José Miguel Maschietto, a 30 year-old pianist and composer from Italy who started learning the piano at the tender age of three, has found a new home in Prague – a city that has both inspired him and embraced him.
Maschietto, who grew up between Venice and Milan, came to Prague in 2009 under the excuse of one performance and fell in love with the city.
“Prague is the place to be for me. Because of its history as a city of arts and culture there is a certain magic here and a special energy that inspires the mind,” says Maschietto. “During my career I have always taken inspiration from the landscape around me, the things I experience and the people I meet – I try to steal the soul of each place I visit.”
“I am very sensitive to everything that is beautiful. I am lucky to have grown up surrounded by art and history and it has become part of my blood, and I think this is why I have found a home in Prague,” continues Maschietto.
Maschietto is the maestro behind Alchemist of Dreams, an international project that synthesises chamber music with dance that featured the Czech dancer Michaela Josífková. Through Alchemist of Dreams, Maschietto hopes to provide a unique experience for its audiences.
“Though my roots are in classical music, I always try to keep an eye out on what is different and contradictory but what works together – and this is what Alchemist of Dreams is about,” explains Maschietto. “Hopefully with it I give the audience two options – one is to listen and enjoy the music and the second is to enjoy it with the eyes. I am lucky to be able to incorporate lots of different art forms into it, like visual and dance elements.”
Though he has experienced success in Prague with Alchemist of Dreams, Maschietto acknowledges that becoming a successful classical musician is not without its trials and tribulations.
“I didn’t approach music to become famous and I still hope that it will be my music that lasts rather than me,” says Maschietto. “Being a musician requires a lot of attitude, time and sacrifice and you will be isolated a great deal of the time. It is not an easy process – not many musicians realise that it can take years. However, I consider myself lucky as I love what I do – I am in a very privileged position.”
He hopes that he can use his privileged position as a dedicated musician to help Alchemist of Dreams touch as many people as possible, but also hopes that as the project is seen by more and more people that it will evolve itself.
“My aim for Alchemist of Dream is to see it performed worldwide and to reach as big an audience as possible. I imagine it will evolve as I meet more new people and have new experiences,” explains Maschietto. “Other people’s opinions are very important to me. A musician needs to be able to read their audiences – when putting together their music they have to think of the target audience, the context, even the season – all these factors form the basis of the performance.
Maschietto will close his current season of performances with two shows in Berlin and a small recital in Prague.
Interview by Helen Armitage
portrait by Robert Carrithers