Franco Petracchi


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Franco Petracchi

Stauffer Artist Diploma - contrabbasso


Stauffer Professor since 1986.

Franco Petracchi was born in Pistoia on September 22nd, 1937. He completed his studies in Rome at the College of Music of S. Cecilia, where he graduated with Guido Battistelli in 1958 with full marks, this allows him to immediately start the concert activity. At the same time he studied Composition with Di Donato and Margola and Orchestra Conducting with Franco Ferrara.

The first important concert that brought him to the attention of the public and national and international critics was in Venice in 1960 at the Festival of Contemporary Music, where he first performed Firmino Sifonia’s Concerto for double bass and orchestra. Critics are unanimous in defining him as the “rising star of this instrument’s concert performance”. In 1960 he also won the first double bass competition at the Rai in Turin and in ’62 he moved to Rome where he became the first double bass holder until 1980, when he definitively began his career as a soloist and conductor.

In the orchestra he has played with the most important conductors, from Bernstein to KarajanCelibidacheKubelikJochumSawallischGiuliniMutiAbbadoMethaMaazelBarbirolliMunch and others. A unique and precious experience that Franco Petracchi passed on to numerous students around the world. In 1971 he won the chair of double bass for the Conservatories by competition and exams and taught in Bari, Frosinone, L’Aquila and Rome.
In 1986 he left the Italian Conservatory to move to Switzerland at the Geneva one, obtaining the specialization and “virtuosity” class. In this same year, together with his colleagues Accardo, Giuranna, and Filippini, he founded the “Walter Stauffer Academy” School for Bowed Instruments in Cremona and was also invited to teach at the Fiesole School of Music.

Franco Petracchi is certainly the double bass player who, in the wake of great masters such as Dragonetti, Bottesini, Caimmi, Mengoli, Billè, Prunner, Findeisen, Simandl, Nanny, revolutionized his instrument technique. His method of interpreting, synthesizing, formalizing the double bass technique, bringing it to the level of other string instruments with concepts including pianistic ones, is unique. This peculiar aspect of his teaching has allowed countless students, who have followed his school all over the world, to establish themselves in all the most important interpreting competitions: Geneva, Bucchi, Munich, Crema-Parma-Cremona (Bottesini ), Isle of Man, etc. However, this technical perfection is not an end in itself, but above all aspires to achieve the goal of maximum interpretative clarity.
His studies in Composition and Conducting have allowed the interest of the students to penetrate the deeper aspect of the compositions written for this instrument, both solo and orchestral.
There is no double bass player who has received more attention and homage from famous composers, works that have had great success and represent “pillars” in double bass literature:
Nino Rota – Entertainment (Carisch)
Virgilio Mortari – Concerto for Franco Petracchi – Elegy Rhapsody – Duettini – Elegy and Capriccio (Ricordi)
Franco Donatoni – “Lem” (Memories)
Armando Trovajoli – “Sconcerto” (Ricordi) (performed in 2002 with the S. Cecilia Orchestra in Rome)
Luciano Berio – Duets
Viozzi – “Trio”
Brero – Dialogues
Firmino Sifonia – Concert
Franco Petracchi, by his personal choice, refused to make studio recordings, nevertheless there are many “live” recordings of his concerts performed with radio-symphonic orchestras which were subsequently also published on CD such as:
Bottesini – Gran Duo (Sony)
Bottesini – Amorous Passions (ASV)
Siphony – Concert (Edipan Rome)
Bottesini – Tarantella (Pull)
Zbinden – Entertainment (Espace Suisse Romande)
Rota – Entertainment (Panne Enterpreise – Takuma Foundation Tokyo)

Stauffer Artist Diploma – Double bass

The high specialization course – Stauffer Artist Diploma in Double bass of the Accademia Stauffer is an annual program for gifted and talented young musicians.

A distinguishing feature of the advanced courses at the Stauffer Academy is that they do not have set and compulsory programs of study. [With the students] we work hard, together and rigorously to develop enthusiasm and respect, knowledge and wisdom. I try to make them understand that everything comes from the study and application of the man, who before being an artist is a craftsman, is a master smith of himself and his own fortunes. I try to make them feel the energy. The success of our courses also descends from this consciousness. Translated with (free version)

Franco PetracchiStauffer Professor