Gianluca and competition history

Since 1993, the Municipality of Pedara in synergy with spontaneous committee, born to keep Gianluca’s memory alive, organized a music competition for young pianists and violinists called “Gianluca Campochiaro” in memory of Gianluca, a promising young musician of Pedara, who died prematurely.

He was born in Pedara, 20th September 1972. He came from a family of musicians, the grandfather Carmelo was a violinist and the father Carmelo (Ninni) was a pianist, he began studying violin at the age of seven with Maestro Giacomo Caruso ,also a teacher of his next teacher. In fact, at the age of eleven, he entered the prestigious music institute “Vincenzo Bellini” in Catania with Master Vito Imperato, 1st Violin of the Teatro Massimo Vincenzo Bellini’s Orchestra. Gianluca has passed the matriculation exam and studied at the same time at the artistic high school, because he was passionate about art. He died on 26 October 1988 in a car accident. In the competition, since the first editions, the extraordinary strength of the musical message was highlighted, as a vehicle for aggregation and youth participation due to the massive participation that each edition recorded annually and for the growing artistic level of the candidates themselves. These encouraging premises constituted the necessary prerequisites for continuing the journey undertaken, with the purpose of providing a good talent, one’s musical knowledge and more generally one’s life experiences. In fact, the organizers, recognizing the great cultural and musical interest as well as the enthusiastic participation that the initiative has always aroused, to the point of becoming a sure reference in the national music scene, have deliberated the passage of the Competition, from the year 2002, in the “international” category. This change of category also marked the expansion of the music sections that recorded the addition of chamber music, a section that is particularly important for the interchange between the subjects that comes from making music “together”, for which the final competition notice today provides for n. 4 sections (piano, string bowed instruments, piano four hands and chamber music) reserved for young musicians between the ages of 10 and 35, from the most different musical cultures around the world, and represents a unicum for its peculiarities throughout southern Italy. It is superfluous to point out that the opening of the international competition has revealed to be a winning intuition both for the great recorded response and the flattering and encouraging participation of foreigners since the first edition (2002), both for the high artistic level that has marked the various editions, constituting, at the same time, a valid vehicle of tourism promotion for our province and, more generally for our land of Sicily. Also it cannot emphasize, the great prestige and luster conferred to initiative by the presence, in the various editions, of influential musicians and performers of international fame, of distinguished professors, directors of the most renowned Italian and foreign conservatories, and Directors of ‘orchestra, as members of the Judging Commissions which, often free of charge (only reimbursement of expenses), have made their undisputed professionalism available to the Competition, giving it a high artistic level, appreciated by the critics of the sector.

With the 22nd edition of December 2013, the international competition named after Gianluca Campochiaro widens its horizons opening up to the participation of opera singers. In fact, the addition of opera singing has been an intuition cherished for years taking into account that the competition is based on musical instruments we wanted to insert the main instrument of music and natural par excellence: the voice. A further step that testifies to the vitality of an event that is an integral part of the calendar of the most significant artistic events.


The 28th edition determines a radical change. Already at the 27th the competition was hosted in Catania in all its nuances. Bringing with it the co-organization of the Metropolitan City of Catania, the co-financing of the Sicily Region Department of Tourism, Sport and Entertainment and the Chamber of Commerce of Catania, Ragusa Syracuse, Eastern Sicily, the Patronages of the Ministries of Tourism and Infrastructures, of the University of Catania and of the Catania’s Music Conservatory called “Vincenzo Bellini”.

In August 2019 the Association changed its name to a musical association “The City of Bellini for Gianluca Campochiaro” strengthening and stabilizing its structure with the definitive Co-organization of the Metropolitan City of Catania and always with the co-organization of the Region and all the partners previously mentioned. Acquiring new prestigious members including the Vice President Dr. Antonio Pogliese and the Honorary President Maestro Giovanni Cultrera.

“Music can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable.” Leonard Bernstein