Rosie Bergonzi - Trailblazer
Up till the pandemic, Percussionist Rosie enjoyed a vibrant and varied career, from performing with Chineke! at the BBC Proms to a solo set at the Barbican’s Sound Unbound festival. When lockdown occurred, she found herself turning to one particular percussion instrument and its unexplored possibilities.
In Rosie’s own words:
'I'm Rosie Bergonzi. I trained in orchestral percussion but I've been a handpan player for the past six years, after falling in love with this magical instrument hearing it played on a street corner! I think this instrument has so much potential, but it's too often pigeonholed into one style. I hope to increase the profile and scope of the handpan, with the aim of one day seeing it feature regularly in our orchestras and other settings. I’m excited to develop some research exploring the instrument in new contexts. I’ve already created some online resources challenging the handpan to unexpected genres. I can’t wait to continue stretching it further.
Alongside this, I also hope to encourage future generations of handpan players through a new set of resources, showcasing the abilities and possibilities of the instrument, and opening it up to a wider audience. I have been doing this through educational YouTube videos, every week during the pandemic I have released a new tutorial covering the basics of rhythm and other techniques. I’m thrilled to be able to create some etudes for the instrument, stretching beginner players.'
Here’s Rosie introducing a few handpan fundamentals: