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Piersanti and Giacchino

Maestro Piersanti and the Oscar-winning Giacchino  win the International Cicognini Prize

The winners of the «Cicognini International Prize», founded and chaired by Maestro Davide Cavuti, have been announced. Following Ennio Morricone, Nicola Piovani, Manuel De Sica, Detto Mariano, Umberto Scipione, and Uto Ughi, in 2021 the prestigious award will go to Franco Piersanti and to American Michael Giacchino. Piersanti is composer of soundtracks for directors Nanni Moretti, Gianni Amelio, Bernardo Bertolucci, nominated nine times for a «David di Donatello» (with three wins) and seven times for «Nastri d'Argento» (two wins). Giacchino was an Oscar winner in 2010 for the music for the film «Up» (and boasts another Oscar nomination in 2009) and the composer of numerous successful soundtracks. The ceremony will be held on July 21 at 6:30 pm, in Rome, at the «Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia». 

The composer Bruno Zambrini will be a special guest. Born in 1935 in Francavilla al Mare, the city where Maestro Cicognini resided until the eighties, Zambrini is the winner of the 2020 «Cicoginini Prize». He is one of the greatest composers of soundtracks and songs that have marked the history of Italian music, having written the music for films by directors such as Neri Parenti, Pierfrancesco Pingitore, Castellano & Pipolo, Christian De Sica, Fausto Brizzi. He also composed the music for songs by Gianni Morandi («In ginocchio da te», «La fisarmonica»), Patty Pravo («La bambola») and for Mina, Domenico Modugno, Andrea Bocelli, Eros Ramazzotti. 

“The Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia is happy to host an award that celebrates those whose music contributes, often definitively, to the success of a film,” said Marta Donzelli, President of the Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. “And we are pleased that this ‘first time’ is in honor of a great Italian maestro like Franco Piersanti, and also that it opens up to international cinema with the Oscar-winning Michael Giacchino.” 

“I thank the winners and the guests for the willingness and enthusiasm they have shown in wanting to participate in the event in homage to the famous Alessandro Cicognini,” said Davide Cavuti, composer and president of the « Cicognini Prize.»  “Special thanks to the president of the Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia di Roma, Marta Donzelli, for having welcomed this initiative, and to all the staff of the CSC for the organizational support.” 

Alessandro Cicognini (born in 1906), symbol of the cinematic music of neorealism and composer of symphonic and lyrical works, has composed over three hundred soundtracks; he was the author of the music of extraordinary cinematic masterpieces, collaborating with directors such as Alessandro Blasetti (The Iron Crown, 4 Steps in the Clouds, First Communion, Too Bad He’s a Rogue), Vittorio De Sica (Sciuscià, Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D., Miracle in Milan, The Last Judgment) and with the greatest directors of his time. 

The celebration includes a second event dedicated to young people, which will be held for schoolchildren in the city of Francavilla al Mare on September 30, 2021. The evening will be hosted by the journalist Mila Cantagallo; the organization is entrusted to the Centro Studi Nazionale Cicognini in collaboration with the L. Chiarini Library of the CSC and with the support of the municipality of Francavilla al Mare.

The  «Centro Ricerche e Studi Nazionale Alessandro Cicognini» was founded by Maestro Davide Cavuti to disseminate the works of the famous soundtrack composer Alessandro Cicognini: in the rediscovery of the illustrious Abruzzese composer, Cavuti has involved many people from the world of cinema including Oscar Winner Luis Bacalov, actors Michele Placido, Sergio Rubini, Ugo Pagliai, Lino Guanciale, Edoardo Siravo, singers Peppe Servillo, Antonella Ruggiero, and musicians Paolo Di Sabatino, Javier Girotto. 

The «Centro Cicognini» has collaborated in recent years on numerous projects including the album «Masterpieces by Alessandro Cicognini» (2014), the publication «Alessandro Cicognini: genius of film music» (2014), the show «Sciuscià and other stories» (2015), the film «A romantic adventure» (2016) inspired by the life of Cicognini, the concert «De Sica/Fellini in music» (2017), the cine-concert «Sole lucente» (2018) with Antonella Ruggiero.

Photos granted by Pietro Nissi and «Centro Studi Cicognini»

Translation by Pallavi Kurakula with Paula Qefaliaj