Ludovico Einaudi is one of the leading composers in the world today. We were lucky enough to speak with him about his life as a composer and musician.
Training as a pianist at the Conservatorio Verdi in Milan under composer Luciano Berio, his compositions have constantly evolved through the years, incorporating a variety of styles and genres including, world music, folk, pop and rock. Having composed a numerous amount of film scores and solo albums, he has recently released his new album “In a Time Lapse” which he will be touring around the World throughout 2013.
You’re well known as a composer and pianist but you started out playing the acoustic guitar. At what point did you decide to play the piano as your primary instrument?
I started with the piano at home with my mum, and then took some private lessons when I was 6 years old. At around 9 I bought a guitar and very much enjoyed playing the songs of that era, from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones. The piano was more connected to classical music and at that time I was more into rock music. I listened primarily to rock music, even if my mother was playing Bach and Chopin at home. At around 16 I started to listen and study classical music more seriously when I started at the conservatory in Turin and then Milan, where I carried out my academic training. My first references where Stravinsky and Bartok.
Have you ever come up against difficulties when learning to play? How did you overcome them and what would be your advice to anyone in the same position?
Yes, a lot of technical difficulties. I had a very strict teacher, he wasn’t really following my nature, so I was struggling to achieve the results he wanted from me. I think you have to find a teacher that helps you to find yourself, not someone that is imposing a technique.
Your compositions are often considered as minimalist. Has this always been the case or have your compositions changed greatly from when you first began writing?
I changed, gradually I found my world, it took me years to search and find my way.
Do you think it’s important for young musicians to try and write their own music, so it’s more personal to them?
I think it’s very important to be creative; I would introduce the idea of improvisation in the music school. It’s a very good way of evolving yourself and to share emotions with other people.
If you were able to go back to a point in time when you were just embarking on a career in music what advice would you give yourself and why?
To start as soon as possible, with a good teacher that is able to understand who you are. I would have loved to play a string instrument, when you write music it gives you a wider perspective, I had to learn how to do it later with the experience.
What are your thoughts on the Take it away scheme?
I think it’s a very good thing; it’s great to support students and their families. Music makes our lives and future better.
Ludovico Einaudi will be playing a number of of concerts throughout the UK, promoted by Serious. For more information and to buy tickets visit the Serious website.