Giovanni Guzzi joined the Manchester Camerata in 2010. Ahead of the chamber orchestra’s 2012/13 season, we spoke to him about why music director Gábor Takács-Nagy is like a father to him and some of the highlights of the year
Which concerts are you particularly looking forward to this season?
We’re staring a Mozart Piano Concerto series with really wonderful pianists [Francesco Piemontesi, Ingrid Fliter and Ferenc Rados] that is going to continue throughout the season. And on top of that, I’m going to be directing and playing The Four Seasons – both the four by Vivaldi and the four by Piazzolla. These eight pieces are really close to my heart so it’s a really exciting time for me and the orchestra.
After a summer spent playing with lots of different orchestras – including leading the Budapest Festival Orchestra – and performing at the Verbier Festival, is there a feeling of going back to school now the new season has started?
Well in a way it’s actually quite exciting to go back after having spent the summer doing many different things – you gather experiences and stories that you want to share, musically, with everybody. So it’s enriching going back.
You’ve been at the Manchester Camerata for two years and Gábor Takács-Nagy has been music director for one year. How has your working relationship developed in that time?
We’ve known each other for six or seven years now. We met a long time before we actually started playing in the Camerata together and for me Gábor is almost like a father, not only musically but also sentimentally. There is a complete sense of trust in everything we do and a huge commitment because we both strongly believe in the future of classical music – and that what is happening in the Manchester Camerata is really special and unique. The orchestra feels like a huge group of friends coming together to make great music.
Your concert this Saturday (13 October) with pianist Francesco Piemontesi includes not only Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 but also Holst’s St Paul’s Suite, Elgar’s Sospiri and Haydn’s Oxford Symphony. Which piece are you most looking forward to performing?
One of the Manchester Camerata’s specialities is diversity. I really admire the orchestra’s chameleon-capacity to adapt to everything we’re doing and really commit to each work. But the work I’m most looking forward to this Saturday is the Piano Concerto. For me, Mozart is the great master and every time we play one of his pieces the orchestra feels very comfortable. Every time we play Mozart with Gábor it feels so fresh and almost like the music was composed yesterday.