Church of Santa Caterina da Siena

Writing vs. improvisation

For the series of meetings Wunderkammer Music

In collaboration with Wine&thecity

Digressions “on subject” (?) By C. Debussy

(instant elaboration and re-composition on thematic cues

based on “La Cathédrale engloutie”, Book 1 of the Préludes of C. Debussy) 

Ivano Leva, piano


digress : verb [ dih-gres, dahy- ]

To deviate or wander away from the main topic or purpose in speaking or writing; depart from the principal line of argument, plot, study, etc.


  1. Dans une brume doucement sonore
  2. Rintocchi di campane
  3. Peu à peu sortant de la brume
  4. Cattedrale emersa
  5. Maestosità
  6. Il mare inghiotte poco a poco la cattedrale
  7. Giù, negli abissi
  8. Mare placido
  9. Fine

Ivano Leva was born in Naples in 1975. He spent his childhood and adolescence surrounded by the green countryside of Torregaveta, a hamlet of Bacoli (province of Naples), where he soon learned the first rudiments of music from his father, an amateur pianist. In this same phase, by listening to and imitating the records of the most disparate musical genres (from Chopin and Bach to the Beatles, Jobim and Tenco), he begins to approach the practice of free improvisation, the nerve center of his musical career in the following years. He graduated in Piano at the L. Perosi Conservatory in Campobasso, under the guidance of the Romanian concert artist Alexandra Brucher, and later in Composition at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples, studying with Gaetano Panariello. Animated in his teens by a strong interest in African-American music, he also studied jazz piano with Francesco D’Errico and Francesco Nastro. He won two scholarships to attend the Siena Jazz Seminars with Enrico Pieranunzi and Franco D’Andrea and the IASJI courses with David Liebman. As a composer of cultivated music, his works have been awarded and performed in various festivals, both national and international, by renowned soloists and ensembles (including Cristiano Rossi, Kenji Fujimura, Trio Anima Mundi, Rochelle Ughetti, Melissa Chominsky, Michele Lomuto). In 2012 he won the A. Falconio composition competition with a chamber composition written for a poem by E. De Filippo, wich he performed in the Sala Scarlatti of the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory, Naples. In 2015 his composition Triumviratus won the Anima Mundi Composition Prize competition and was performed by the Australian trio Anima Mundi at the Performing Art Center Geelong in Newtown and at the Melbourne Recital Center (Australia).  As a pianist he has been professionally active since the second half of the 90s, and he stands out because of his ability to range in different musical fields. In the jazz field, he counts collaborations with important Italian and foreign artists, including Antonio Onorato, Salvatore Tranchini, Ben MacDonald, Woijtek Pilichowsky, Marco Sannini, Giulio Martino, Sandro Deidda, Pietro Condorelli, Umberto Muselli, Leonardo De Lorenzo, Vincenzo Saetta, Giacinto Piracci, Claudio Romano, Marco De Tilla, Walter Ricci, Gianfranco Campagnoli, Alberto D’Anna, Alessandro Tedesco. He also participates in important international festivals of the jazz industry (Eddie Lang Jazz Festival, Nick La Rocca Festival, Marigliano in Jazz, Eqo Festival, Musicalea Palermo, Teggiano Jazz, Katerinburg Festival, Campania Jazz, and more) both as sideman and as leader of own musical projects. In 2010 he recorded his first cd as a leader of jazz bands, Absence, (distr. Cd Baby), a work that has received acclaim also in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Hong Kong and Korea. In 2012 he took part, together with various artists from the Neapolitan and Italian jazz scene, in the recording of the cd Io pretendo dignità, a project sponsored by Amnesty International. In the theatrical field he distinguishes himself both as a composer of incidental music (awarded at the Stradarte 2000 Festival for the soundtrack of the fairy tale Un albero di nome Giona by Alessandra Lagozino) and as a pianist engaged in unique projects: since 2004 he has joined the show Poeta Massimo (by and with Enzo Decaro, texts by Massimo Troisi) and also records the CD of the same name (published by AlaBianca, distributed by Warner Music Italia) working alongside musicians of the caliber of Paolo Fresu, Daniele Sepe, James Senese, Solis String Quartet, Cecilia Chailly, et al).  Still with Enzo Decaro, he participated in the theater tour entitled Chet c’è, a tribute to Chet Baker. Also author of jingles and soundtracks, on the occasion of Christmas 2007 he composed (for the Department of Social Policies of Campania) the music for an important advertising spot (broadcast by the three Rai networks) against the use of illegal fireworks, played by actor Enzo Cannavale. In 2010 he worked permanently as a pianist for the broadcast network RadioLino (by Lino Volpe), live on RadioClub91 and on the Iride TV channel.

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