Wednesday, 27 November 2013


The biography of Pietro Damiani has just been published on


Pietro Damiani (born in Manerbio, 1933) hails from the Northern Italian region of Lombardy. He studied the clarinet at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory, Milan (1948-1953), graduating ‘cum laude’. Later, first at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, later again at the Verdi institute, he devoted himself to composition and instrumentation of wind band, and to choral music and choir direction. After having worked as a music teacher and conductor of different orchestras and choirs in his home region, he was appointed artistic director of the Civica Filarmonica Orchestra in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1968 – a fruitful collaboration, resulting in countless concerts and many recordings, which lasted for thirty years. Damiani's orchestra has time and again been recognized as Switzerland's best wind band by winning multiple editions of the Federal Music Festival. In ’77, Damiani, who worked as a teacher for over half a century, founded a music school in Lugano. Since 1998, he has been able to spend more time on composing.

In 1997, Pietro Damiani found himself in a world which was not his: that of popular music, or, to be more specific: Eurovision. He was asked to conduct the song ‘Dentro di me’, performed by Barbara Berta, which was selected as the Swiss entry for that year. He wrote the orchestration to the song at the request of its studio arranger, Fabio Ciboldi, a former trumpet player in his wind orchestra. In Dublin, Damiani could not help Barbara Berta to a respectable position: the song only received five points, finishing 22nd in a field of 25 competing entries. 


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

JICK NACASSIAN = Χατζίκ ‘Τζίκ’ Νακασιάν (

The biography of Greek composer, arranger, conductor, and pop vocalist Jick Nacassian has just been published on


Studying privately with Costas Clavvas and later at the Ethniko Odeio Conservatory in Athens, Jick Nacassian (ΧατζίκΤζίκΝακασιάν, born in Athens 1951) got recognition as a musician by participating several times in the Salonica Festival as a songwriter in the mid-1970s. As a composer and arranger, he worked with most of Greece's most popular recording artist. Moreover, he worked as the musical director of several nightclubs in Athens and Salonica. As an arranger and conductor, he participated in sixteen editions of the Salonica Festival between 1975 and 1997. In 2011, he released his first solo record as a vocalist, 'Chronia asiderota'.

Jick Nacassian composed and arranged the song ‘Autostop’ (lyrics: Rony Sophou), which won the Greek Eurovision heats in 1980. It was sung by Anna Vissi, who, for the international final, was backed up by the runners-up from the national final, the group Epikouroi. Nacassian conducted the Metropole Orchestra in The Hague during the rendition of his own song, which came thirteenth among nineteen contestants. Due to the bad result and the negative energy involved in this Eurovision experience, Jick felt forced to leave Greece and try his luck in New York for several years. Nacassian never conducted a Eurovision orchestra again, but he conducted half of the songs in the 1988 Greek pre-selection and moreover participated in that same selection programme as an interpreter of his self-penned song 'Paratiro' in 1991.

Monday, 4 November 2013


The biography of Guy Matteoni has just been published on

Pianist and arranger Guy Matteoni hails from Southern France. He was member of a pop group and had a short singing career himself. He was the assistant to movie composer Michel Magne and worked as an arranger in the recording studios, with various hits to his credit, such as ‘Dansez maintenant’ by Dave (1975) and ‘Elle’ by Didier Barbelivien (1980). All major hit records of Gérard Lenorman were arranged by Matteoni as well. He wrote the orchestration to the soundtrack of ‘Gwendoline’ (1984). In 1986, Mattéoni set up a recording studio with Claude Mainguy.

Guy Matteoni conducted three French Eurovision entries: ‘Je suis l’enfant-soleil’ by Anne-Marie David (1979), ‘Chanteur de charme’ by Gérard Lenorman (1988), and ‘J’ai volé la vie’ by Nathalie Pâque (1989). This last-mentioned song was composed by Matteoni himself; all songs had arrangements written by him. Mattéoni also orchestrated the 1978 Portuguese entry ‘Dai-li-dou’ and the 1983 French entry ‘Vivre’ – but these songs were conducted by Thilo Krassman and François Rauber respectively.