Galway Festival Reflections: Nicola Mazzanti

Nicola Mazzanti currently serves as Solo Piccolo of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino orchestra, a position he has held since 1988. Many composers have written pieces for him, for piccolo and piano or orchestral concerts. As a soloist, he has performed with orchestras such as Maggio Musicale Fiornetino Orchestra, I Pomeriggi Musicali of Milan, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, the Florence Symphony Orchestra and Akronos of Prato.

When did you first meet Sir James?

I first met Sir James Galway in 1981 in Prato, my city. He was doing a tour with all the Bach sonatas, a revelation!

How has Sir James inspired you?

Sir James Galway has always been an inspiration to me and he still is now! When I am in Weggis I love to listen to him when he plays a sort of improvisation waiting for the next student; at that moment my imagination still lights up and I can still marvel at the colors of his sound.

What is it about his teaching that you love the most?

I especially love the clarity and simplicity with which he explains even the most complex sentence.


What do you love most about Weggis?

What can I say? The Galway Festival in Weggis is the time where I get the most inspiration during the year. I love Sir James Galway and Lady Galway’s teaching, I enjoy listening to the most important flutists in the world who also play and teach.  I very much enjoy the flute orchestra conducted by Sir James.  The Galway Flute Festival is the perfect organization…. and the atmosphere is so joyful....  I love EVERYTHING!

Which Sir James album is your favorite?

I have the complete Sir James Galway discography. In every recording I find items to learn. I'm sorry, I can't choose one! The first I owned was Mozart's concerto for flute and harp with the Berlin Orchestra conducted by Karajan.

How about favorite Sir James moment?

In 2008 I played an entire recital for the piccolo and piano in Weggis. After the concert Sir James invited me to a restaurant where we were alone all evening. We talked about my concert, my playing and many other things.  For me it was a dream come true!

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