Keep your composure

As the International Composition Competition “… a CamilloTogni” celebrates its 10th edition, PAY catches up with artistic director and conductor Vittorio Parisi to find out what makes it so special.

If you were going to pick a composer to honour with a competition, it would be hard to find a more inspiring candidate than Camillo Togni (1922-1993). The Italian composer was revered for his creativity and musicality. Also a talented pianist, he was, together with Luigi Dallapiccola, among the first Italians to use the twelve-tone technique.

So, it’s great to see this spirit kept alive by the International Composition Competition “… a Camillo Togni”. Organised by dèdalo ensemble, this year sees it celebrate its 10th edition, with composers from all over the world invited to submit pieces.

“The mission of the competition is to remember Camillo Togni and give the composers international exposure,” explains dèdalo artistic director and conductor Vittorio Parisi. “We also link our winners with a publisher and generally help build their profile.”

9th edition prize giving. From left: Giacomo Togni, Vittorio Parisi, the President of the City Council Roberto Cammarata, the President of the Jury Michele Dall’Ongaro, the winner Minzuo Lu, the special mention winner Mirtru Escalona-Mijares, the Jurors Gabrio Taglietti, José Manuel López López, Richard Causton

“… a Camillo Togni” is open to works for 1 to 12 performers, with final scores performed by dèdalo ensemble. First prize is €5,000, while second and third places – awarded for the first time this year – will take home €1,500 and €500 respectively. The application deadline is 10 September 2022 and the results will be announced “on 27 November 27, following the dress rehearsal and the final concert in front of the Jury”.

But more than the money, the real prize is being part of the competition’s rich history. Formed in 2000, it already has a long list of high-class laureates to its name.

“Several of our former winners have already had significant careers,” notes Parisi. “These include Andrea Portera, as well as Fernando Fizsbein, Jose Zarate and Riccardo Panfili. All of them got their first big break with our competition.”

In fact, Portera will serve on this year’s jury, the first time a former winner has done so.

“We’re really pleased that Andrea is coming back to take part as a juror,” enthuses Parisi. “And we think he will fit right in, because the most important quality we look for in a juror is integrity. We select our jury based on the huge pool of contacts we have made over the last 25 years, and we’re even bringing in our first international jury president this year: Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg.”

“The jury members also have a direct connection with the composers,” he continues. “For example, the jurors attend the dress rehearsals so that they spend more time with the composers and get to know the pieces intimately.”

Aside from the competition, dèdalo ensemble has a busy schedule ahead. The group has just announced its 2022 programme, with 12 concerts across the season. That will be followed in 2023 by both singing and conducting masterclasses, as well as the 4th edition of the “Città di Brescia-Giancarlo Facchinetti” conducting competition.

Follow this link to submit your application for the 2022 competition!