‘I fell in love with
Tel Aviv at first sight,” says Italian pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell, who
returns to Israel for a concert with the Israel Camerata Jerusalem on December
26 at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. “People are open and very friendly, and I feel
very safe here, contrary to what we hear on TV. Rome, Milan, London are great
cities, but Tel Aviv is one of the few places where I feel at home, where I
could have lived. Another city is Moscow.”
The 26-year-old Italian
star made her Israeli debut earlier this year. But what about Moscow? Born in
Prato near Florence, Benelli Mosell started playing piano at the age of three.
At seven, she was accepted to the International Piano Academy in Imola. She made
her first public appearance at 11 with renowned French pianist Pascal Roge, who
described her as “the most natural musical talent I have encountered in my
entire life as a musician and teacher.” At 18, she went to Russia to study at
the Moscow Conservatory with Mikhail Voskresensky.
“The beginning was
very hard,” recalls Benelli Mosell in a phone interview from London, where she
lives, after completing her studies at the Royal College of Music. “I was a
young European girl born in a small provincial town and knew nothing of other
ways of life but the Western one. In Moscow, I had to share a small room with
many other girls in a farfrom- clean dormitory. To find a piano to rehearse was
a problem, and it was freezing cold outside. Not speaking the language, I felt
so lonely! I wanted to go home, but my mother told me: ‘Your school is there!’
And after all, I do not give up so easily.”
But as soon as she learned
the language and made new friends, things improved.
“I loved the sense of
community among the students. Everything was strong there – feelings,
friendships, love of music. But above all, the way they teach music in
Russia. Teachers give you solutions for all your problems, such as sound,
musicality, etc., instead of talking about the history of the piece and similar
things, which could be interesting but which you can learn on your own,” she
Aside from music, she is a typically modern girl who enjoys hanging
out with friends and is very fond of fashion.
“At first, I wrapped myself
up to my eyes when I went out into the streets of Moscow; but when I saw that
the most fashionable Russian girls walked around without warm hats and scarves,
I changed my attitude!” laughs the pianist, who spent three years in the Russian
Benelli Moselle, who is attracted to both the classical and
contemporary repertoire, is internationally renowned for her performances of
Stockhausen’s Klavierstuecke. Following her recording of the piece, she was
invited by the composer himself to study with him in
“Stockhausen taught me that sound is alive. It is a living
thing. It is a lovely material that you can transform into many other things,”
she says. “He also taught me to think separately about rhythm, dynamics and
tempos, which is technically a very interesting brain exercise. From him
I also learned the sense of the show in performance.”
Benelli Mosell, who
performs throughout the world to great audience and critical acclaim, says that
for her, getting as close as possible to the composer’s concept of a piece is of
the utmost importance.
“In the future, I see myself widening what I am
already doing and probably running a chamber music festival: Playing chamber
music with friends is the greatest fun!” she says.
Mosell, as well as violinist Vadim Gluzman and pianists Sivan Silver and Gil
Gartburg, will perform with the Israel Camerata, Jerusalem tonight at 8:30 p.m.
at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
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