Alessandro Cavicchi

Alessandro Cavicchi was born in Prato (Tuscany) on 30/04/1957. Already dealing with keyboards as a little 5-years old child, he receives his Diploma in Piano from the Conservatorium “L. Cherubini” at the age of 19 (in 1976). 

At the same time, during the golden age of rock music, his classical musical background blends in with inspirations coming from Beatles’ songs and especially from the contemporary “progressive rock” scene – a mix of influences that will permanently mark Alessandro’s life and works. He indeed figures, during his teen years, as “L’alba oltre I vetri”’s keyboardist, an oddly-called band (then more oddly renamed “Axiandra”) that, covering Genesis’s, King Crimson’s, Emerson Lake and Palmer’s pieces, ends up with opening a concert of Premiata Forneria Marconi (the world-famous progressive rock Italian act) in Parma, in 1973. Nevertheless, this activity doesn’t prevent Alessandro from beginning, in 1976, to take part in instrumental and vocal chamber music concerts.

The will to deepen other musical interests leads him, in 1978, to leave Axiandra, right in time to see them exhibit at the San Remo Italian Song Festival, in 1979, while he chooses to show his musical and didactical skills starting, in the same year, to teach Piano at the Music School “Giuseppe Verdi”, in Prato, and Musical Education, in the Scuola Media. Giving up to the impossibility of graduating in Modern Languages, he combines a number of didactical musical projects and concerts of various kind (with the jazz-rock band "Versatile”, born in 1981, and, the following year, starting an artistic fellowship with Nicola Mazzanti at flute and piccolo) with transcriptions, arrangements, recording sessions.

He works as composer and arranger in a broad range of different fields (from chamber-music reinterpretations of Genesis’s suites to transcriptions for music pupils), especially after the foundation (in 1989) of the “Nino Rota” Chamber Ensemble (a sextet, then a trio for piano, flute – with Nicola Mazzanti – and viola – with Antonio Pavani), with which Alessandro proposes, as pianist, his own arrangements of film music by the greatest soundtrack composers, especially Italian ones (with a special attention paid to the author of Fellini’s masterpieces’ soundtracks, whom the Ensemble is named after).

“The Sixties” (1990) and “Concerto per S. Niccolò” (1991) represent the first records by Alessandro, followed by more conspicuous publications during the following decade. “The Cryme of Selling Lambs” (2004), recorded as “After Genesis” (a trio composed by Alessandro as pianist, Alberto Bocini at double bass and Andrea Baggio at electronics), with its pastiche made up of the titles of three notable LPs by Genesis, is indeed the definitive homage to progressive rock, in which Alessandro, as composer and arranger, from a chamber-music point of view, twists and makes changes on English band’s music. That’s the beginning of the artistic collaboration with Alberto Bocini, who also takes part, together with the Nino Rota Ensemble, in the album “Movin’ in the Movies” (2006), an homage to Italian film music.

At the same time, Alessandro’s original compositions keep growing: on a side, a constantly increasing number of modern style piano pieces and of pieces for different kinds of ensembles; on the other side, collections of pieces and studies of various degrees of difficulty, conceived for didactics, as well as a veritable method for “pop piano” in three levels, drawing inspiration from Alessandro’s experience in his classes (especially the “Pop Piano” one, created in 2004) at the Music School. The method’s first volume has been published in 2008 by Alberto Bocini’s “NBB Edizioni”. Two pieces for piano and piccolo, one for piccolo and double bass and one for double bass and piano are also published (by the same publishing house) in occasion of the Convention of the National Flute Association (New York, 2009) and of the Bass Festival 2010 (in Berlin); Alessandro takes part in both of them as author and pianist.

The compositional activity increases during 2011, following three directions:  chamber music for the secondary school (a trio formed by three pupils of the “Istituto Malaparte”, where Alessandro teaches, ranks first in three national competitions, playing Alessandro’s BAT Trio for violin, cello and piano), piano works for students (he writes 4 short sonatas, both classical in form and modern-sounding) and then the main one, a new duo project with double-bassist Alberto Bocini based on Italian opera: 10 pieces, any of which completely reworks a famous aria.

These three directions keep developing during 2012 and 2013, with new didactical chamber music (again prize-winning in national competitions), piano studios in irregular signatures and several arrangements, these last ones leading to a new classical-jazz-rock fusion project: the rebirth of the band “Versatile”, with Marco Battaglioli at drums. During the concerts, the band also plays some of Alessandro’s piano works, adapted for the new lineup.

In 2014 Alessandro receives two important artistic committees.  He writes “Three moods”, a piece for piccolo and piano, for the Third International Flute Competition “Severino Gazzelloni”, and, having Nagahara Flutes commissioned a piece for mini (a new type of piccolo with lower range extended down to B4), he also composes “To B or nor to B?”, for mini and piano. Both pieces are played in world premiere by Nicola Mazzanti at the convention of the National Flute Association on 8th August in Chicago.