As the greatest composer Mozart said "Oh! If only we had clarinets. You have no idea of the effect of clarinets!"

The clarinet is a beautiful instrument. And it becomes more beautiful when it plays talented Swiss Italian girl. An interview with clarinettist Maura Marinucci in May.Life & Live.

Maura Marinucci

ML&L - Welcome to May.Life & Live Maura. How did you actually get into music? Do you have musicians in your family? 

Maura Marinucci - I got into music since I was a child. My father was a saxophone player in the wind orchestra of our small village, he used to listen to classical music at home and he usually led me to listen to their concerts.

ML&L - When did you start playing your instrument, and what or who were your early passions or influences?

Maura Marinucci - I started playing clarinet at 8 years old. During a concert I told “I want to play that instrument”, and actually it was clarinet! So I started clarinet lessons and also playing in a baby wind orchestra, it was really important for me. I think it’s for this that I always preferred to play in ensemble rather than as a soloist.

ML&L - What do you find to be unique about clarinet? What do you like about it?

Maura Marinucci - The most incredible thing on clarinet is the warm timbre and of course the dynamics you can do with it: with the other instruments is impossible to do a sound which starts really from nothing and reaches an incredible fortissimo, without losing the beauty of a sound who seems to “hug” the audience. This is amazing!

ML&L - Your biography reveals that you picked up laurels for victories in international competitions. Tell us about them.

Maura Marinucci - So, when I started playing clarinet at 8 years old my teacher quickly realized that I was really talented for my age, so he proposed to my parents to start doing some competitions in order to let me know from some important musicians and to improve myself. Actually, I had a lot of successes, but then I stopped when I was a teenager. You know, when you grow up you lose the unconsciousness of childhood, I had the impression I had to work hard If I wanted to be perfect and so I didn’t have so much self-confidence. But actually I will start again doing them very soon.

ML&L - That’s a really superb springboard for an intensive solo career?

Maura Marinucci - Maybe yes. Actually, it depends from the competitions: if it’s a very important competition, there are maybe some managers or other important people who are listening to you and can offer you the possibility to become a soloist, but now it’s really difficult to find these situations. Of course, with competitions you can understand if you want to do a solo career or not.

ML&L - How do you balance the need to put your personal emotions into the music you play and the intentions of the composer?

Maura Marinucci - You know, I have a “special” idea of this thing: I’m not a composer, I’m an interpreter, and I think that I haven’t got to put my personal emotions into the music. When I play, I just try to understand the intention of the composer in order to make his emotions become mine. I really try to feel the same things of the composer, the direction in which he wanted to go, the meaning he wanted to give to his composition. It’s not so simple when you have to play a music you don’t like.

ML&L - What's the hardest part about being a musician and what's the best?

Maura Marinucci - The hardest part: a musician studies hours and hours, every day, during holidays, in his entire life and receives more refuses every day that a normal person during an entire life. It’s really frustrating sometimes. During an audition in general you play just 2 minutes, you worked for hours and hours, and all depends from what you can communicate in this few time. It’s so difficult to put the best concentration you have in that single moment and put your best on it. But at the same time this is the best thing of being a musician: to be able to let the others feel something special only with playing this short passage. I think it’s so incredible. And of course, the other best thing of being a musician is to travel all around world. It’s amazing to do what you love everywhere.

ML&L - What's the message you’re trying to bring with your music?

Maura Marinucci - I’m trying to let the music alive. For me every music has to become for theaudience the best music ever written. I just want to communicate how music is beautiful, how it can save us from ignorance, from evil, from ugliness.

ML&L - Do you prefer to play solo or as a duo or an orchestra?

Maura Marinucci - My dream is to play in an orchestra. Since I was a child, my goal was to join an important orchestra, and become one of the most famous clarinet player of the world in the best orchestra of the world. Even now, I’m studying to reach this goal. At the same time I love play in contemporary ensemble or groups. I also like very much to play chamber music, I love the feeling it can be created between some musicians who always play together, it’s just something special. The competitions I made were really useless for understand I don’t want to be a soloist. I can do it, but I don’t feel the special emotions I feel playing with the others. I work really better in team, and it’s for this that a big team of an orchestra is the best place for me.

ML&L - Do you ever have desire to pick up other wind instruments?

Maura Marinucci - Absolutely not!!! Maybe in next life I’ll probably play cello and piano, but never another wind instrument….clarinet is the best one!!!.

ML&L - How would you characterize your music?

