Winner of Support Prize 2006
Francesco Filidei’s music has lost the sound element
Salvatore Sciarrino has suggested that the support prize be awarded to the 32-year-old Italian musician and composer Francesco Filidei. Sciarrino explains his choice as follows:
“Try to imagine music which has lost the sound element. What remains is a murmuring, a skeleton, light but rich in almost mechanical sounds that are created by the hands touching and stroking the instruments. That is the music of Francesco Filidei. His very personal style makes no compromises and over the years has not become simpler but more austere. Despite the apparently limited sphere of the kind of noises he uses, his works breathe and have taken on calmness. They are developed and in formal terms find very individual solutions which were previously unimaginable. It is not a matter of intellectual solutions but of opening up a precious and poetic world.
“As regards Filidei and his music it is difficult to name aesthetic models and his points of orientation in the current musical landscape. The musique-concrète sound, the noise-like nature could be a reference to Lachenmann or to specific works by Kagel, but the fantastic and astonishing absurdity of the mood of this music brings to mind individual figures like those of Harry Partch.
“In this music rhythm, pulse and abrupt caesurae become the primary structure in order to guarantee recognition in the changes and the incredibly efficient non-continuity of form. With the unusual kind of sound phenomena his music extends the borders of our perceptive abilities. Furthermore, Filidei has functionally refined his graphic notation with regard to possibilities of musical articulation and musical relationships.
“The following also appears to me to be important: the persistence and consistency of the composer along a solitary and difficult path, his rich musical productivity (although he is only 32 years old!) and in particular nowadays the rare originality of his work. It should also be stressed that Filidei has greatly enriched the organ repertoire (the organ is his instrument). He makes himself and his virtuosity as a performer available to other more or less younger composers and challenges them to make a creative analysis of this instrument”.
Francesco Filidei: Curriculum vitae
Francesco Filidei was born in 1973. He completed his music studies at the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory in Florence and gained diplomas in organ playing and composition. As an assistant at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and organist at Pisa Cathedral (1993-1995) he attended perfection courses held by Salvatore Sciarrino, Sylvano Bussotti and Giacomo Manzoni. He has given concerts of works by Franz Liszt, César Franck as well as of his own works and a great deal of contemporary music for organ and piano in Italy and elsewhere. In 1998 he was awarded the Taddei grant and in 2004 the Meyer grant. In 1999 he was accepted by the Conservatoire National et Supérieur de Paris and awarded priority in studying with Frédéric Durieux and Michael Levinas (analysis). In the year 2000 he completed the course in composition and information technology at IRCAM and in 2004 the composition course voix nouvelles in Royaumont. In 2003 he was a finalist in the international organ competition of St. Albans; in 2004 he received a prize of honour at the international competition in Strasbourg and 2nd prize at the competition in Viterbo.
His works are published by Ars Publica and performed by various ensembles such as Itinéraire, Alter ego, Cairn, Instant donné, Atelier XX, Nouvel Ensemble Modern, Ensemble orchestral contemporain, Rhizome, Intercontemporain, Percussion de Strasbourg. His works have been recorded by Radio France and RAI Tre.
Francesco Filidei has been organist of the Chapelle de la Médaille Miraculeuse in Paris and assistant to Jean Guillou at the Van den Heuvel organ in the church of St. Eustache in Paris since 2003. In 2006 Filidei will be composer in residence at the academy of Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart.