The President

Guido Bizzi

Guido Bizzi, presidente dell’Accademia Europea Villa Bossi

Guido Bizzi

Born in Vercelli in 1940, he lives and works with his family in Bodio (Varese). Married with Luisa Visinoni, they have two sons, Vittorio and Lorenzo.

1954/1959 – Liceo Scientifico of Vercelli. In these years he attends the painting Studio of a renowned artist, Francesco Rinone, pupil of Felice Casorati. He enters the swimming team of C.S FIAT of Torino and gains for 4 consecutive years the Italian Club Championship.

1966 – He graduates at Politecnico of Torino in Ingegneria Meccanica. During the University he starts his first fundamental musical experiences.

1966/1968 – He enters the Military Service and becomes Lieutenant in the Genio of Rome, then, Rovereto and Torino.

1968/1970 – He is assistant to the director of the international customers’ service at the CEAT Pneumatici, a major tyre company. He travels in all European and Balkan Countries and in the Middle East. He improves the knowledge of foreign languages: English, French, German and Spanish that he speaks fluently. During his travelling he gets acquainted with some important instrument makers and other personalities in the world of musical instruments: Among them, Guenther Koerber in Berlin and Friederich von Huene in Boston

1971/1975 – Marketing Director of an Italian-American company, GCR Corporation, steel cables and engineering; 1.000 employees in Italy. He travels all over the world and particularly in the USA. This journeys help expanding his knowledge in the music world.

1975/1979 – Becomes share-holder of OZ – CAMS SPA where he designs and develops an innovative system in the field of steel wire drawing equipments. These machines will establish themselves in a leading position in the international market. He sells these plants in several Countries, including China, already in 1980.

1979/1982 – He becomes executive vice president of the financial company COFIMAC S.P.A which controls a few other companies, including OZ – CAMS and OFFICINE MECCANICHE DI LESMO.

1983 – Important change in his life. Together with his friend and co-founder of OZ-CAMS, he decides to sell his company shares and dedicate his full time to the artistic and cultural activities in which he has been committed all along.

Musical activities

1960/1970 – He enters the Corale Universitaria di Torino, with Roberto Goitre conductor, and performs his first concerts as singer in the choir.
He practices chamber singing with Chiarina Fino Savio (she was 83 years old) whom the writer F. Confalonieri identified as the the greatest Cantatrice of the century. This strong relationship lasts till her death in 1969. He founds with M. Uberti the CAMERATA POLIFONICA DI TORINO, composed with 6 singers “a cappella” which later acquires the first harpsichord ever seen in Torino. The Camerata performs regularly and is assigned with one of the most beautiful baroque chapels in town.

1967 – He carries out research on the historical popular songs of Piedmont (transcription of Leone Sinigaglia), which he performs in concerts and are recorded in a long-play record for FONIT – CETRA (Trio Sinigaglia: G. Bizzi, M. Granata, A. Ternengo, with G. Camarca guitar ).

1970/1980 – He moves to Milan, due to professional growth and starts a new musical adventure. He establishes with 4 friends the Studio di Musica Antica. This ensemble performs with about 60 different medieval, renaissance and baroque instruments. Many of them being built on its own.
The Studio di Musica Antica proposes a new musical show where the performers alternate the use of instruments which were unknown in Italy in those days, like Crumhorns, Shawms, Rauschpfeifs, Ribecs, Hurdy-gurdy and many others, in a lively, unconventional atmosphere of improvisation and dialogue with the audience.

1977/1979 – He attends the singing courses of lieder music at the Milan Conservatory with Petre Munteanu.

1979 – He decides to conclude his performing career with tour of concerts in Japan, Tokyo and Kyoto, organized by the town of Milan together with the Italian Embassy.

1978/80 – He designs and organizes for the town of Milan the Corsi di Liuteria (Courses for instrument making) which have become 4 years later the School of Liuteria of the town of Milan.

1980/1987 – He organizes for the town of Milan, with the sponsorship of a few large private companies a great number of musical initiatives, courses, meetins and other cultural operations. Among them, l’Estate Musicale di Premeno, l’Accademia di Canto di Milano, Musica, Macchine…Magia, le Stagioni di Concerti a S. Maria delle Grazie. Beyond them, he designs exhibitions in cooperation with the Museum of the Teatro alla Scala. He publishes with L. Girodo and F. Odling the book “Musica e Scienza”.

1988/1989 – He designs a travelling show for the town of Milan, “Musica in Viaggio”, an exhibition of ancient instruments which has been in tour through historical buildings in Milano for two years. He publishes the book “Musica in Viaggio” which has been adopted by several teacher of musical education in the schools.

1989/1991 – He plans and realizes for the Museum of Teatro alla Scala of Milano the first systematic restoration work on a complete musical instruments collection ever made in Italy. He writes and publishes the catalogue: “Gli strumenti musicali del Museo Teatrale alla Scala”. The project is financed by the Chamber of Commerce of Milano and Zurigo Assicurazioni Group.

1992 – He organizes a similar (but smaller) intervention in Venice: “Nuove Antiche Note”, the restoration of the musical instruments collection of the Vivaldi instruments in the Museo Correr of Venice.

