Born Piove di Sacco in Italy on March 21, 1971, Domenico Nordio began his concert career very young, winning the Vercelli “Viotti” International Competition at the age of 16 with Yehudi Menuhin leading the panel of judges. Success followed at various competitions from Thibaud in Paris, the Sigall in Viña del Mar right up to Francescatti in Marseilles. In 1988, the Eurovision Song Contest brought him international fame thanks to the final round, which was broadcast throughout Europe from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Excerpts of our conversation are below.
Among the famous concert halls of the world in which you have performed, which do you like best and why?
Carnegie Hall in New York, the Philharmonic in Moscow, the Salle Pleyel Paris, Victoria Hall Geneva and the Konzerthaus in Vienna. Being an Italian, of course I would say Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, too.
Your discography contains an impressive selection, including pieces by Brahms and Mozart. Which of the masterpieces will you present to Jakarta music lovers?
Bach’s Chaconne is the absolute masterpiece of the violin repertoire, but also the majestic Regers’ Chaconne and the kaleidoscopic Elogio per un’Ombra by our great Petrassi.
Your career in music started from a very young age. Of all the music instruments, why did you choose the violin?
I took up violin for the first time motivated by my violinist cousin. I started my career from early age and it all happened almost naturally; I could easily say I was born and raised on stage.
The 1988 Eurovision Song Contest brought you international fame. Tell us briefly about your feelings at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
I remember well the countdown before the live session for Eurovision, during which the Sibellius that I played would have been seen live in TV by more than 80 million viewers. I’m grateful as I was so young and had the unconsciousness of a 16-year old. I do not know if I would be in able to withstand such tension now.
Tell us about your favourite violin and the reason why do you chose it. Does playing a high-end violin really make a difference to your performance?
I play a marvellous Ansaldo Poggi from 1967, the violin of my debut, but I have had the opportunity to perform with Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesù, Amati—all the great string instruments from Cremona. But the violin is the means not the end, and every instrument that I embrace brings its own sound and the trace of my soul and my character.