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Italian music captivates audience in lecture

Branden del Rio
News Editor

The music of Andrea Bocelli, Ennio Morricone and Michael Giacchino poured out of the speakers in the President’s Dining Room on Nov 28.

The Hot Spots series continued with Roberto Andreoni, Fulbright Scholar in Residence for Music and Italian Studies at Scripps College who presented his lecture “Italy: Modern Art-Music in Global Context.” Andreoni has also worked at the University of Puget Sound and is also a classical music composer himself.

Kenneth Marcus, associate professor of history and director of the International Studies Institute, began the lecture by asking whether Andreoni thought his music was sustainable.

“Is my music sustainable?” Andreoni asked. “I think great music imposes itself globally.”

Andreoni went through several PowerPoint slides with pictures and sound clips of Italian composers and vocalists who he considered great. He played several music clips and each flowed from the speakers in PDR with great the great elegance and power which help set Italian music apart from other world genres.

Each song seemed to take the audience of about 20 faculty members and students away. Several people closed their eyes and swayed along with the music.

Next he demonstrated the power of Michael Giacchino’s score in the Disney film up, for which Giacchino won the Academy Award for Best Score.

“There is no dialogue for about 10 minutes and you see from their first kiss to the death of the wife,” Andreoni said. He called the piece which was used to tell a story instead of dialogue daring move, especially for a children’s movie.

He then moved on to a more serious part of his lecture and talked about the schism in Italian music within the last two centuries. He said there was a split between the classical teachings of the conservatories and the more experimental music of the futurists.

However, over the time, Andreoni insisted, this gap has been closing due to the futurists exposure in the media.

One such form of exposure is “A Futurist Evening” an installation show in which Andreoni collaborated with several artists to create a show of lights and music which focused on the music of the futurists.

He then opened his lecture up to a question and answer session.

“I had no idea the speakers in here were so powerful,” Marcus joked right off the bat.

One audience member asked whether he taught his students with the same strictness of the conservatory or the free-flowing idealism of the futurists.

“I try to have an approach without any preconception,” Andreoni said. He said that what he always does is challenge his students no matter what, asking them if they want to change anything about their piece but allowing them to create it themselves.

Branden del Rio can be reached at

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