Interview with bandoneon player Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi

In addition to world-class artists, large scale of the audience and fantastic atmosphere, International festival of chamber music Convivium Musicum is proud of initiating and supporting volunteer work and very good cooperation with the Faculty of Philology and Arts in Kragujevac. Students from the Department of the Music in Media are Festival’s volunteers, and as part of this work they have the opportunity to interview artists and to apply in practice what they have learned. Under the mentorship of Dr. Marija Ciric, professor and master Katarina Lazarevic, assistant lecturer at subject Media forms of Music, students prepared and carried out interviews with the performers of this year’s Festival.

Lazar Jagličić, student of master academic studies, had the opportunity to talk with bandoneon player Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi. The interview was held after Mario’s performance at the final night of the Festival and published in the journal “Muzika Klasika” No.23, year VII, April-June 2016.


The Third international festival of chamber music Convivium Musicum was held in Kragujevac from 14th to Mario17th March. The performance of Italian bandoneon player Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi (1980) with guitarist Luca Lucini (1971) and a string quintet Constantinus from Niš, has attracted the greatest attention of the audience for the duration of the event. Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi began his elementary musical education at the age of nine and graduated at the Music Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome. He has participated in numerous international competitions, among them stands out the victory at the World Trophy (Trophée Mondial) in France in 2001. He has collaborated and performed with a number of artists including Andrea Bocelli, Anna Netrebko and Antonella Ruggiero.

This is not your first time in Serbia. Tell us about your previous experience, how do you like it here and what do you think about our audience?

It was wonderful experience because in 2001 and 2002 I spent a lot of time in this country and the City of Kragujevac. I met some teachers from accordion school like Radomir Tomic, Vojin Vasovic and Miljan Bjeletic. That time is very important to me. I respect a lot the music that is produced with accordion in this city and in music school of Kragujevac. Anyway, I have had very beautiful time here, and met a lot of people, very beautiful women. I was very happy because the people who organized the festival this season Filip, Jovana, Ljubica, are young. I think that this is very important for the future of music in this city. Audience was very good. I enjoyed it even when I performed in the Hall for the first time and people like it a lot, I put in my everything, there was a lot of energy. It was beautiful.

Where does your interest for bandoneon come from? Are you interested in it because of the tango nuevo genre and Astor Piazzolla who you perform often, or there are some other reasons?

Definitely my love for this instrument came from listening to Piazzolla’s music. I am playing a lot of Piazzolla’s music, but I would like to play more Italian music, music from someone like Morricone and all the composers who didn’t write for bandoneon and, of course, for those who are yet to write for this instrument. I am going to find more composers who write music for bandoneon, not only Piazzolla. Also, I would like to play all music, not only tango, because bandoneon is an instrument which can play everything.

Audience usually relate to the bandoneon with tango. How much is this instrument getting spread and getting popular in the world and is it used outside of boundaries of genre?

The bandoneon was born in Germany. The people play it in churches. The sound is similar to an organ. But when it arrived in Argentina, people started playing tango with it. This instrument is popular in the world, because of tango and Argentina.

You play with such a passion, while your body moves in a very interesting way. What inspires you to play like this?

Every time when I start to study one piece and play it, I have like a film inside my mind. It’s beautiful to play and look at this film. And about my body, I don’t know (laugh). I know that when I look at a video of myself I don’t like it (laugh again), but my music is fantastic and when I follow this way of playing the results are amazing. It’s normal to dance, to move…

In 2008 you recorded the soundtrack for the movie Caos Calmo. Did this lead you to start exploring film music?

Definitely, and it’s not the only soundtrack. I played a lot of music for film. Of course I like it. Nowadays film music is famous and popular. The film without music is nothing. It’s beautiful to find something nice for bandoneon from film repertoire. In future I would like to continue playing film music because it’s full of emotions. There are a lot of beautiful music from Italian cinema, such as La vita e bella and Seduction by Luis Bacalov from the movie Assassination Tango (2002).

What are you doing when you’re not playing the accordion or bandoneon? What relaxes you and makes you unwind?

When I was child, I liked cycling a lot but I did not want to spend too much time on it I preferred playing the accordion. It became my life. Now I play every day. When I am free I like to watch movies, read a book, play football, ride bicycle, and of course I spend my free time with women because they are my second passion after music. That is true! ( laugh )

What are your aspirations in life?

My dream is to bring my music to the whole world. The people need music, need emotion, passion. I hope to continue traveling every day.

Lazar Jagličić
Student of master academic studies, Course of music in media, Faculty of Philology and Arts, Kragujevac