Meet the Artists: Mikeleiz-Zucchi Duo

Mikeliez Zucchi Duo

In this new series, we’re meeting the 2022 CMF Artists and getting to know a little bit about them as musicians and find out what they get up to away from music.

The Mikeleiz-Zucchi Duo is a London–based ensemble formed by Canadian saxophonist David Zucchi and Spanish accordionist Iñigo Mikeleiz-Berrade. Graduates of the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, the duo was formed in the spirit of mutual curiosity and open-mindedness.

How long have you been playing your instruments for?

Iñigo Mikeleiz: 21 years – I started playing accordion when I was 7 years old.

David Zucchi: I’ve played saxophone since I was 12 years old, but started piano when I was 6 or 7, and guitar a few years later. Tried violin and failed!

What is the best thing about being a musician?

IM: Having your passion as a way of living.

DZ: Getting to work with amazing people, interacting with audiences from all walks of life. That and travelling outside of rush hour and being able to do my shopping during the day.

Can you tell us a little bit about the kind of music you play?

Both: All genres – classical, improvised music, contemporary and avant-garde, folk music – we’re very open minded! We played with a Pogues cover band the same week we performed at Wigmore Hall for the first time.

Favourite composer?

IM: Not sure, but probably JS Bach.

DZ: No idea, changes too often! I hope I haven’t found my favourite composer yet.

Biggest inspiration?

IM: My teachers at the Conservatoire in Pamplona.

DZ: Too many to count. I draw a lot of inspiration from the people I collaborate with, but there are so many teachers and artists who have had an enormous impact on what I do, in ways that I probably don’t even understand yet.

What are you most looking forward to about being a CMF Artist?

Both: Developing a clearer idea of our artistic identity as an ensemble, and working with other talented musicians and the CMF team.

Best concert you’ve ever been to?

IM: Vienna Philharmonic with Semyon Bychkov at the BBC Proms in 2015. Or Calle 13 in Pamplona in 2014.

DZ: Colin Carr with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performing Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto in 2010; it made a huge impact on me. I also saw Wayne Shorter and his quartet play at Massey Hall a few years before that which totally blew my mind.

Which tracks would you take to your desert island?

IM: Fairytale of New York by the Pogues, or Astor Piazzolla’s performance of Oblivion. Also – Me gustaríadarte el mar – Joaquín Carbonell and Txoria Txori – Mikel Lanka (Spanish and Basque singer songwriters)

DZ: The Moon by The Microphones, Grace by Jeff Buckley, Hejira by Joni Mitchell, Miles Runs the Voodoo Down from Bitches Brew (Miles Davis).

What do you do in your down time?

IM: Mountaineering in the Pyrenees

DZ: Read, aimless walks, listen to music.

Which TV shows are you binging at the moment?

IM: House of the Dragon, Rings of Power

DZ: Don’t really watch TV these days but I will always watch The Simpsons if it’s on.

If you were only allowed to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

IM: Cheese and potato omelette (tortilla de patata) – quite addicted to it!

DZ: Charcuterie board

You can catch Mikeleiz-Zucchi Duo in our brand new concert series, on Wednesday 12th July 2023 at Pewterers’ Hall.


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