By Manijeh Rezapoor

Music can help the world understand peace much better:  Damiano Giuranna

August 10, 2016 - 19:9

TEHRAN –The Italian conductor of the World Youth Orchestra, Damiano Giuranna, has said that music can help the world understand peace and brotherhood much more.

“We are the same family, different brothers but really the same family. This is an important result to know that brotherhood will be the winner, not the war between us,” Giuranna told the Tehran Times in an interview held at the Rudaki Hall, where the musicians were rehearsing for their joint performances with the Tehran Symphony Orchestra from August 10 to 12.

“I think the Middle East is the heart of the world. If the heart is not well we must take care of it, not only with [the help of] medicine but with art. I think music is a spiritual language and good medicine to make and keep the heart safe,” he added.

Giuranna, who is also the founder and music director of the World Youth Orchestra, gave a brief explanation of how the idea of the joint performance was formed.

“The idea arose at least four or five years ago. I wanted to have this cooperation with Iranian music and culture. We had some students from the University of Tehran in our orchestra several years ago, and the World Youth Orchestra played a lot in the Middle East. And after establishing very good relations with your ministry of culture, we formed this project.

“This project consists of different activities. Seminars and master classes and training for both parties; we learn from you and you learn from us; a good cultural exchange,” he explained.

“I think it is so important to meet your musicians and live together over these days. We exchange our attitudes and also make efforts to produce an artistic result together. This is our important goal. This exchange is the most important aspect of our work,” he continued.

Giuranna later elaborated on the process of cooperation between the two orchestras and said, “We had a connection with your embassy in Rome. This connection allowed us to begin this kind of collaboration. Between Italy and Iran, there was an important program to promote cultural exchange. This document was signed one year ago between Iran and Italy. We next proposed to your ministry to have this cooperation with musical institutions in Iran and they put us in contact with the Rudaki Foundation.

“I knew the Tehran Symphony Orchestra very well. We also had some university students in the orchestra in the past as the members of the orchestra. I also knew that this new period was a good time for your orchestra and I wanted to add our effort to work on some projects together,” he asserted.

He also noted that he knows some of the Iranian musicians. “I know some. They were in Rome in June to attend master classes and seminars at Sapienza University of Rome and I know them well.

“Some of them are really fantastic musicians and I am so happy to work with them. I hope to improve our collaboration and our knowledge about music and about instrumental techniques for both parties. We need to cooperate together.”

Asked about their future joint cooperation with the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, Giuranna said, “We are a very small foundation, while Rudaki is a governmental foundation, but I think the most important part of our concert is not only the concert itself but the process before the concerts and the events — the learning process and the work before the concerts. We would like to continue this part of the learning process.

“To do this well, we need more facilities. Master classes are needed to invite some professors from your university to give lessons to our students, and we must hold our master classes in Tehran. We also have to do these kinds of performances,” he added.

He continued that he likes Iranian culture and said, “I love your culture and your people so much. I learned a lot during this visit. Italian culture and the Iranian culture of ancient Persia are the same and we have many cultural points. So this is something important: to improve our collaboration to create important artistic projects together.”

Giuranna next mentioned that he will conduct the first concert and half of the second concert.

“This concert is the final output of our long way together. I hope to have good musical results. I would also like to have greater understanding between us and give an artistic gift to your audience,” he replied to the question asked on his idea about the achievements of the concert.

An finally he said about the medal he received from the president of Italy. “Our president knows about this project and he loves it, and for this reason he gave this medal to the project between Iran and Italy. This medal is half for us and half for you. It is a presidential medal given to very important persons or projects.”

Photo: Italian maestro Damiano Giuranna conducts musicians from the World Youth Orchestra and the Tehran Symphony Orchestra during a joint rehearsal at Tehran’s Rudaki Hall on August 3, 2016. (Honaronline/Bahareh Asadi)


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