Interview by Uriah Young
QFTD: Who is Joseph Rossetti? Tell us about yourself.
Joseph: I am a pianist who loves music of expression. Whether it’s Beethoven, Bach, or Chopin, I just love classical music. I am the son of an opera singer, my mother. I teach students, children and adults, how to play classical piano. I focus on beginner-level, basic theory and technique. I hold a masters degree in music, but my journey started when I was 8-years-old.
QFTD: What has your musical journey been like as a pianist?
Joseph: I was in talent shows throughout school, and I later began playing in churches of all kind. Growing up, I would play library-borrowed sheet music for 20 minutes every day. I developed perfect pitch, which led me to be able to play by ear. What was important for me though was to learn how to sight-read. Sight-reading is when you get a piece of sheet music in front of you and play it with no problems, even though you may have never seen it before. This skill has opened up many opportunities for me.
QFTD: In your music career, what are some performances you’ve done?
Joseph: I’ve played in New York City and Atlantic City, but I have also played in Philadelphia. In 2012, I played with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra at Bryn Mawr College; the piece was by Edvard Grieg. It was a solo piano concerto, where 55 instrumentalists accompanied my playing; it was like a dream come true because it was my favorite concerto. I've also performed twice at West Chester University with their symphony orchestra.
QFTD: What brings you joy as you press the piano keys to create such beautiful music?
Joseph: I love to feel applause from the audience when I play. Yet, because I am an artist who seeks perfection, I am satisfied when I know I did my best. Playing precise music is truly what I am all about. I perform for my parents and my audience, and I indulge––I go into a trance. So I can set the mood of the music, I must get into the head of the composer in an attempt to truly understand how the piece has to be played.
QFTD: What do you mean by that?
Joseph: What I mean is I have to analyze the approach first, before I play. It is up to me to determine if the piece is happy, classical, or romantic. I must understand the era.
I have to put my heart into it. If you don’t have the passion, you should not be performing.
QFTD: Who are some of your musical influences?
Joseph: Wow. So many. I will start with Chopin because he helped me see my true self. I’d have to say Beethoven influenced me because of his unpredictability. He was a true genius, breaking all the rules with his sonatas, the first 16 being in classical form. As a young boy, Bach influenced me when my mother used to give me exercises, preludes to play. Mozart I must mention because of his finesse. In his time, during the Baroque Era, there was no forte piano. The keys were lighter, making it a challenge for someone like Mozart to play.
QFTD: What is your goal as an artist?
Joseph: I would like to perform all over the world. I’d also like to perform as part of the Philadelphia Orchestra some day. Right now, I am trying hard to get myself out there to display my talent. I’d also like to expand my music training business, increasing my roster to about 20 or 25 students. Lastly, I’d start a trio ensemble in the future. It would consist of a violinist, cellist, and me, as the pianist.
QFTD: What advice would you give people who aren’t sure about what direction to take in music?
Joseph: I’d start with a quote: “Devotion of thought to an honest achievement can make achievement possible. There is no excellence without labor.” If someone has a dream, follow your dream. You cannot be miserable doing things you don’t like doing. Everybody’s different, but you have to do what you love to do. Even though people have tried to discourage me, I still followed my dream. If you think about it, we have no excuse. You must achieve what you can with what you have.
To see more from Joseph Rossetti, click below. www.josephrossetti.com