1992/1998 – He works regularly with the Provincia Autonoma of Bolzano through the Music Institute of the town and organizes a great number of exhibitions and concerts. With this opportunity he creates an innovative teaching programme, designed for primary and middle schools based on telling stories with the use of musical instruments.

1996 – He establishes “BIZZI – Historical Keyboards Instruments” which acquires in few years a leading position in the world among the most renowned international builders. BIZZI starts collecting prestigious customers, like the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mozarteum, among others. BIZZI harpsichords are regularly played by great artists, like Ton Koopman, Trevor Pinnock, Pierre Hantai, Gustav Leonhardt, and others.

BIZZI work is inspired to the model of the great masters of the past and succeeds in combining good quality, high productivity together with very competitive prices.
Today BIZZI can be considered leader in this branch of activity and is the only builder who has reached an output of about 60 instrument per year. In fact, in the first 10 years since 1996, BIZZI has delivered over 600 harpsichords to 44 Countries, in the 5 continents.

2007 – The year 2007 is a turning point in the activity of BIZZI, both in business and family life. In fact the family acquires the historical Villa Bossi at Bodio on the Varese lake.
The new structure becomes the place where new larger projects seem to become achievable, like the expansion of the production of historical keyboard instruments and especially and the new area of fortepianos and clavichords.

2010 – BIZZI organizes a new line of products, the FORTEPIANO, starting with the copy of the Anton Walter belonging to the Giulini Collection which is considered one of the most beautiful among the existing ones. BIZZI starts the construction of a modern fortepiano enterprise, based on the manufacturing principles of the Viennese Fortepiano Fabrik of the early XIX century.

2011 – He designs a new important project the ACCADEMIA EUROPEA VILLA BOSSI, an innovative project, especially meant for the promotion of musicians and music for historical instruments. The final goal is to offer performers of the new generation the possibility to grow and enter the world of the historical instruments and concerts.

A few concert reviews

From the press ( 1964 – 1969 ) – Period of Torino. The Camerata is a vocal sextet.

– Massimo Mila ( La Stampa ): “…The Camerata Polifonica di Torino has acquired a great authority in the voices and singing and that grit and determination which was the only thing a little weak on their first performances. For all the rest, style, fusion and elegance were just very good at the beginning and now even better…”

Massimo Bruni ( La Gazzetta del Popolo ): “…An art experience which requires a high intellectual gift and spirit. A very joyful evening, followed by a magnificent audience who has applauded with great enthusiasm the performers…”, “…an evening of great interest very much applauded to the honour of the nice and highly talented artists…”

– Ennio Bassi ( L’Unità ): “…they have offered us, thanks to their extraordinary interpretation and the virtues that we have very often praised in the past, amazingly live pieces of music …” “…they even succeed in exciting the public to an extraordinary extent …”

– Leo Pestelli ( La Stampa ): “…the applauses and the overcrowded concert hall have been the best prove of their skill and the joy they have been able to give us…”

From the press critiques ( 1974 – 1977 ) – Period of Milano: five performers, with 50/60 ancient instruments, one of them singer (Bizzi).

– Mario Pasi ( Corriere della Sera ): “…the recorders, the crumhorns, the shawms, the stringed instruments; drums and keyboards enable the eclectic and skilled artists a large range of combinations…the result is to induce a spontaneous dialogue with the public, to play a very live music and raise great curiosity. At the end of the concert several encores and it may occur that someone (Note: Mario Pasi the reviewer himself) joins the Studio to improvise an animated musical happening…”

– Lorenzo Arruga ( Il Giorno ): “…a great performance with the ancient time music… Four young artists, extremely skilled…they have read all treatises, made studies, transcriptions and research on manuscripts…they are the most rigorous representatives of that way of interpreting ancient music of our days…
Those who want to understands what is happening in the taste of the new generations, who want to understand who we are and where our civilization is going, discovering ourselves in our own past time, let them have a look at the Verdi Theatre, have fun and think it over…”

– La Repubblica: “…The fact that an early music ensemble playing medieval and renaissance music repeats the show 11 times is something absolutely extraordinary and never seen before. It is a good sign for the future…the guarantee and the background of the correct stile and interpretation is given by an accurate research about the historical performing practice …”

– Re. G. (L’Unità ): “…here we see our musicians-clowns having a great success, especially among the joungsters, in the show at the Verdi Theatre.
Extraordinary performers, exceptional virtuosi, they approach these pieces of music, often quite difficult to play, as real jugglers on several different instruments and get to establish with the public an enjoyable dialogue.

– C. Maria Cella ( La Notte ): “…Don’t miss this concert ! Anyone who loves music or even only the appeal of a musical show, should absolutely not loose the opportunity to attend the concert given by the Studio di Musica Antica at the Verdi Theatre of Milano. …The Wonderful Fives play and sing saltarelli, ballades and songs…And at the end to make everybody happy… an encore of Stockhausen ..”

– Elsa Airoldi ( Il Giornale ): “…A simple, elegant formula addressed to new horizons. The evening has gone through dances and songs with increasing success.