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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

Checking In With Gurwitz Bronze Medalist Leonardo Colafelice In Italy

Courtesy photo

Famed pianist Martha Argerich remarked in 2013 that Leonardo Colafelice is a “fabulous pianist and musician," so it's no wonder he advanced to the finals of the Gurwitz International Piano Competition when it was held in San Antonio earlier this year.

Musical Bridges Around the World, who operate The Gurwitz, has been checking in with the three finalists from this year’s competition. Colafelice lives in Italy, which has been a “hot spot” during the current coronavirus pandemic. “I realize that being calm and confident for the future is the only waypoint we have available,” Colafelice says in his video interview, posted on YouTube. “We’ll come back stronger than before.”

With humor, Colafelice adds in the video that an unexpected benefit of having to stay home would be weight loss, since he cannot eat out as often as he likes. “But unfortunately, it is not working very well right now,” he says, whilst ladling creamy chickpea purée with Altamura bread into a large bowl.

Colafelice was awarded the Bronze Medal at The Gurwitz competition, and also received a special audience award for the best performance of the competition’s commissioned work, “Murmurs from the Exile.” The unique piece, by Ethan Wickman, an Associate Professor of Music at UTSA, is scored for piano, clarinet, and percussion, and uses improvisational techniques and skills. Members of the Silk Road Ensemble, Kinan Azmeh, and John Hadfield, joined Colafelice in performance on January 31 at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre.

You can hear Colafelice’s performance in the audio player below.