Alfonso Piacentini has been appointed conductor of Lincoln Sudbury Civic Orchestra, a community orchestra resident at the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Piacentini, a charismatic, young conductor and percussionist, graduated from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a Master of Music in conducting in May, 2022. He also serves under Benjamin Zander as an Assistant Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and its youth orchestra.
Growing up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Piacentini’s mother signed him up for drum lessons at a young age as a place to channel some of his abundant energy. That, combined with the influence of his grandfather’s love of classical music started him on his musical journey. He recalls spending hours with his grandfather listening to the Carnegie Library of Classical Music, a set of LPs, and sharing in his love for the music and the personalities of the conductors.
As an adolescent, heavy metal drummers influenced Piacentini’s rock band playing. However, over time, and with help from some strong mentors, he found his talent and interest in classical music. He attended a specialized music school in junior high and in tenth grade entered the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music.
Piacentini continued his studies in orchestral percussion as an undergraduate at the Conservatory school where, during his junior and senior years, he discovered his love of conducting. The conductor of the school’s concert band, who was also the Associate Conductor of the Puerto Rico Symphony, was looking for an apprentice. Piacentini started taking his classes, increasing his passion for conducting and building a strong relationship with his mentor. Over the summer, he bought scores and parts to two pieces he wanted to conduct and meticulously studied them. Back at university the next semester, he led the concert band in one of the pieces and got the apprenticeship. “I was so nervous the first time I conducted in a concert,” Alfonso recalled, “I forgot to bring out my score and baton when I came on stage!”
Upon completion of his studies at the Conservatory in Puerto Rico, Piacentini moved to New York City and spent a year as a server in a fine dining restaurant. Living his life without playing and conducting became unbearable. He knew he was destined to make classical music his career. He has since discovered, thanks to one of his mentors, “Once you fully devote yourself, focus on it and commit, things start happening.”
And happen they did: Piacentini entered the Boston Conservatory as a graduate conducting student, and immediately began as musical assistant to Benjamin Zander at the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. After completing his masters at the Boston Conservatory in May, Piacentini applied for the opportunity to conduct the Lincoln Sudbury Civic Orchestra. “I’m excited to be leading a group that comes together for the fun of making music,” said Alfonso. “When we get things right, nail a passage, we know we have sculpted it into a beautiful thing.”
Managing Director William Nicholson is excited to have Piacentini at the podium: “When I first spoke to Alfonso, I knew he’d be a great fit. His high level of energy and his dedication to the music are a perfect combination for the community orchestra. After just a few rehearsals, it’s clear we made the right choice.”
Founded in 1973 as a community orchestra for high school musicians to work with adult musicians of Lincoln and Sudbury, LSCO begins its 50th year in operation. The orchestra has two concerts planned for their 50th anniversary year featuring works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Mozart. The group is always looking for new players. Interested amateur musicians are welcome to join the orchestra for an open rehearsal on Oct. 25 at 7:30 at the Lincoln Sudbury High School, located at 390 Lincoln Rd, Sudbury MA. For more information and to join LSCO for the open rehearsal, visit https://lscivicorchestra.org or email email@example.com.