Members of the Preston Cecilian Choral Society will need a very good excuse not to make rehearsals, especially since their new director and conductor Marco Fanti, 34, undertakes a weekly 1,800-mile round trip from Bologna to be there.
The Italian conductor spends most of his pay on a seven-hour commute involving planes, trains and cars to attend rehearsals at St. Augustine’s primary school in Avenham every Monday evening.
‘The classical music scene in Preston is more vibrant than in Bologna,’ says Fanti in the Daily Telegraph. ‘Here people see music as important for life and the scene is very exciting and well organised.’
Fanti teaches music at Bologna University and has previously conducted the Romanian State Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica del Lario and the Coro and Orchestra Athena. He plans to put an end to his mammoth commute in September by moving permanently to the UK.
‘For me the travel is a pleasure,’ he says. ‘I wouldn’t want to do it forever but for now I am enjoying it. I get to listen to music, read and things like that.’