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Valentina was born in Pietrasanta, Lucca, (Italy) of a German mother and Italian father. Initially a pianist, she started to study double bass with Gabriele Ragghianti in late 2009, graduating with Honours from the “Istituto Musicale L. Boccherini” in Lucca in October 2014. Valentina also focused her attention on composition, graduating in March 2014 with Honours. She then gained her Master of Performance (Honours) at the Royal College of Music in July 2016.

Valentina has won several awards and prizes such as the “Riviera of Versilia” competition and the “Fortunato Magi” double bass scholarship, both in 2014. She was a finalist in important national and international competitions such as the Migliori Diplomati D’Italia (best young Italian music graduate) 2015 and Galicia Garcia Graves Double Bass International Competition. She won the RCM Double Bass Competition 2016, the Vernon Elliot Double Bass Competition 2018 and the Vivian Joseph Classical Concerto Competition 2018 (String Category). In 2017, along with 16 double bass players from around the world, she was selected to perform in the live final rounds at the worldwide double bass solo competition granted by the Bradetich Foundation in Denton, Texas. She won the prestigious De Simone and partners young artist award in the Rome Chamber Music Festival 2018, gaining and a place in the Accademia Chigiana for summer 2018 with Maestro Giuseppe Ettorre.

Valentina successfully auditioned for the Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester 2015, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Experience Scheme 2015/16, Gustav Mahler Academy 2016, BBC Symphony Orchestra training scheme and the Gran Teatro Giacomo Puccini Torre del Lago Orchestra.

Between 2013 and 2016 Valentina played, mainly as principal or co-principal, with several orchestras, including the Northern Youth Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Primavera, Camerata Strumentale Citta di Prato, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Arché Orchestra, RCM Symphony Orchestra.

Valentina also has wide experience in solo performance. She has performed as soloist at Wigmore Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields, and performed works by Dragonetti and Bottesini with “I Solisti Veneti” with Maestro Claudio Scimone.

Her wide jazz experience includes playing with artists such as Aldo Bassi, Francisco Mela, David Liebman, and taking part in festivals such as the Dusseldorf Jazz Marathon, Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival and Tuscia Jazz.

Recently, Valentina was invited to play in the Zappanale 2017 with her vibraphone and double bass duo “The Untouchables”. She was invited back for the opening of the Zappanale 2018 in St. Katharinen Kirche, Hamburg with her trio featuring the saxophone virtuoso Napoleon Marphy Brock.

Currently, Valentina lives and works in London. She and is the Carne Trust Junior Fellow at Trinity Laban for the academic year 2018/19. She has also won a scholarship from the Associazione Animando in Lucca for a research project investigating the music of Giacomo Puccini’s ancestors.

Most of Valentina’s time is spent studying, working as solo performer and pursuing personal music projects such her Double Bass and Violin Duo with Rebecca Raimondi, her “The Untouchables” duo with percussionist Benjamin Boo, her double bass and harp duo “The Girls in the Magnesium Dress” with Anna Quiroga, The Polianilich Trio (double bass, marimba and bassoon) focusing on the music of Giacomo Puccini, and a duo with pianist Irina Lyakhovskaya, with whom she concentrates on the double bass solo repertoire, standard and contemporary, enriched with a selection of original compositions and transcriptions.

Valentina also works as a composer and arranger, and is focused on expanding the double bass solo repertoire by composing, transcribing (mostly Frank Zappa) and playing new composition written for her from many contemporary composers. Her work for double bass and piano, “E soffitto e pareti…a Journey in the Madama Butterfly Opera”, was premiered at the PRAGUE BASS Festival 2016 by her former teacher Gabriele Ragghianti.

Frank Zappa - Cletus Awreetus Awrightus

performed by Valentina Ciardelli and Benjamin Boo