NICOLA MONTELLA: BIOGRAPHY
Born in 1987, Nicola Montella has been studying classical guitar since he was eight, under Master G. M. Fontanella’s guidance.
In 2005 he obtained a first-class school-leaving certificate. During the academic year 2008/2009, he achieved a first-class Second Level Experimental Academic Degree at the “Gesualdo da Venosa” Conservatory in Potenza – Italy, studying Musical Disciplines – Specialized Biennium for the Teachers’ Education (Guitar); at the “Domenico Cimarosa” Conservatory in Avellino – Italy – under Master Lucio Matarazzo’s guidance, he attained in 2011 a first-class Specialist Degree in Musical Explanatory and Compositional Disciplines for the Guitar, Nineteenth Century Concert Area.
Along with his studies, he attended during the years 2004-2007 the Maurizio Colonna’s one-year courses in High Guitar Perfecting at the “Roman Academy of Music”.
From 2008, at the Music Foundation “City of Gorìzia” – Italy- (from 2009 at the Conservatory of Avellino, too) until June 2011, he has attended the two-year courses in High Guitar Perfecting by Master Aniello Desiderio.
Still with Master Aniello Desiderio, during the years 2011-2013 he has attended the two-year course in High Guitar Perfecting at the International Academy of Music in Koblenz (Germany). After that, he took part in the courses known as Guitarist Repertoire’s Perfecting by Master Paolo Pegoraro and Master Adriano del Sal at Segovia Guitar Academy, and in the Guitar Interpretation Seminaries held by Master Frédéric Zigante, at the Municipal School Arcàngelo Corelli in Castellaneta (Taranto) – Italy.
Moreover, he has attended, as actual apprentice, the International Master Classes held by the following Masters: Margarita Escarpa, Shin-Ichi Fukuda, Hubert Happel, Goran Krivokapic, Carlo Marchione, Lorenzo Micheli, Thomas Offerman, Arturo Tallini, Giulio Tampalini.
His profitable concert activity has seen him playing an important role in famous musical shows in Italy and abroad. Among the most recent we can remember the following: the concerts at the Girona International Classic Guitar Festival, at the Aranda de Duero International Classic Guitar Festival (Spain 2013-2015) and S. Giacomo Guitar Festival (Bologna-Italy 2015) ; the concerts in China in April 2015, held in some of the most prestigious Beijing’s theatre halls (Centennial Hua, Beijing University, Sunrise Concert Hall, BUAA, The Club House – Chateau Regalia, The Club House – Shadow Creek); the opening concerts);
Opening concerts: at the “Città di Celano” Guitar Festival (March 2014), at the Fiuggi Guitar Festival (July 2013 and 2012).
Over the years, he has been awarded during several and important national and international guitar festivals and contests. We hereby give notice only about the latest prizes, starting from the most important awards obtained abroad: 1st prize: Pleven International Guitar Competition (Bulgaria 2016), 1st prize: Guimarães International Guitar Festival, (Portugal 2016), 1st prize: Sinaia International Guitar Competition (RUMANIA 2016),
1st prize: Concurso Internacional de Guitarra Villa de Aranda, (Spain 2014); 2nd prize: Andrés Segovia, (Linares – Spain 2013); 3rd prize: Changsha International Guitar Competition (CHINA 2016), Vòlos International Guitar Festival (Greece 2015); Brussels International Guitar Competition (Belgium 2014), Guitar Festival Brno (Czech Republic 2014) and in the International Competition Ciudad de Coria (Spain 2014), along with the Audience Prize-giving. Furthermore, we hereby mention the First Prizes achieved at the following competitions: Guitar Contest “Giulio Rospigliosi” Città di Lamporecchio (March 2012); International Guitar Contest “Xmas Guitar Contest Città di Lecce – Salento Guitar Festival (December 2012). The Second Prizes at the: International Guitar Contest “Città di Fiuggi” (July 2013); International Contest “Piano Guitar Festival” (October 2013); Guitar National Contest “Città di Celano” (April 2013); Mediterranean Guitar Meetings (January 2012); and the Third Prizes at the: International Contest for Guitar Performance Mòttola (July 2012); International Guitar Contest “Città di Fiuggi” (July 2012); Musical Contest “Città di Lissone” (April 2012).
In 2011 he has been granted with the Avellino in music Prize as best apprentice of the Master Class concerning the Interpretation of Guitar Works and Guitar’s Technique of Master Aniello Desiderio.
He is a D’Addario artist.
In 2015, the Scientific Committee of the International Guitar Congress gathered in Alessandria – Italy, after a careful evaluation of his professional and artistic activity, has awarded him with the prestigious prize The Golden Guitar “For being the best international boy of promise”.
In 2016 his first album, named Sonata, has been published and presented during the TV programme Primo movimento on Radio 3 (12th December 2016), hosted by Guido Zaccagnini, and during the programme Arpeggio, on Radio Vaticana (30th December 2016), with the presence of the author in the studio, interviewed by the programme’s curator Luigi Picardi; then, it has also been presented at Radio Popolare (5th January 2017), with an interview in the studio. About some of his concerts there has been written: “Nicola Montella has shown an astonishing technical mastery and a remarkable sensitiveness, held in a fully clear sound […], the rather large audience was in raptures” («Critica Classica»); “Nicola Montella’s interpretative approach is appreciated for its balance between the expressive pathos […] and vigorous traits of sound, almost sculptural, metaphorically. […] Gifted with an impressive and solid technique, aside from a determined delicacy […], the approbation has been unanimous («Roma»). Some album’s reviews say: “One of the first things which can be appreciated about the work of Montella, young stage lion, […] is his taste for symmetry: two sonatas […] which have to open and close the record, […], not free from the typical Paganinian virtuoso feats: […] masterfully faced up by the performer… («Il Corriere musicale», 5th November 2016); “Montella plays his instrument with passion and mastery; he leads us upon rather unexplored paths with vibrating acoustics” («Music», 282, December 2016-January 2017); “Montella is able to carry out an operation which testifies not only his technical qualities but also his outstanding artistic maturity: he interprets every piece with a different sound, always full of beauty, always rich, but different because he adapts himself to the distinct styles that are present in the CD and conveys them a very interesting inner sonorous movement; excellent work!” («Neuguitars», January 2017).