Photo credit: Roberto Masotti
Michele Marelli, clarinet
Michele Marelli, who holds a major in clarinet with highest honors "Summa cum laude" from the Conservatory of Alessandria under the guidance of Prof. Giacomo Soave, and a degree in Modern Literature from the University of Turin with a thesis on Stockhausen, furthered his studies in England with Alan Hacker, in Germany with Suzanne Stephens and in France with Alain Damiens, and studied composition and electronic music in Torino and Milano. Internationally acclaimed as a virtuoso of the basset horn and as one of the best contemporary music soloists of his generation, he is also active as a painter and as a composer.
In october 2014 he has been awarded the prestigious Rubinstein Prize "una vita nella musica giovani" at the Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice together with the composer Salvatore Sciarrino, considered by the critics as a Nobel for music.
In 2016 he signs a contract with Universal Music and records his debut album "Michele Marelli - Contemporary Clarinet" with the renowned Decca Classics, gaining an incredible succes among the critics: Nomination at the ICMA 2017 (International Classical Music Awards), 5 stars Amadeus, 5 stars Musica.
As an 18-year-old he met Karlheinz Stockhausen, establishing a profound artistic relationship that lasted for more than a decade during which, chosen by the Maestro himself as soloist of his Ensemble, Marelli played World Premières under his instruction and guidance and recorded 3 CDs for the Stockhausen Complete Edition. Stockhausen himself led Marelli to devote himself to the basset horn. Marelli’s mastery of the instrument led Giorgio Gaslini to define him as one of its "leading performers". "Very gifted" according to Stockhausen, "an absolute genius" according to Suzanne Stephens, he performs as a soloist in some of the most prestigious concert halls and radio programs in the world.
A six-time winner of the Prize of the Stockhausen Stiftung für Musik, other prestigious international prizes he has been awarded include the First Prize at the International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition in Krakow (2004), the Valentino Bucchi clarinet Competition in Rome (2007), the Honorary Logos Award in Belgium (2000), the Jeunesse Musicale auditions (2001), the DESONO association scholarship (from 2001 to 2005) and in 2006 the "Master dei Talenti Musicali" award from the Fondazione CRT, the Prometheus Award for the excellence in culture from the Confindustria Italiana, the International Composition Competition of the Bienale Koper 2012.
He has worked with some of the leading composers of our times, giving world premieres of their compositions mostly dedicated to him, such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, György Kurtàg, Marco Stroppa, Helmut Lachenmann, Franco Donatoni, Kaija Saariaho, Rebecca Saunders, Fabio Nieder, Sylvano Bussotti, Alberto Colla and many others.
His Cds featuring the clarinet and basset horn works by Stockhausen published by Stradivarius and Wergo, immediately become reference recordings and are awarded many prizes by international press and critics such as the ICMA 2014 Nomination (International classical music awards) as best contemporary music cd of 2013, 5 Diapason in France, 5 stelle di Musica, 5 di Amadeus and others.
He performed as soloist with orchestras such as the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Hilversum Philharmonic Orchestra (Olanda), the TMC Orchestra (Tanglewood, Usa), the Orchestra Sinfonica Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, the Archi della Desono, the University of Georgia Chamber Orchestra (Usa), conducted between others by Peter Eötvös, Susanna Mälkki, Enno Poppe, Andrea Pestalozza, Brad Lubman, Tito Ceccherini, Stephan Asbury.
He performed as soloist in renowned Festivals and concert halls such as: Teatro La Fenice di Venezia (Solo recital at the main Hall), Biennale di Venezia, Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival (USA), Opera di Firenze, Donaueschingen Festival, Berliner Festspiele, Mozarteum Salzburg, Berliner Philharmonie, Wiener Festwochen, März Musik, Warsaw Autumn Festival, Milano Musica, MITO Settembre Musica, Festival d'Automne and Theatre de la Ville in Paris, Wiener Festwochen, Musiktriennale Köln, Philharmonie de Luxembourg, Rachmaninov Hall in Moscow, Accademia Filarmonica Romana, Festival Sinopoli di Taormina, Le Fresnoy de Lille, Krakòw Philharmonic Hall, Museo Enescu in Bucarest, Teatro Manzoni in Bologna, Angelica Festival, Teatro Carignano and Piccolo Regio in Torino, Unione Musicale di Torino, Gog (Giovine Orchestra Genovese), Teatro Valli Reggio Emilia, Festival Aterforum in Ferrara, Orpheus Instituut in Gent, Philharmonie of Ljubljana and many others.
The Stockhausen Foundation entrusted him to perform the World Première of Stockhausen's UVERSA, 16. Stunde aus KLANG, for basset horn and electronic music during the MusikTriennale in Cologne, the last basset horn piece composed by the composer before his passing. His performance was later published by the Stockhausen Complete Edition.
At the Donaueschinger Musiktage, with the Hilversum Orchestra conducted by Peter Eötvös, he performed the World Première of the "Let me sing into your ear" concerto for basset horn and orchestra by Marco Stroppa, which the composer actually dedicated to him and this performance was later recorded for the label Neos.
He performed with the Swiss director Christoph Marthaler in his latest production for the Wiener Festwochen 2013 and the Festival d’Automne in Paris "Letzte Tage: ein Vorabend".
He has an intense schedule of concerts in the most important international concert halls and holds regular master classes and seminars on the interpretation of contemporary music at Italian and European Conservatories (Venice, Moscow, Stuttgart, Ljubljana, Trieste, Genoa, Cuneo, Como). www.michelemarelli.com
He collaborates with the Ensemble musikFabrik.p>
Since the age of 10 he has played on Vandoren reeds and mouthpieces and is currently an endorser for the French brand.p>
He is a Henri Selmer Paris official artist.
He is Professor of Chamber Music at the Conservatory of Sassari, after having taught clarinet at the Conservatories of Messina, Reggio Calabria, Teramo, Foggia and Ribera.
“Based on my professional and personal contact with Michele Marelli since 1997, I feel that he possesses not only great talent as a clarinettist but that musically speaking in general he is very gifted”. - Karlheinz Stockhausen
“...I was stunned not only by his playing but by his tremendous gift as dancer and actor”. - Suzanne Stephens Clarinet-Basset Horn Virtuoso
“I have taught many players from around the world. Michele is unquestionably the most talented and natural besides being a very likeable and sensitive person”. - Alan Hacker O.B.E.,F.R.A.M. Clarinet Virtuoso
“Your playing is the most exciting I have heard for a very long time. Bravo! It is so refreshing to hear thoroughly imaginative interpretations like yours”. - Pamela Weston Musicologist
“Caro Michele, resto sempre più impressionato dalla Sua personalità di Virtuoso. Grazie per l’ altissimo grado artistico raggiunto con quello splendido strumento che è il corno di bassetto del quale Lei si contraddistingue in Europa come esecutore principe. La ringrazio per essere il musicista che è e per il respiro di vera cultura che emana dal suo appassionato agire”. - Giorgio Gaslini Composer