Rebecca Tansley

The Concerto

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My film The Concerto follows one man's journey with Rachmaninoff's famous Piano Concerto No.2.

Italian-born New Zealander Flavio Villani is preparing for a performance that will vindicate his decision to walk away from a promising career in IT to follow his passion for the piano.

This film tells the story of his struggle to be accepted both by his family and as a musician - and the redemption that comes with following your dream and being free to be yourself.

It follows Flavio's physical and mental preparation in Auckland as he grapples daily with Rachmaninoff's difficult work.

It explores the single-minded commitment necessary to become a concert pianist, the pressures on such performers and the place of music in all our lives.

It reveals the emotional journey Flavio takes through Rachmaninoff's work as he struggles with self-doubt and the doubts of others.

With your help it will travel to Italy to meet the family who once discouraged their son from a life in music and ask whether they regret their earlier urging to follow a more conventional path.

Finally it will capture the big night itself - the spectacular and moving moments of "the Rach 2" performed with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Calabria.

Please help me tell a story that celebrates the beauty of music and the bravery of those who choose to bring it to us.

How you can help

I am raising funds to meet the cost of taking a small crew to Italy with Flavio to meet his family, document the final days of his preparation and record the performance live in the historic town of Lamezia Terme, Calabria.

All contributors will be acknowledged in the film credits and in New Zealand are 33% tax deductible (and if for any reason we don't reach our target all funds will be returned to donors).

And we'll keep you updated on our journey with Flavio along the way.

About Flavio

Flavio Villani grew up near the town of Salerno in southern Italy. The son of a general in the Italian army, he was encouraged to learn skills that would enable him to lead a practical life rather than a career in the arts.

Flavio learned to play piano on a keyboard, only getting a real piano at home at the age of 16. When his family struggled to come to terms with his sexuality he left home for Spain where he was free to be himself but lived without music.

Flavio emigrated to New Zealand in 2008 where he later began studying Piano Performance at the University of Auckland under Stephen de Pledge. In 2011 he was selected by Creative New Zealand to play Michael Parekowhai's magnificent carved Steinway piano at the Venice Biennale.

Flavio graduated with an Honours Degree in Performance and Pedagogy in 2011 and a Masters degree with First Class Honours in 2013. He established the St Heliers Music Centre where he still teaches the piano and organises concerts for the community to enjoy.




  • New fundraising campaign for The Concerto


    As our original project did not reach its target we have launched a new, short term campaign which can be found at:

  • Auckland opportunity to hear Flavio play Rachmaninoff


    Exciting news! Flavio will perform the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2 with Stephen de Pledge on second piano in Auckland on Wednesday 10 December.

    It's an ideal opportunity for you to hear this wonderful concerto shortly before Flavio leaves for Italy – and The Concerto crew will be there to film it too.

    We'd like to use this opportunity to thank our 'Boosters' in person so please join us from 6pm for a pre-concert drink.

    Auckland opportunity to hear Flavio play Rachmaninoff
  • news from The Concerto


    Thanks to all those contributors who are already helping bring this project to life. First and foremost it's an arts project and the support people have given proves an ongoing passion for the arts and music in our lives.

    Our project continues with tge latest shoot (Sat 15 November) that included some time lapse of Flavio teaching. Earlier in the week we also did a test recording using the famous Soundfield microphone (the same used in Abbey Road studios) courtesy of the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.

    We'll keep you updated as the project evolves but you can also keep up with the latest news in our production diary at 


    news from The Concerto

Other Projects by Rebecca Tansley

Image for The Concerto - reprise

Rebecca Tansley

A feature documentary film about one man’s journey with Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2. Part personal odyssey, part exploration of the place of art in all our lives, it celebrates the beauty of music and the bravery of those who choose to bring it to us.