The Brake Drum Percussion was founded in 1983 by percussionist M°Pietro Bertelli who, through intense research and collaboration with composers and musicians, managed to create an ensemble able to promote and play the Contemporary Music Repertory for percussion instruments.
So far, the variable line-up of twelve percussionists and over 150 instruments, has dealt with pieces by Cage, Xenakis, Nono, Radulescu, Donatoni, Scelsi, Reich, Riley, Obst, Nishimura, Holten, Flammer, Brizzi, Scannavini, Cisternino, Centazzo, Dufourt, Correggia, Louvier any many others, performing over 50 world premieres.
The ensemble has been engaged in collaborations with various ensembles such as Mitteleuropa Orchestra -M°Andrea Centazzo, Nuove Sincronie (Milan), Computer Art Festival (Padova), Octandre (Bologne), and Symphonic orchestras of Belluno, Treviso, Udine, Portenone, Vicenza and Venice. ...it is the sound that the BDP achieves from the composition that amazes and inspires enthusiasm... Andrea Centazzo Several have been the performances at Contemporary Music Festivals in Italy, such as Biennale Musica and Sonopolis (Venice), Progetto Siddharta (Mestre), Settembre Musica and Festival Antidogma in Turin, Finestre Sul '900 (Treviso), Musica Verticale, Nuova Consonanza, Roma Incontra Il Mondo (Rome), Ather Forum (Ferrara), Cinema Ritrovato (Bologne), University of Pennsylvania - The Graduate School of Fine Arts, Computer Art Festival (Padova), Time Zones (Bari), Accademia Chigiana (Siena), Festival Luigi Nono (Trieste - Broadcasted live on Radio3Suite), Settant'anni di Sylvano Bussotti (Asolo), Asolo Art-Film Festival (AIAF), Festival Cinema Muto (Pordenone), and Europe: Expo'92 (Seville - SPA), Auditorium Nacional, Libera Universidad de Madrid (Madrid - SPA), Lucero Festival (Paris - FRA), Les Semaines Musicales Internationales d'Orleans (FRA), Staadtische Museum (Heilbronn - GER), Recording and broadcasting for the SWR Sudwestrundfunk (GER), Sonic Fusion Festival (Edinburgh - UK).
Among the recorded albums, the 1995 with Pléiades by Iannis Xenakis and Akira Nishimura's Ketiak and 1999 Percussioni d'Italia entirely dedicated to Italian composers - Scelsi, Correggia, Donatoni, Giommoni, Cisternino, with extremely positive comments from the critics. The latest recording, I speak Percussion (2008) includes world premieres and brand new arrangements for percussion and electronics.
The BDP has never neglected the didactic activities.An innovative concert-lesson project is promoted each and every year and is aimed to sensitise primary and secondary school students to the universe of Percussion Music.
I Speak Percussion is new, is innovative, it is a challenge. We chose a list of common instruments, those that can be found in concert halls, universities, theatres. We surveyed the Contemporary Music scene to find a group of extremely competent composers from Italy, Spain, Germany, UK and US willing to take the challenge: composing for percussion in their very style.
Pietro Bertelli (12/10/1954 Carcassonne (FRANCE) -).
Specialized in the 20th and 21st century music for percussion, with special emphasis on Contemporary Music. He has studied multi-percussion with M°G. Mortensen, focusing his attention on the solo repertoire, the jazz drum-set with M°E. Lucchini, timpani and vibraphone with M°D. Searcy, djembe with M°E. Genevois and he has deepened his knowledge in the American snare-drum tradition with M°Mike Queen.
As a percussionist, took part in many important Italian Festivals as La Biennale Musica (Venice), Nuova Consonanza (Rome), Arteforum (Ferrara), Festival di Musica Contemporanea della Città di Udine (Udine), In Battere (Reggio Emilia). Moreover, he has performed many jazz concert with outstanding players as G. Schiaffini, L. Malaguti, M. Periotto and C. Actis Dato. Since 1983 he has been working with the Mitteleuropa Orchestra, M°A. Centazzo conductor, Ensemble’900, M°S. Mazzoleni conductor and Ex-Novo Ensemble, M°C. Ambrosini conductor. In the same year he founded the Brake Drum Percussion, a percussion ensemble, with which he has toured Italy, Spain, France and Germany.
