After spending six months in Italy as a Fulbright Scholar in 2016, School of Music Associate Professor Brendan McConville will meet with Ambassador of Italy to the United States Armando Varricchio in Washington, DC, on December 11 as part of a gathering of past Fulbright Scholars.
One of the main topics of conversation will be McConville’s recent CD Un D’Annunzio Nuovo, a product of the six months he spent researching and teaching at the Luisa D’Annunzio Conservatory of Music in Pescara, Italy.
“The meeting will be an excellent opportunity for me to update the Italian Fulbright Commission and the ambassador on the work and recording,” McConville said. “Fulbright is an incredible experience, and the program does a great job of keeping in touch with awardees to follow their progress.”
The music McConville composed for the CD reimagines the poetry of Gabriele D’Annunzio, a famous Italian writer and war hero of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
It was McConville’s wife, Annachiara Mariani, assistant professor of Italian in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, who first introduced him to D’Annunzio’s work Mariani is from the Abruzzo region of southern Italy, from which the poet hailed. For years, McConville had been impressed by the natural musical quality of D’Annunzio’s poetry. The first four tracks of the CD are taken from the stanzas to “La Pioggia nel Pineto” (Rain in the pinewoods), arguably D’Annunzio’s most famous poem.
“It always struck me that no one had composed a complete musical setting of the poem,” McConville said. “I hope this work not only pays homage to the poem but remains connected to the poem for some time.”
As part of his Fulbright, McConville collaborated with several classical artists from the region, including concert pianist Giuliano Mazzoccante, who proposed the CD to classical recording label Wide Classique.
McConville, an accomplished composer whose works have been commissioned, performed, televised, and recorded in the United States and Europe, is the coordinator of theory and composition and associate director of undergraduate studies for the School of Music.
Brian Canever (865-974-0937, email@example.com)