A special interview with Marcello Napoli: violinist, pianist, teacher, orchestra conductor and music enthusiast. Whether you wish to follow in his footsteps or simply want to know him better, you have come to the right place…
- Hi Marcello, thank you very much. Would you like to summarize your long career in a few words?
Marcello Napoli: Summarizing isn’t my strong suit but I’ll give it a try! I am Marcello, I’m 51, and for 49 years I’ve lived in Salerno, Italy. I work as a violinist, but I also have a 25-year work experience in the fields of Neurophysiology of Learning and Music Didactics. Moreover, two years ago I moved to Auckland (New Zealand), and since then I have been working as a director of a Musical Center, as well as teaching violin, chamber music and body percussion.
- Summarizing skills approved! Now, let’s go back to the very beginning: please describe your instrument of choice, the violin, in one single word.
Bridge: a connection between our most hidden emotional side and the outside world…the audience!
- Do you remember the first time you held a violin? How was it like?
I was 14. I had been studying piano since I was 5, and suddenly, one day (the 24th November 1978, I still remember that), Maestro Cioffi, a teacher at the “Setticlavio School of Salerno”, told me: “Close your eyes. My violin leans on your clavicle…When its chords vibrate, your chest becomes a sound box”. And the vibrations haven’t stopped ever since.
- When did you consciously decide that this would have been you job?
I have never thought about doing anything else.
- Averagely, how many hours does a violinist spend practicing, on a daily basis?
It varies from time to time. There are more intense periods and more relaxed ones: some days you spend six to eight hours playing, and some days you take a break here and there. As a general rule, I’d strongly advise against playing less than two hours per day, at the very least.
- Did music heal you? Or did it make you sink in a sea of madness?
Music is madness! You cannot be healed and you cannot sink…You are infected and loving it. There you are, sailing, sinking, resurfacing, sinking again…Music is emotion and emotions can never, ever be put under control: they constantly escape our control.
- What does it take to live a musician’s life?
You have got to be ready to challenge yourself, to live with your mistakes. Plus, you have got to be resilient, training as an athlete would, keeping yourself in shape.
- The harsh truth about musicians is…?
That they’ll never get to touch every heart and they’ll never be absolutely certain that what they just played is exactly what the composer meant.