Ukulele: Past, Present and Future
Giovanni Albini and Davide Donelli explore the history of the ukulele mixing the innovation of contemporary music written for the instrument with traditional and popular repertoires, featuring new and vintage rare instruments of their vast collections.
Giovanni Albini (b. 1982) – composer, ukulelist and music theorist – is a tenured professor of Music Theory, Solfège and Music Perception and head of research at the Conservatory “Antonio Vivaldi” of Alessandria, where he also teaches the first Italian ukulele university class, and he teaches Composition at the bachelors of the Conservatory of Lugano (Swiss Confederation). He has composed several concert music scores as well as many tracks and sound designs for video art, exhibitions, multimedia, commercials, trailers, videogames and television.
He commissions and performs new contemporary classical music written for the ukulele and arrange classical and renowned contemporary and twentieth century scores for it, fostering the development of a new challenging and cultivated ukulele repertoire and aiming to deepen and evolve the idiomatic unique features of the instrument. He plays in duo with Davide Donelli and Samantha Muir. He is the co-director of the Ukulele International Conference (UIC) – Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Performance, Composition, and Organology, hosted by the University of Milan. His album “A contemporary ukulele”, featuring fourteen new scores for ukulele solo, has been published Da Vinci Classics. Three monographic CDs compiling his most significant chamber, orchestral and sacred scores have been published by Brilliant Classics and distributed worldwide. He is an Aquila Corde Armoniche official endorser.
Davide Donelli, musician and music teacher, graduated in “Musical Education” at Brescia Conservatoire and in “Guitar” at Milan Conservatoire with M° Paolo Cherici, who introduced him to practicing ancient instruments. He has always been animated by many transformations of the guitar between cultured and popular music, he studied and explored the repertoire and performance practices of the early guitars, Renaissance and Baroque guitar, Venezuelan cuatro, cavaquinho, charango and, last but not least, ukulele.
As a blogger (www.intornoallukulele.it ) and a radio broadcaster (www.deejayfoxradio.com ) in Italy he has popularized ukulele and its history mainly with his radio show “INTORNO ALL’UKULELE” (Around the Ukulele), with more the 200 episodes since 2017 until today. He recently published “SALTELLANDO QUA E LA’”, the first Italian book about the main characters in the history of ukulele.
He plays mainly the traditional Hawaiian and US repertoire of the early twentieth century, with vintage instruments.