Leader of the Italian branch of the National Youth Network of the European Cultural Parliament, Associate Director at IMG Artists, violinist, he’s not even 30, but Paolo Petrocelli already has so many titles that to list them all would probably crash our website.

What unites these roles is a passion for music and a profound belief in the capacity of youth to determine the future direction of Italian culture, “us young people must trigger the start of a renewal process, which starts from below, through what we all realize in our daily work and society.” In our conversation it became clear that with people like Paolo leading the way Italian art and design will continue to represent “one of the most important cultural landmarks for the whole world.”

Be sure to listen to the playlist chosen by Paolo – you’ll find it at the end of the page.


Paolo Petrocelli


When did you first discover your talent for music and realize this passion could become your career?

Music has played a central role in my education and has deeply influenced my personal development. I began playing the violin when I was nine  and I became a student at the Conservatory of Music  “Santa Cecilia” of Rome  when I was thirteen.

Growing up, however, I felt the need to support my abilities as a performer with a wide knowledge of  the history and aesthetics  of music and this was something that the  Conservatory couldn’t provide. It was with this in mind that I decided to study musicology at the University of Rome La Sapienza. In the Music Department I had the fortune of knowing  Professor Philip Gossett who encouraged me to follow my musicological exploration and continue my academic career with determination.

Gradually, my professional objectives became clearer, I wanted to have a career in the field of music management and organization.


The violinist Paolo Petrocelli


As a musician, what puts you in a creative mindset?

Victor Hugo said that “music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” 

Music is creativity in motion. Music is emotion projected in sound. In most of the cases, musicians develop a peculiar sensibility.  In time it’s fundamental to learn how to better control your feelings. Of course that’s true for everyone, but especially for musicians and artists!

You often work with young people through projects such as the UNESCO Italian Youth Commision. What would you say to those who want to pursue a career in music?

I always tell my peers they should  find their own way with great honesty and dignity, courage and creativity. Once you find it you have to work with the highest commitment, head-on. Follow your passions and dreams with awareness. That’s our time.

Tell us about the National Youth Network of the European Cultural Parliament…

The ECP Youth Network is a network of cultural practitioners between the ages of 20 and 35 based in Europe. It is a branch of the European Cultural Parliament and created within its framework. The founders and members of the YN are united by a common interest in boosting the value of arts and culture and strengthening European cohesion. 


Aside from your passport what makes you an Italian? Do you have any specifically Italian habits? Is there anything Italian that you need to have no matter where you’re living?

My life is the way it is because of my nationality. My identity, my values, my tastes, my attitude are rooted in our distinctive heritage and I’m proud of it.


Petrocelli Paolo


Paolo’s Playlist

Edward Elgar – Sospiri, Op.70

Antonio Carlos Jobim -Insensatez

Frank SinatraI’ve Got You Under My Skin

William Walton – Symphony No. 1

Jimi HendrixAll Along The Watchtower

John Coltrane Blue Train

Pink Floyd  – The Great Gig in the Sky

Maurice Ravel – Miroirs

Jefferson AirplaneSomebody to Love

Vinegar Socks - Chimney Sweeper