Valentina Vargiu - piano
Ghenadie Rotari - accordion
The “Duo Aspera” was founded at the beginning of 2013 at the initiative of two young
musicians, Valentina Vargiu (*1992) and Ghenadie Rotari (*1991), both students, at the time, ofthe Conservatory “Giuseppe Tartini” of Trieste, Italy. The duo’s rich concert activity has taken them to perform in concerts across Europe, the United States of America, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Japan, South Korea and China, debuting at the Berliner Philharmonie, at the Carnegie Hall in New York, Kioi Concert Hall in Tokyo, the Guri Arts Center in Seoul and others.
The duo has performed for numerous Italian concert seasons, such as the “Festival di
Portogruaro”, the festival “Nei suoni dei luoghi”, the association "Chamber Music", the concert series “Hausmusik” organized by the Association Wunderkammer of Trieste, the concert season of the “Associazione Mozart Italia (AMI-TS)”, "Aperitivi in musica" at the Auditorium of the International Chamber Music Academy in Duino, “I concerti al Palazzo” in Sacile (2013), “Insieme per…la musica” in Lignano-Sabbiadoro, the “Percorsi cameristici” concerts of the S. Gandino Society of Porcia, at the Salone del Parlamento in Udine for the Association “Progetto musica”, at the Luigi Garzoni Theatre for the “Amici della musica di Tricesimo”, at the Piccola Fenice of Trieste and others.
The duo has performed in concerts at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, Slovenia, was
one of the special guests at the 20th Anniversary Celebration concert of the Music Academy of Pula, Croatia. As a part of the international cultural exchange program “Trieste-Praga”, “Duo Aspera” has performed at the Conservatory of Prague, Czech Republic, and at the Music Academy of Gorizia, Italy, in April 2015.
Winner of numerous prizes at international music competitions, in July 2015 the duo has won the Sony Classical Talent Scout and was invited to perform at the Madesimo Music Festival. The duo has been awarded the second prizes at the competitions “Strumenti & Musica festival” of Spoleto, “Città di Treviso”, “Svirel” of Stanjel, “Città di Piove di Sacco” and “Okud Istra” of Pola, Croazia, “Duo Aspera” has also received a special prize awarded to the “most promising chamber music group” of the “Svirel” music competition, consisting of a recital included in the concert season of the “Amici della musica di Capodistria”. The duo was selected as one of the winners of the “IBLA Grand Prize” competition in Italy and was invited to take part in two concert tours abroad.
The duo is working on enriching the existing repertoire for piano and accordion both by means of transcribing works written for other instrumentation and by collaborating with young contemporary music composers, often performing world premieres of works dedicated to the duo itself. In 2014 “Duo Aspera” has premiered the work “Moldavian Rock” written by the Finnish composer Petri Makkonen. Other collaborations with composers include G. C. Taccani, G. Santini, R. De Cia, G. Vanoni and many others.
In February 2014 “Duo Aspera” has performed in a concert for the Italian National
Television RAI (Trieste) which was recorded and put On Air in the same year. Other radio recordings include RTV Slovenia, Radio Capodistria, Radio Classica Milano, Radio 3 Belgrade and Venice Classic Radio.
The duo studied at the International Chamber Music Academy in Duino with the world
renowned Trio di Parma (Ivan Rabaglia, Enrico Bronzi and Alberto Miodini)
Repertoire of "Duo Aspera":
“Sulla soglia” by R. De Cia (9’) world premiere
“Ex Post” by G. Colombo Taccani (6’) to be premiered
“Ephemeroptera: a short and intense existence” by G. Santini (7’) to be premiered
“Prelude, Fugue and Variations” by C. Franck (10’)
“On an overgrown Path” by L. Janacek (arr. S. Heucke) (30’)
“Moldavian Rock” by P. Makkonen (6’) written for and world premiere by Duo Aspera
"Moldavian Rhapsody" by P. Makkonen (6') for piano, accordioni and string orchestra
“Fantasia in f minor fuer eine Orgelwalze K. 608” by W. A. Mozart – F. Busoni (10’)
"Por una cabeza" by C. Gardel (3')
“Adios Nonino” by A. Piazzolla (10’)
“Violentango” by A. Piazzolla (4’)
“Cuatro Estaciones Portenas” by A. Piazzolla (25’)
"Libertango" by A. Piazzolla (4')
"Muerte del Angel" by A. Piazzolla (4')
“Marilina” by H. Valpola (10’)