A series of international projects revolve around the Italian Bandoneόn Academy, under the aegis of the Conservatory of Music ‘G.P. da Palestrina’ of Cagliari, reflecting the great turmoil within the European musical scene:
European Bandoneόn Days is an important intercultural exchange project involving a few European conservatories where the bandoneόn is among the subjects taught. Born from the merger of classes from the Conservatoire du Grand Avignon and the Conservatory of Music ‘G.P. da Palestrina’ of Cagliari, this seminar-like initiative is held annually, alternatively in Cagliari and in Avignon, drawing the attention of the whole music community related to this instrument and welcoming world-class artists and teachers.
As regards the academic year 2017-2018, the ‘European Bandonéon Days’ workshops were held in Cagliari. Along with Bandoneόn students were learners from Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Piano, Flute and Clarinet classes of the Conservatory ‘G.P. da Palestrina’. Also, a student delegation from the Conservatoire of Avignon, led by the chief German bandoneόn teacher Prof. Yvonne Hahn, took part in the event.
The course instructor was the illustrious recitalist and teacher Maestro Victor Villena, bandoneόn teacher at the Rotterdam Codarts Conservatory.
Besides the French delegation, the event was also attended by Maestro Fabio Furia’s bandoneόn class and the by the SCISMA Ensemble, a chamber orchestra composed by students from the Conservatory of Cagliari, comprising about 12 elements among strings, horns, piano and percussions and devised to the purpose of interpreting original works written by students from composition classes.
International Bandoneόn Masterclass is the only intensive course focused on bandoneόn held in Italy on a regular basis. Home to this event is Sardinia, the destination of bandoneonists coming from all over Europe. Every year, during the last week of August, eminent Maestros are the special guests holding classes and seminars. At the end of the course, all the musicians are gathered in a final performance, the result of work done during the masterclass days.
Composition Competition ‘Heinrich Band’ is the only competition worldwide dedicated to compositions for bandoneόn, providing further evidence of the strong cultural interest revolving around this instrument. Yet, despite its increasing popularity, the bandoneόn is often associated to the tango genre only, to the detriment of its countless potentials, which make it suitable for lots of musical genres, from classical music to jazz, up to contemporary music. This is partly explained by the fact that the bandoneón repertoire deepens its roots in the music domain originating from the Rio Plata region; on the other hand, contemporary compositions for this instrument are not very common. Thus, the competition meets bandoneonists’ need to emancipate the bandoneόn as an instrument solely destined to perform the tango genre, by creating a new concert repertoire allowing to breath fresh life into the present bandoneón literature, by innovating and enriching it, without neglecting its origins.