. We felt an obligation to create an opportunity for people to connect with each other, to make great music and to work. Personally, when we made the decision to move Vivace to an online festival, it changed our lives. Quarantine felt different. We were working intensely every day, and doing what we love most: contributing to the creation of world-class art and developing the next generation of music leaders.''


What initiatives do you have in place to support artists in time of COVID19?

“Vivace, despite the pandemic, has been able to create opportunities for our faculty artists to work and be compensated for their work, and has created inspiring educational opportunties for more than 150 students and 100 auditors. We have also created the Vivace Scholarship Fund, which makes it possible for many students to attend the festival''


If we want to view some of the festival online, how should we go about this?

“Concerts and master classes are collaborations between the performers and the audience. For those interested in being part of our Vivace audience, you can purchase the Vivace Passport for full access to all events of one of our festivals ($250), a day pass to all events for a specific day ($50) or a single-event pass ($20). All information is available on our website at e.vivacematera.com. These are family prices - we hope everyone will gather around their TVs and computers and engage with us.''

“While we originally considered offering free access to our concerts and events, music is valuable and worth paying for. As arts organizations around the world turn to online delivery of their content, it is essential that we stand together in charging admission to these concerts and events. When organizations and musicians devalue their productions by offering concerts, operas, talks/discussions, master classes and events for free, it sets a dangerous precedent for the future of classical music and a contradictory message to the students we are training''

upcoming events

october 2023

21sepAll Day03octKronberg Academy Festival(All Day) Kronberg Academy, Beethovenpl. 1, 61476 Kronberg im Taunus, GermanyEvent Type :OtherFOLLOW

16octAll Day27"Premio Paganini" International Violin Competition(All Day) Teatro Carlo Felice, Passo Eugenio Montale, 4, 16121 Genova GE, ItalyEvent Type :competitions Event Tags"Premio Paganini" International Violin Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

20oct1:00 pm5:00 pmLillian & Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Stony Brook University, 100 Nicolls RdEvent Type :competitions Event TagsLillian & Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach CompetitionFOLLOW

23octAll Day29Concours de Genève International Music Competition — String Quartet(All Day) Victoria Hall, Rue du Général-Dufour 14, 1204 Genève, SwitzerlandEvent Type :competitions Event TagsConcours de Genève,string quartetFOLLOW

28octAll Day05novISANGYUN International Piano Competition(All Day) Tongyeon Concert Hall, 38, Keunbalgae 1-Gil Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, 53079 South KoreaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsIsangYun International Piano Competition,Piano CompetitionFOLLOW

november 2023

03novAll Day13Global Music Education League Violin Competition(All Day) China Conservatory of Music, China, Beijing, Chaoyang, Anxiang Rd, 安翔路甲1 邮政编码: 100107Event Type :competitions Event TagsGlobal Music Education League Violin CompetitionFOLLOW

12novAll Day24China Shenzhen International Piano Concerto Competition(All Day) Shenzhen Concert Hall, 2016 Fuzhong 1st Rd, 福田CBD Futian District, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, 518048Event Type :competitions Event TagsChina Shenzhen International Piano Concerto Competition,Piano CompetitionFOLLOW

15nov(nov 15)10:05 pm18(nov 18)10:05 pmViolin Society of America Convention10:05 pm - 10:05 pm (18) Marriott Baltimore Inner Harbor at Camden Yards, 110 S Eutaw St, Baltimore, MD 21201Event Type :conferences & tradeshows Event TagsViolin Society of America ConventionFOLLOW

22novAll Day26Long Thibaud International Violin Competition(All Day) University of Paris II, Grand Amphithéâtre, 75005 Paris, FranceEvent Type :competitionsFOLLOW


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