Pietro Pittari is a classical musician and composer with an incredible talent – I listened to his track Hymn To Nikkal recently and enjoyed it so much that I included it in a round-up review of classical music. He’s very talented – I implore our readers to read the interview below and check his music out if you like what you read!
By Jane Howkins
You released a track earlier this year titled Hymn To Nikkal, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the track and where can it be purchased?
Hymn to Nikkal is my arrangement of the oldest surviving complete work of notated music: the 3400 year old Hurrian Hymn No .6, found in the 1950s on a clay tablet in Ugarit (Syria). The song is dedicated to Nikkal, a goddess whose name means ‘Great Lady and Fruitful’. Musicologist Richard Dumbrill translated the melody (written on stone in cuneiform) in modern notation. When I played this melody on my piano, I felt something like a spiritual kinship, and I improvised for many hours using my own chords, until I could transform the original in my own meditation.
Have you got any plans to release a full length album or an EP anytime soon?
Yes, I want to make a second album (after Sunrise) with my piano pieces next year.
What is the writing and recording process like for you?
Every composition has got her own development process: sometime I get the ideas improvising on my piano (January), sometimes directly after waking up (Erster September), and sometimes when I’m out in nature (Im Wald).
Do you plan to release any singles at any point in the near future?
The next project is a piano fantasy on Amazing Grace – the release will be in January. it’s different to Hymn to Nikkal as I added an introduction, a development in the middle and a coda to Amazing Grace.
Whereabouts are you based and what is the music scene like in your part of the world?
I live in a little city named Erkrath (Germany): for classical concerts, operas, musicals or jazz I go to Düsseldorf (which is very near) or Köln and Hamburg.
What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?
The greatest inspiration for me the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. I admire performers like Rosalyn Tureck and Glenn Gould.
Has the pandemic hindered your work much?
Well, it’s difficult for a musician if he can’t perform his concerts! I focused myself on other things. I learned the Well-Tempered Clavier by heart, I composed new pieces and I arranged many pop songs for my pupils. I also improved my skills in giving online piano lessons. Online teaching is amazing and very effective. It is so beautiful to meet nice, new people who live so far away! I give lessons in German, English and Italian. The name of my agency is MusikDaheim.live.
You’re a classically trained pianist who has performed as a concert pianist in Italy/Germany. How did that come about? It’s very impressive!
I learned the classical repertoire (mostly Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy) in the Conservatorio Di Musica in Venice. My teacher was Maestro Vincenzo Pertile. Than I continued my studies in Germany with Prof. David Levine in Düsseldorf, Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling in Hannover and Prof. Viktor Merzhanov in Trossingen. After this years I played classical concerts, often with my wife Sofija Janjikopanji. If you like piano music for four-hands you can visit my Youtube channel! You will see us playing Brahms, Debussy, Gershwin and Rachmaninoff.
Do you have any tour dates lined up? What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?
I will plan shows and concerts after the pandemic. I prefer to teach and produce music at the moment.
Any last words for the fans?
Please follow me on Spotify! I have many releases coming out in 2022!