Featured Artist

Franco Petracchi

We are honoured to announce Bass Magazine's first Featured Artist of 2022: Maestro Franco Petracchi.
franco petracchi

Franco Petracchi’s Highlights

  • 1937: Born in Pistoia, Italy, into a family of musicians, playing drums and piano from a young age.
  • 1950: Started playing the double bass after winning a scholarship to study at the Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia in Rome under Guido Battistelli.
  • 1951: His father bought him his first Gaetano Rossi double bass from 1847.
  • 1958: Graduated with honours.
  • 1960: Won the principal position with the RAI Symphony Orchestra of Turin. Virgilio Mortari dedicated his Sinfonia Concerto to him.
  • 1961: Premiered Liberato Firmino Sifonia’s Concerto for double bass, wind, percussion and piano — dedicated to him — at the International Festival of Contemporary Music of La Biennale di Venezia at the Teatro La Fenice — this performance brings him to the attention of the international press.
  • 1962: Moved to the RAI Symphony Orchestra of Rome, where he stayed until 1980 when he decided to devote his career fully to solo playing and conducting. Cesare Brèro dedicated Dialoghi in three movements for solo double bass, wind instruments, piano, harp, accordion and percussion to him.
  • 1966: Mortari wrote his Concerto per Franco Petracchi for double bass and orchestra.
  • 1967: Alongside his orchestral activity, he began his teaching career, giving lessons at the Italian conservatories of Bari, Rome, L’Aquila and Frosinone.
  • 1971: Nino Rota finished his Divertimento Concertante, dedicated to Petracchi — a work Rota began writing when the two met in 1967 as colleagues at the Bari Conservatory.
  • 1972: Released the singles La Campanella (Paganini) — from Mortari’s Concerto per Franco Petracchi — and Tarantella (Bottesini) on the Pull label. Besides, he was featured in the album Rossini: Sonate a quattro / Bottesini: Gran Duo (Decca), along with violinists Salvatore Accardo and Sylvie Gazeau, and cellist Alain Meunier.
  • 1976: Mortari dedicated his Duettini Concertati for violin and double bass to him.
  • 1977: Mortari dedicated his second concert for double bass and orchestra, Rapsodia elegiaca, to Petracchi.
  • 1979: Composed his musical comedy Un contrabbasso in cerca d’amore (“A Double Bass Looking for Love”) along with Mariella Colonna Filippone (libretist), awarding the Premio Italia in 1982.
  • 1982: Released his celebrated method book, Simplified Higher Technique for Double Bass (Yorke Edition). Besides, he was featured as a soloist on the album Ennio Morricone: Gestazione, Totem Secondo (RCA), in Gestazione for female voice, solo viola, solo double bass and string orchestra, with Gloria Banditelli (voice), Luigi Sagrati (viola) and the RCA Italiana Orchestra conducted by Ennio Morricone.
  • 1983: Was appointed Professor at the Geneva Conservatory in Switzerland, where he remained until 2009.
  • 1986: Founded the Stauffer Center for Strings in Cremona, Italy.
  • 1989: Founded the International Bottesini Competition in Crema, Italy. Morricone and Berio dedicated their respective works for solo double bass Studio and Psy to him. He was featured in the album Julien-François Zbinden: Concertos (Claves), in Zbinden’s Divertissement for double bass and orchestra Op.10, with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra / Armin Jordan.
  • 1990: Was featured in Trio de Fiesole’s album Schubert / Beethoven (Fonè), in Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A Major, Op.114, D.667, “The Trout”.
  • 1993: Named Academic Advisor for the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia of Rome.
  • 1994: Named Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy. He was featured in Thomas Martin‘s third album of works by Bottesini as conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
  • 2002: Premiered Armando Trovajoli’s Sconcerto with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia of Rome.
  • 2003: Named Commander of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.

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