Isabella Fabbri, an Italian saxophonist with a classical background, is a creative, versatile and experimental musician. She’s active in different musical fields and she performs as a soloist, in orchestra or in small ensembles. She is particularly interested in the development of contemporary music, improvisation with live electronics and performances combining different art forms.
Isabella has performed in some of the most prestigious theaters and concert halls including Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Cité de la Musique et de la Danse in Strasbourg and Flagey in Bruxelles as well as in international festivals including Milano Musica Festival, Venice Biennale, George Enescu Festival in Bucharest, Música Nova Festival in São Paulo and Laberitos Sonoros Festival in Mexico City.
Her solo project “Sounds at an Exhibition” – an interactive and itinerant performance designed for museums of modern and contemporary art – was presented during the 17th World Saxophone Congress & Festival in Strasbourg. It has been on tour in museums all over the world ever since. This project won the Movin’up Prize 2015 supported by the Italian Ministry of Culture.
She has won many national and international competitions and she has played as a soloist with several Italian orchestras: Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico di Vicenza, Orchestra dell’Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna, Orchestra della Magna Grecia, etc. She has premiered over 20 new compositions written for saxophone. Her cd “Scelsi Bach” with the bass clarinetist Rocco Parisi is produced by Digressione Music in collaboration with Fondazione Isabella Scelsi.
She has collaborated with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Filarmonica della Scala and with the Orchestra “G. Verdi” in Milan playing with notorious conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Peter Eötvös, Wayne Marshall and Emilio Pomarico. She is also a member of the Dynamis Ensemble under the artistic direction of Javier Torres Maldonado and of the European Contemporary Orchestra conducted by Raoul Lay and Jean-Paul Dessy with whom she has performed at contemporary music Festivals all over Europe collaborating with international composers as Ivan Fedele, Bernard Cavanna, Adrian Iorgulescu.
She is part of the Elise Hall Saxophone Quartet, an ensemble specialized in the original crossover repertoire for saxophone quartet, and of the the Gershwin Quintet, a group focused on the music of the American composer George Gershwin, with whom she recorded the album “A Staiway to Paradise”, produced by Digressione Music. Recently she started a collaboration with the multi-instrumentalist Damiano Della Torre (DEI), with whom she composes pieces for voices, acoustic and electronic instruments on a loop.
She is president and founder of CrossingArts, a cultural association that promotes contemporary arts and organize events merging arts with cultural, educational and social purposes.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance she got a master’s degree in chamber music cum laude at the Conservatory of Ferrara, her hometown. Isabella then received her master’s degree cum laude from the Conservatory of Milan, specializing in contemporary music with Mario Marzi. She continued her studies with Philippe Geiss, incorporating musical improvisation and electroacoustic creation, at the Conservatory of Strasbourg, where she got her specialization diploma. In addition to this, she attended to several masterclasses with international artists, such as Claude Delangle, Vincent David, Jean-Denis Michat and Jean-Marie Londeix. She graduated cum laude in musicology at the University of Pavia whilst also specializing in music cognition – neuroscience, psychology and pedagogy of music – at the Teatro alla Scala Academy in Milan. She is now pursuing a PhD in performing arts at the University of Lisbon.