With the BDP, worked with some of the most important Contemporary European composers such as: I. Xenakis, H. Dufourt, H. Radulescu, H. Flammer, S. Bussotti, N. Sani and N. Cisternino, performing many world premières of their pieces. Today the ensemble can count on 12 percussionists, and on a solid repertory of over 150 masterpieces of contemporary music. The list of composers included varies from the classicals of the 20th century as J. Cage, I. Xenakis, T. Riley, S. Reich, A. Nishimura to the Italians such as G. Scelsi, L. Nono, F. Donatoni, A. Centazzo, E. Correggia, G. Scelsi to other Europeans such as B. Holten, A. Louvier and H. Dufourt. Thanks to him, the Brake Drum Percussion took part in the most important Contemporary Music Festivals in Italy: Sonopolis and Progetto Siddharta (Venice – 1997), Settembre Musica and Festival Antidogma (Turin – 1998), Finestre sul Novecento (Treviso), Musica Verticale, Nuova Consonanza and Roma incontra il mondo (Rome), Il Cinema Ritrovato (Bologne), Festival del Cinema Muto (Pordenone) Computer Art Festival (Monselice - PD), Times Zones (Bari), Accademia Chigiana (Siena), Settant’anni di Sylvano Bussotti (Asolo - TV), Summer Laboratory of Architecture of Pennsylvania University (Padova) and Festival Luigi Nono (Trieste) with a live broadcasting by Radio3Suite; and in other European countries: Lucero Festival (Paris – France), Les Semaines Musicales d’Orleans (France), Expo’92 (Seville – Spain), Auditorium Nacional (Madrid – Spain). Furthermore, the Brake Drum Percussion has been cooperating with other ensembles such as Mitteleuropa Orchestra, Nuove Sincronie (Milan), Octandre (Bologna) and the symphony orchestras of the following cities: Belluno, Treviso, Udine, Pordenone, Vicenza and Venice.
Took part in many theatre productions, working with important directors such as Mario Mattia Giorgetti, Eugenio Monticolle, Simone Benmussa. His prolific recording activities includes radio broadcastings for the Sudwestrundfunk in Germany, Austrian and Swiss Radio, Radio TV Capodistria, R.A.I. (Radiotelevisione Italiana) and CD recordings for record industries such as Ariston, Fonit, Cetra, Ictus Record, Nuova Musica, Rivo Alto, Nota. Teaching has always been an integral part of his life. He begun as an assistant at the masterclasses of G. Mortensen, M. Queen, T. Miroglio and E. Lucchini.
He taught at Liceo Musicale F. Manzato in Treviso and now he is lecturer at G. B. Bellio – School of Music, where he trains students for exams and Diplomas at the most prestigious Italian Consertatoires. He has published a didactic method for the snare drum and a selection of his own transcriptions of rag-times for a trio of xylophone, marimba and vibraphone.
Enrico Bertelli, MA (Montebelluna (TV – ITA) 29/08/1984 - )
Italian Percussionist, Musicologist.
Deeply interested in Contemporary Music, with a special emphasis on the Percussion music repertory. A rich background mixes the theoretical preparation achieved through university, with the instrumental skills gained through intense studies at the Conservatoire and at the various master classes. Since moving to the UK, worked closely with composers, investigating the possibilities of percussion instruments and trying to push the conventional boundaries. Firmly convinced of the importance of an informed performance, constantly approaches every piece both as a performer and as a musicologist. This duality helps achieve a better understanding of the music and enables communicating with the audience with sounds and words.
The current PhD in Contemporary Performance - Percussion at York University, follows an MA in Performance Studies at Cardiff University (Distinction), BA in TARS - Tecniche Artistiche e dello Spettacolo at Ca'Foscari University - Venice and Diploma in Strumenti a Percussione at the Conservatorio di Verona both with top marks. The research topic aims to create, by all possible means, a portable percussion concert. Investigating object-trouvés, performance-applied electronics and non-conventional instruments.
Recent teachers: Ruud Wiener (vibraphone), Igor Lesnik (multi-percussion), Jasmin Kolberg (marimba), Matteo di Francesco (marching band) at the Giornate della Percussione at the Conservatorio `G.B. Pergolesi` in Fermo (ITALY). Michael Burritt (marimba) (Evanston – IL). Current Teachers: Chris Brannick (multi-percussion and Ghanaian music), Michael Skinner (Basle drumming and orchestral techniques) at GSMD (London).
Recent performances: Computer Art Festival (Padova), Festival Luigi Nono (Trieste), MusiKreativaMente (Treviso), AIAF - Asolo International Art-film Festival (Italy), Libera Universidad de Madrid (Spain) and Sonic Fusion Festival (Edinburgh - Scotland). Many other concerts in Contemporary Music Festivals in Italy where held with Brake Drum Percussion, De Mallet Duo, Ensemble l'Arsenale, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto. Before entering the profession, he worked with Cardiff University Chamber, Contemporary and New Music ensembles and won the Second Prize at the Concorso del Teatro Filarmonico di Verona. Principal percussionist in the Youth Orchestras Ecce Gratum, La Réjouissance and Banda F. Visentin with solo playing and tv broadcastings.
As a composer, Enrico is interested in improvisation for percussion and electronics. M@elodie was the first composition premiered at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds (UK) together with the choreography of Elodie Frati.
Enrico writes regularly for Finnegans - Quarterly Contemporary Art Review and the Cultural Association Impero Bizantino.
As a concert manager, Enrico has been working towards the performances of the Brake Drum Percussion, Hesse Student at the Aldeburgh Art and Music Festival, and takes care of logistics and management of the music festivals in Italy Concerti di Primavera (Paese - TV), Contemporaneità Sonore (Roncade - TV), Finestre sul 900 (Treviso).
Enrico is currently Stage Manager for the Concert Season at York University and Ensamble Manager - Orchestral Assistant for the same Institution.