Continuing our series profiling new member companies, read on for an insight into Massa Konzertmanagement.
Dr. Pietro Massa, Managing Director, answers our questions.
You have an extremely impressive list of achievements and qualifications including Master’s degrees in Piano Performance, Composition and Ancient Greek alongside your distinguished career as a pianist. What inspired you to devote so much of your time and energy into founding an artist management agency? The composer and pianist Ferruccio Busoni wrote in his book “Sketch of a New Aesthetic of Music” (1916), “It is the artist’s task to establish rules, not to follow them. Whoever simply follows the rules, stops being an artist.” Pondering what exactly those “rules” are led me to step over the "red" line and become my own manager, taking the fulfillment of my artistic mission into my own hands as well as the artist agent of other musicians.As a performer and seeing the business from another perspective i.e. as an artist manager, what are the key elements that you can identify which both sides would do well to understand? Management is the means by which music as an art form can leave its mark on our society, acting as a motor between the artist and his or her audience. This idea is the driving force behind my efforts, in order to reconcile the inevitable obstacles – both cultural and business related – that stand in the way of the realization of artistic ideas. I think that both sides should always consider this point of view.I understand you have a record label: Myricae Classics. Why do you think recording is still an important part of an artist’s life even though it might never make any money? Myricae refers to the Myrica plant (also known as tamarisk or myrtle). Virgil makes reference to it in the fourth Eclogue: “Non omnis arbusta iuvant humilesque myricae,” meaning “Elm-groves and lowly tamarisks delight not all.” It never was my goal to make a profit with the label, rather, as I began to discover these overlooked and sometimes wholly-lost works, I wanted to bridge this not insignificant gap in the CD-repertoire. This was for example the beginning of the partnership with DeutschlandRadio Kultur as well as several German orchestras for the collection "The Art of the Italian Piano Concerto“. I feel it is my responsibility to realize this project, because ever since the 19th century, Italian instrumental music has been pushed into the shadows by the predominance of Italian opera.What career advice would you offer to a music student who has just graduated and wishing to make a career in performance? Alongside the development of his or her artistic creativity, I would recommend any performer newly embarking on his or her career to develop their “Inner Manager,” meaning to organize their efforts with the main focus being the world outside.How do you enjoy spending your spare time?When I’m in Berlin, it’s chess that keeps my mind limber, whereas when I’m in Genoa, you’ll find me exploring the Liguria coast in my kayak. It is the dimension between my adopted home and my native country which pays enormous dividends for my work for the artists that I represent.
Interview by Simon Williams, Coordinator for Membership & Administration
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