PhD in the Arts

Marco Mantovani' doctoral research focuses on six piano pieces by Robert Schumann composed between 1836 and 1838 (i.e., Fantasie op. 17, Fantasiestucke op. 12, Davidsbundlertanze op. 6, Novelletten op. 21, Kinderszenen op. 15, Kreisleriana op. 16), a period that was arguably one of the turning points in his personal and artistic life. Many of Schumann’s most important piano works and some of the most illuminating examples of his extraordinary compositional process and his formal and structural innovations date from this period. These breakthroughs and the originality of Schumann’s poetics are often insufficiently understood in the contemporary interpretation of his works, especially the balance between freedom and constraints in terms of time and structure.

This research aims to approach Schumann’s works from perspective of the performing artist. In doing so, theoretical aspects and historical context will be considered as well as the study of how these compositions were inspired by the style and psychology of writers such as E.T.A. Hoffmann and Jean Paul Richter. The researcher will also seek to fathom the composer’s deepest thoughts from his own artistic practice and understanding, nourished not only by the extensive study of Schumann’s models, both musical and literary, but also by the frequentation with those 20th Century and contemporary literary, philosophical and musical trends firmly rooted in the same tradition. The research will culminate in the performance and recording of these compositions.

Aes Duo

Aes Duo is composed of Emanuele Mammarella and Marco Mantovani, two young Italian musicians formed at “Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel”.

The Duo was born in 2019 to represent the Brussels Royal Conservatory in the  “International chamber music festival HARMOS” in Portugal.  Since then, they have been regularly performing in venues such as BOZAR, Grande salle du Conservatoire, MIM (Brussel’s Musical Instrument Museum), 30CC/Schouwburg in Leuven, Casa da Música in Porto, and many others.

Their repertoire focuses on German and French Romanticism in connection with 20th Century and Contemporary composers.

Teaching Activity

  • Assistant Professor of Piano at Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel (a.y. 19/20 - 20/21 - 21/22 - 22/23 - 23/24)
  • Accompanist of the clarinet class of Benjamin Dieltjens at Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel (a.y. 2023/2024)
  • Professeur de Piano au Conservatoire de Pantin (Paris) a.y. 2021/2022 - 2022/2023