After her presence at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC where she has been invited the next September for two concerts as pianist and composer, the italian artist Virginia Guastella will perform for the audience of Paducah her original music during her tour in US that will continue with two concerts in NYC.
She is a crossover musician. She has a multistylistic approach to music: her first piece, when she was 9 years old, was a blues. She has academic studies and she works with different music genres as pianist and composer both. Her music is performed by the most important musicians, ensembles and orchestras of the world. She composes soundtracks for tv series, movies and silent movies too. She is guest of important jazz festivals with her Improbable Duo (with a drummer) in a project where she transfigures different musical backgrounds (rock/pop/jazz/modern/contemporary classical) to create her original pieces.
The performance she proposes in Paducah will be the live accompaniment of the two italian silent movies: Cenere and Il Fuoco.
Cenere is an adaptation for the screen of the novella by Grazia Deledda, with the screenplay of the famous actress Eleonora Duse, here involved also in her unique performance for cinema.
Il Fuoco is based on the homonymous novel by Gabriele D'annunzio. The director Febo Mari is also one of the main characters together with the most famous star of silent movie production: Pina Menichelli. The film is one of the earliest examples of color motion picture, particularly of the hand colourization process of the moving-picture images.
The project is linked to the italian culture (cinema, literature and music) and dedicated to the american audience.
Virginia Guastella (Palermo, 1979) received her diploma in Piano at the age of 17 in her native city, then in Composition at 22 under the guidance of Adriano Guarnieri in Bologna, where she took also her degree in Aesthetics of Music with Maurizio Giani at DAMS (Disciplines of Art, Music and Drama), at the University of Bologna, graduating magna cum laude. In 1994 she won the First Prize for outstanding musicianship in Jazz playing and Composition at the Berklee School of Boston Clinics at the Umbria Jazz Festival (Perugia). In 2001 she took part in the course on Use of Live Electronics in Music Composition with A. Guarnieri and Alvise Vidolin (Luigi Nono's Sound Engineer). Then, she went on for advanced studies in piano with Aquiles Delle Vigne, Boris Petrushansky and in composition with Salvatore Sciarrino at the Accademia musicale Chigiana (Siena).
In June 2015 she has been invited by the composer Fabio Vacchi to take part in the International Opera Creation Workshop, organized by the Festival d'Aix – en – Provence.
In May 2016 until summer 2017, she has been invited by the Festival d'Aix – En - Provence for the Women Opera Makers Workshop with the stage director Katie Mitchell in London, Berlin and Aix En Provence.
In 2008 With Pax virginis for baritone and orchestra she won the international composition contest “Strumenti di pace” of Rovereto (with Giorgio Battistelli as Commission chairman). The work was performed by the Orchestra Haydn of Trento and Bolzano under the direction of Gustav Kuhn and reprised in the following season of the Orchestra conducted by Yves Abel.
Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, François Leleux, Gilbert Audin, Les Vents Français, Quartetto Prometeo, Roberto Abbondanza, Paolo Fresu, Yves Abel, El Cimarròn Ensemble, Gustav Kuhn, Orchestra Haydn of Trento and Bolzano, Sentieri Selvaggi Ensemble, are some of the artists that play her works.
Her music is performed at major international festivals: Ferrara Musica; Musique à l'Emperi, Salon de Provence (France); I Pomeriggi Musicali, Milano; Sentieri Selvaggi, Milano; Sofia Union of Bulgarian Composers, Sofia (Bulgaria); Orchestra Haydn of Trento and Bolzano; Società aquilana dei concerti Barattelli, L’Aquila; Nuova Consonanza, Rome; Play It Festival, Florence.
She worked as a music consultant and composer on the original soundtracks for the episodes of the documentary series “La Grande Storia” and “Correva l'anno” broadcast in prime time on RAI Tre, the national Italian television. In 2013 she wrote the soundtrack for the movie Yuki - produced by La Fabbrichetta Production and by the Department of Cinema of the University of Rome (Roma Tre) – with the direction of Antonio Di Trapani and Marco De Angelis.
In November 2014 she was invited by the Filmoteca de Catalunya, Voll Damm Jazz Festival and the Italian Institute of Culture of Barcelona, to perform her original soundtracks to two Italian silent movies: Cenere and Fuoco.
She has been invited by the National Gallery of Washington for two concerts the next September, 2016. For the first one she will perform as soloist her original music for three movies by Segundo de Chómon. The scores for the second concert will be played by an ensemble of ten performers conducted by Gillian B. Anderson, member of the Film Music Foundation (FMF), who has commissioned the pieces.
Since 2012 she has taught Theory of Harmony, Analysis and Film scoring in italian and european conservatories and institutions.