Stefano Boccacci wins the latest Bob Harding Bursary for Young Conductors

Ay caramba! If any of the players of the Havant Symphony Orchestra possess sombreros they’d better hang on them when the latest Bob Harding Bursary holder arrives from South America.

He is Stefano Boccacci, a young man from Colombia, who already holds a bachelor’s degree in conducting, gained at the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogota.

Stefano won the most prestigious young performers’ prize in Colombia conducting the Orquesta de Cámara Tutta Forza. Stefano also went to the Colegio Italiano Leonardo Da Vinci. He’s studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and also plays piano and guitar. Somewhat surprisingly, Stefano is the proud owner of a Les Paul electric guitar and likes to play jazz with the Nashville Big Band in Bogota. He’s conducted it too. The Band can be found on YouTube.

On the night of the Bursary audition Stefano showed real passion for classical music. He used the time allotted wisely, interacting with the players in a jovial yet business-like way. It’s fair to say the orchestra really warmed to him.

The Bob Harding Bursary scheme gives up-and-coming conductors the chance to stand in front of the orchestra, take charge and arrange a concert.

Each year the candidates have come from far and wide. There have been successful candidates from Singapore, Japan, Germany, Portugal and, of course, the UK. The Havant Symphony Orchestra has helped many an aspiring conductor develop his or her skills and, in several cases, put them on the road to international fame.

It looks like Stefano Boccacci will be good for the Havant Symphony Orchestra and the HSO will be good for him.

Read more about Stefano on the Havant Orchestras website:

Read more about the Bursary here:

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