I grew up in a small village in the Italian Alps, in Trentino. Running through the woods by bicycle or writing on top of a tree in a hunting lodge that I converted into a thinking place, and many other beautiful things of childhood. Stefano Fogliardi gave me the first piano lessons, in Trento, a place that back then seemed to me to be a huge city – all of a sudden, one had to be careful to cross the street. Then, again in Trento, I entered the Conservatory 's class of Antonella Costa, a passionate and very patient teacher. Particularly significant were the encounters with two of the many teachers who contributed to my formation. Franco Scala was key, and inhibiting only up to a certain point were his words "you are a poet, here are the mastiffs...". A long time later came the meeting with Paul Badura-Skoda: it seemed to me to have next to me, at the other piano, Mozart or Beethoven or Schubert or Chopin in person. Particle accelerators.
My path has been multidisciplinary, to become interdisciplinary. At about twenty years old a voice inside me had erupted "you cannot spend your life playing for white hair!", besides a certain perplexity about the conventional understanding of what a concert is. And so, while my colleagues were trying their hand at international piano competitions, I enrolled, as a working student, at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Bologna. I graduated magna cum laude four years later. In the meantime, when I was deciding what to write my thesis on, came 9/11. From the plateau in Trentino, I wanted to fully descend into the world, live it, try to understand something about it, and Bologna was not enough. I won a scholarship that allowed me to continue my studies in Political Theory at the famous London School of Economics. A lot of studying, and a lot of “placet experiri”, as Settembrini would have said. After London, I got into a doctoral program (first in the ranking) at the University of Trento, where I received my PhD in International Studies, and consequently was "Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher" at Cambridge (2005-6), in the UK, and "Fulbright Visiting Researcher" at Princeton (2007), in the USA. The piano somewhat niched. But the education and formation I was acquiring were refracted through music. It was thanks to the suggestion of a decisive figure for me, Professor Maurizio Viroli, that I brought together the "human sciences" - to recall a novel by Thomas Bernhard - and the world of sounds, firstly during a Post-Doc again at Princeton ("2009-10 Olin-Lehrman Postdoctoral Fellow") where this time I applied my theories on patriotism, multiculturalism and postnationalism (the subjects of my doctoral dissertation) to the operas of Giuseppe Verdi. After that first rapprochement, various musicological publications followed, further exploring the humanities: today, my output includes four books, three edited volumes, translations, and many papers. One of the volumes, written together with the distinguished musicologist and composer Lawrence Kramer, carries the significant title Classical Music in a Changing World: Crisis and Vital Signs. The academic, musical and human journey is ongoing for me. Now that I too have white hair, I have finally realized that classical music is not necessarily an elitist art that exists under mothballs. Classical music can be an expansive and redirective influence under (Hegelian) Spirit where the arrangement of emotion, understanding and knowledge merge, co-create and teach. All this has brought me full-circle to give concerts and conferences in Italy, France (invited specialist at the Doctoral Congress on Music and Musicology of IReMus, Sorbonne University, plus several other venues), Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Switzerland, the UK, the USA, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, Nigeria, the UAE, Kuwait… Interesting places. “Alberto Nones is a remarkable man who leads a double life”, someone wrote in an American music magazine. Two lives? Nay, None, and a Hundred-Thousand, as Pirandello would suggest.
Music contains everything, politics and philosophy included. Even within a little mazurka by Chopin. In the scorching heat of a Sicilian summer, with only the refreshing touch of almond granitas, I embarked on a two-day recording session at the foot of Mount Etna. The result was my Complete Mazurkas by Chopin, a recording released by the late Massimo Galli's Roman label Continuo Records, which was hailed as a revelation by some highly respected music critics. Recently, the London-based Convivium Records has released a new work of mine dedicated to Chopin, this time the Fantasies, and my reading of what a Fantasy is in Chopin. This album, recorded at the Fazioli Concert Hall, has come out together with something that could hardly be more different: an album with music by the Russian Rachmaninov and the Ukrainian Silvestrov recorded in a church of Montecassiano on an old Bohemian piano: the idea was that the sound, for once scabrous instead of polished as typical in most classical music albums, would take on its shoulders a little of the sorrow of the world we are feeling, and transform it into something else. With only Peace in mind. All my revenues from this album are entirely devolved to an activist who helps refugees of all wars.
I'm not on social media. If you email me, I will gladly read you. I can be contacted also at the "G. Rossini" Conservatory of Music of Pesaro, where I teach History of Music. My teaching experience started back in 1999 and is at this point quite broad. I have taught at the University of Lugano, the University of Trento, the Free University of Bolzano/Bozen, the University of the United Arab Emirates, the International High School of Rovereto, and the conservatories of Gallarate, Perugia, Como and Matera - a great array of disciplines ranging from music (Piano and History of Music) to the social sciences, and in different languages, never sparing myself and always learning as much as I was teaching. I am also proud to have been appointed Honorary Visiting Teacher at the “E. Said” National Conservatory of Music, in Palestine, where I have met extraordinary youth and hope to continue to do so.
I stop here in this presentation, very personal but certainly not exhaustive. Listen to my music if you want to know more about... me or maybe even about yourself, the collective. For in the music, there is everything.