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Giovanni Bietti se dedica a enseñar la historia de la música a través de pequeñas conferencias donde toca fragmentos de piezas. Fotografía: cortesía Festival de Música de Cartagena 
Giovanni Bietti is dedicated to teaching the history of music through small lectures where he plays fragments of pieces. Photo: courtesy of the Cartagena Music Festival.

Giovanni Bietti, the Musicologist of Young People

This Italian has become a rock star of classical music with his “concert-conferences” in spaces like the Cartagena Music Festival.

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Hundreds of young people gathered for five days to listen to Giovanni Bietti, at the main square, where Cartagena de India’s Declaration of Independence was proclaimed. Bietti, a tall thin Italian, has dedicated his life to talk about the history of music in a fun and personal way. 

Plaza de la Proclamación, a colonial building that dates back to 1676 with rich history and tradition, was the scenario where Bietti played the piano as he narrated the history of the pieces he performed, immersing the audience in a musical, historical, and emotional journey.

AL DÍA News talked to the composer, pianist and musicologist, who is widely known as one of the best musical speakers today. For two days, Bietti talked about different stages of chamber music; a musical genre reserved to a small group of performers. The main theme of this version of the festival aimed at having the attendees enjoy a more intimate facet of classical music.

The concert-conferences of Bietti, as they have been called, are widely attended by young people and people who are interested in getting to know in depth the processes involved in the development of some of the most important pieces of music in the world. His great mission is that more people can go down the music path, and understand not only its history, but also the feelings that it conveys.

“In the last 5 years of experience doing this in Colombia, I think the public is ready and it wants to learn what the composers have to say,” said the maestro. “People here are enthusiastic young people and they are open to listening and understanding history.”

Bietti, also explained in a soft voice that his mission in the festival is to continue educating the new generations so that they understand there’s no time or age for music. “These pieces talk about their composers, and the moment in which they were created. We are talking about chamber music of the 19th century, the century of great nationalism, revolutions, and tensions among countries. Music then stops being sheer pleasure in between the notes, and it becomes a small space to understand what happened in our world,” said Bietti. 

Bietti noted that the public in Cartagena has always been open to learning the history of music, and opposite to the stereotype of Latin Americans not being interested in this type of art, there are many young people and adults open to learning about and creating valuable music.

Bietti considers that music is currently too commercial and it misses the real essence of art, which is to convey emotions, feelings, or narrate historical facts of a particular moment in history. The musician goes on to say that there is no difference between classical music and current music, because there only exist good or bad musical pieces regardless of the time.

“There is a need to express yourself through sound, and I think that is one of the most powerful forces that exist. This need to tell stories is not finding a way through in music today; it only seeks to be sold without narrating what occurs in the space where it is created,” said Bietti, who also reflected on how many of the songs that go out into the market do not convey any deep emotions.

 “Look to connect with your identity, your culture and express your own essence through music. Not to sell only,” concluded the Italian musicologist.

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