There could be no better way for Turin, and particularly for the city's “Giuseppe Verdi” Conservatorio, to honour the memory of Benedetto Mazzacurati than to establish an international cello competition in his name. At the beginning of the 90s the Mazzacurati Family gave a very generous donation to the Conservatoire” G.Verdi” and after a brief appearance in the Viotti Competition in 1996, there were no other initiatives.
It was in Turin that Benedetto Mazzacurati was most active as a musician. He was for many years first cello in the orchestra of the Teatro Regio opera house and later in the RAI (national radio network) orchestra, as well as teaching at the Conservatorio.
So it is with great pleasure that I give my full support to this competition, created by Maestro Vito Maggiolino with Maestro Marco Zuccarini as artistic director, which is intended to be a tribute to Mazzacurati, the man and the musician.

This competition, unique in its format compared to other international music competitions in Italy, is dedicated to young musicians, aiming to provide them with the opportunity to display their talent and quality as performers, and hopefully to help them take a definitive step forward in their careers, as they continue to express the musical ability they have demonstrated during the contest.

In the distinguished jury, the Principal of the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi and the Artistic Director of the RAI National Orchestra will be joined by five cellists of international renown: Enrico Dindo, Giovanni Sollima, Frans HelmersonJens Peter Maintz, Asier Polo.

This competition will also highlight the high degree of collaboration that exists between the major institutions promoting classical music in Turin: there will be two final. The first one with the Teatro Regio Orchestra conducted by Sergey Galaktionov, in Conservatoire Concert haal and the second with the RAI National Orchestra conducted by Maestro Marcello Rota.
So the aim of the competition is twofold: to raise the profile of the city of Turin and of the Conservatorio, as organizers of the event, on the international music scene, and to honour the memory of an outstanding musician, whose work as both artist and teacher of music must never be forgotten.

Valentino Castellani
President of the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi

Competition Venue

The building that now houses the Conservatoire was constructed in 1928 as the city music school and was designed by architect Giovanni Battista Ricci of the Turin City Technical Office. The facade, Piedmontese neo-baroque, completes the uniform  classical style of 19th century Piazza Bodoni.
The Giuseppe Verdi Royal Conservatoire of Music of Turin was founded on 13 February 1936 when the pre-existent "Giuseppe Verdi Institute of Music", created in 1866 as the "institute of music for the city of Turin", was upgraded to the level of a school of higher education with the capacity to issue diplomas, official qualifications for professional musicians. While the facade of the building is classical in style, the design and decor of the atrium, foyer and concert hall reflect the influences of Art Nouveau.
The auditorium is considered to have the best acoustics of any concert hall in Turin, with a concert organ that was installed on May 10 1933. From the end of WWII until 1952 the orchestra of the RAI, the national radio network, held all its concerts here, performing under conductors of the calibre of Wilhelm Furtwängler, and with singers like Elizabeth Schwartzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
Today seven hundred students are enrolled at the Conservatoire, which has a teaching staff of more than one hundred and thirty and occupies both the original building in Piazza Bodoni and a branch in Via San Francesco da Paola (Music Pedagogy, Cultural Materials, Library). As a school, the Conservatoire has its own unique organization: lessons are mainly individual and are complemented by a wide range of   cultural subjects taught in groups, as well as practical classes in chamber music, ensemble playing and orchestra.
Students are admitted to the school only after passing strict entrance tests and final diploma examination recitals are open to the public. The conservatoire organizes many activities and events focused on music: concert series, free to the general public, where outstanding students have the opportunity to perform to an audience, as well as exchanges with prestigious music schools outside Italy and many events promoting the culture of classical music. There are also masterclasses conducted by visiting artists of international renown, including Bruno Giuranna, Fabio Bidini, Lang Lang, Shlomo Mintz, Salvatore Accardo, Aleksandar Madzar, Donato Renzetti, and Natalia Gutman.