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Prelude - Piano Solo. Flavio Villani



Preludes… Openings… New beginnings… New possibilities.

Before becoming a form immortalised in a score, a Prelude was a largely improvised work devised prior to the main musical performance. Its purpose was to “prepare” an audience for the music to follow, set the mood, and enable the pianist to ascertain the qualities of an unfamiliar piano.  

A prelude was a promise – a promise of musical possibilities and mood. And it was an important ‘stepping stone’ in the development of a pianist before they might go on to improvise and compose larger works. 

Join international pianist Flavio Villani and embark on an odyssey through this richly varied musical form with the much-loved, many-varied Preludes of Chopin and Rachmaninoff. 

The Chopin Preludes Op.28 represent one of Chopin’s masterworks and helped to set the Prelude as a form in its own right while Rachmaninoff’s Preludes Op.23, written 70 years later, further developed the form.

Flavio will also present his own Preludes. These explore stories and moods from the dramatic events of 2020, offering a tantalising glimpse of the work that he aims to bring to new heights during his upcoming trip to London to further develop his interest on classical improvisation at Guildhall School of Music in London. 

This concert is proudly supported by the Italian Embassy in New Zealand.

Bach/Busoni - Chaconne
Chopin - Preludes Op.28
Rachmaninov - Preludes Op.23
Flavio Villani - Preludes extemporized

Flavio Villani is a New Zealand pianist who made Auckland his home after moving from Italy more than a decade ago.  Flavio graduated with Masters in Music (Hons) in 2012 from the University of Auckland under the tutorship of Stephen De Pledge. In 2015 he was the subject of the internationally acclaimed biopic documentary Crossing Rachmaninoff. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Waikato, with Katherine Austin as supervisor. 

Flavio’s doctoral studies focus on the methodologies of improvisation used within Classical music. Up until the end of the nineteenth century, improvisation was an essential component of a musician’s development. Flavio has been invited by Professor David Dolan, Head of the Centre for Creative Performance and Classical Improvisation at the Guildhall School of Music in London, to spend an intensive period working alongside him on this aspect of music-making. This concert is both a prelude to and a preparation for those months – your attendance will help make them possible.

“Villani’s delicate score derived purely through piano is stunning. […] It makes you wonder what the musical score of your own life would be." – Manawatu Standard