Maura Marinucci - It’s difficult to answer to this question! Never thought about it. I think maybe I oscillate between “appassionato” and peaceful: I’m lucky because the clarinet repertoire is so full of passion, even the orchestral excerpts are so intense, thanks to its warm sound, and at the same time it can be the most sweet and romantic instrument of the world.

ML&L - What live performance experience have you had?

Maura Marinucci - I have few performance as a soloist, I played a lot of time in various orchestras and also I played a lot of chamber music. I had the chance to play in beautiful concert halls: in Italy in Auditorium Parco dellamusica (Rome), TeatroBibiena (Mantova), Teatro Greco of Giardini La Mortella (Ischia), Piazza del Quirinale, the most breathtaking; in Switzerland I played at Zurich Tonhalle, Lac in Lugano, Salle Equilibré in Fribourg, Bern Casino. Amazing!!! I played with very important conductors like Carlo Rizzari, Philippe Beran, Antoine Rebstein, Vladimir Verbitsky, Tomas Netopil, Kai Bumann, Kevin Griffiths, Arturo Tamayo. It was an honour to meet them!

ML&L - So amazing. All Successful Musicians, conductors. Also what music do you most enjoy playing?

Maura Marinucci - I love orchestra. So, all the orchestral repertoire. At the same time I really love contemporary repertoire: it’s amazing to see every time what the new composers are experimenting and what limits of the instruments they are trying to bring down. This continuous research toward overcoming the limits really fascinates me. Sometimes, I also like to play jazz, but I’m not so good, I still have to study!

ML&L - How important are practicing and instrumental technique for achieving your musical goals? Can you allow yourself a day without practicing?

Maura Marinucci - Practice is fundamental. Of course, some people are more lucky than others because of the technical ease. But when you want to be the best musician of the world, you have to practice! Practice, practice and practice, it’s a motto of one of the best professors I had in my life. Practice makes perfect. Of course, I allow myself even more than a day without practicing, for example during holidays when I don’t have competitions/concerts/auditions/lessons, or after a long period of hard study, for not overload my articulations, too much study is notalways good for the body. But actually, maybe I can stay 2-3 days maximum without playing and then I start again with the normal rhythm. And when I don’t play, I always think to another phrase my teacher used to tell me “remember that even when you are sleeping, there’s someone who is studying for become better than you!”. And I feel so bad!

ML&L - Good motivation! If you hadn't chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?

Maura Marinucci - It’s a nice question. Actually, I don’t know. Maybe I would have studied political sciences and diplomacy. I attended only one year of this faculty, before understanding I wanted to be a musician. Or maybe, I would be an important chef! I enjoy cooking!

ML&L - What advice do you have for young clarinet players looking to make a career out of it?

Maura Marinucci - Just enjoy the music you are playing: it’s so nice that we make the music alive only playing it, it’s something special. Enjoy the music, enjoy the purposes of the composers, and never give up. It’s so hard being a musician, but I think every one at the end finds his place, just believe it!

ML&L - What are your immediate music career goals, what are some upcoming projects?

Maura Marinucci - For the moment, I’m attending the second year of master in music performance at Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano (my final recital is in June, the 11th), then in July I have the opportunity to play for Ticino Musica Festival (a Summer Festival which takes place in Ticino, Switzerland) in a contemporary ensemble and in August and September I will play with the symphonic orchestra of Biel Solothurn. Then I will take a breath from schools and I will do auditions and competitions. I have a lot of things to do…stay tuned!

ML&L - Lot of plans, your graphic is full. This good. Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?

Maura Marinucci - Actually my life is not only about music. Only 23 hours a day! But I also love drawing, I love Argentine tango, I’m trying to do sport as often as I can. I’m a “yoga addicted” and I’m used to do Reiki. I don’t know if you know it, but I started doing it last year, thanks to a pianist who studies in Lugano who is also an excellent Reiki master and since this moment my life has completely changed, even my way of playing music is different. I suggest you to do this! And finally, I’m Italian, so I love cooking, I enjoy to make some Italians dishes like pizza, cakes, etc!!!!!!

ML&L - It’s so nice. Are there any questions that your were expecting that I didn’t ask and want to answer?

Maura Marinucci - No, I really enjoyed your questions! It wasn’t so easy to answer, I had to think a lot, and it was nice to find out something about me that I didn’t know! Thank you!

Thank you for your time in May.Life & Live, Maura. We wish you the best of success in achieving your plans.

Contact - Maura Marinucci

by May.Life & Live