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Rising Stars: Meet Giovanni Piacentini

Today we’d like to introduce you to Giovanni Piacentini.

Hi Giovanni, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My story began in Mexico City where I was born and raised. I always had music playing in my parent’s home and I was immediately exposed to many different kinds of music from Opera to rock and roll to Brazilian folk music. Then one day, I picked up my Aunt’s beat up guitar and it was love at first sound. I became obsessed with the instrument and would listen to guitar playing all day long. Eventually, I found out about the great Andres Segovia and my grandmother had a DVD of him playing classical guitar at the Alahambra palace in Spain. I became hooked on classical guitar and through the good fortune of having great teachers from the beginning, I embarked on a journey of exploration and dedication. Many years passed where my main focus was to learn everything I could about the guitar and music in general. One day, as fate would have it, I crossed paths with one of my guitar idols in Rome, Italy while having lunch with my father. It was Eliot Fisk and we became fast friends. He invited me to one of his masterclasses in Switzerland and the rest is history.

At that point, I had started writing my first pieces and had found my love of composition. I made the choice to focus on writing more than performing and so got into Berklee College of Music’s composition degree. After Berklee, I became even more obsessed with composition and with finding my own “voice” but I knew I had so much more to learn. I made a list of my favorite composers and searched them out. One day I got a call from my number one choice; Dr. Richard Danielpour. He told me he wanted to meet me and so I was invited to his prestigious studio lessons in NYC. At that point, I enrolled in the Manhattan School of Music to study under him. I got my master’s degree and then followed him to UCLA where I’m currently finishing up my PhD in composition studying with both Dr. Danielpour and the amazing composer Ian Krouse . I’m also getting my first big breaks as a composer. I’ve just finished an album with the great violinist Tim Fain and I’m in the process of writing a guitar concerto for the legendary Eliot Fisk himself! I’m very happy to have the opportunity to share my story and my hard work in these five years I’ve lived in Los Angeles.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. The obstacles I have faced range from moving to different parts of the world to pursue my dream, dealing with financial difficulties, dealing with raising a family at the same time, etc. I feel that obstacles and challenges are what shape our character. It is through our failures that we learn and grow. They make us resilient and more confident moving forward and play a crucial role in our development as artists. I was also rejected from Manhattan School of Music the first time around which made getting in a challenge that I eventually overcame.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a composer and a performer. Those are my areas of specialization. I’m known for my guitar playing and lately, I’m becoming better known as a composer. I’ve been nominated for an Independent Music Award, I’ve had my music performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall in NYC. I’m most proud of the fact that after decades of very hard work, I’m finally able to hear my own voice in my compositions which is what I aspired to from the beginning. I have been told recently that my music has a specific sound and that’s what I most admire from my favorite composers. What sets me apart is my versatility as a guitarist and composer. I have an extremely diverse background that I’m able to blend together to create my own sound.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
The biggest shift I see happening right now is in the live music aspect of my industry. More and more people are streaming concerts and just consuming content online.

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Image Credits:

Anna Azarov Keltse Bilbao

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