Giovanni Allevi is a 41-year-old pianist and composer from Ascoli Piceno in the Marche region in Central Italy.
On Saturday 10 July, he gave an outdoor concert at Scaligeri Castle in Villafranca (Verona).
He came on stage in a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers, with his signature mop of curly hair bouncing in all directions.
There was just Allevi and a rather gorgeous grand piano on stage.
The program began with some classical numbers: Bach, Liszt, Wagner and Chopin (whose nocturnes I often play – on my stereo – to drown out the racket that our neighbours make).
Once he had dazzled us with his considerable mastery of his favourite classics, Allevi performed some of his own works. They were diverse, accomplished and a pleasure to listen to.
Planes flew overhead while Allevi played (Villafranca boasts an airport). Other noises from beyond the castle walls mingled with the piano music. It was an agreeable effect and Allevi did not appear to be distracted.
Between each piece of music, the softly spoken pianist talked briefly about the composition he was about to perform. His manner was unassuming and slightly awkward but endearing all the same.
The almost-sold out concert lasted for about an hour and a half which was just about perfect. It was warm in the castle grounds but not suffocating.
We bought the cheapest tickets (20 euros) in the unnumbered seats section. We got there early and so grabbed the seats in the front row of the back section. This meant we had leg room and we weren’t in close contact with the back of anyone’s head.
It was a very enjoyable summer concert.