Assomusica’s Vincenzo Spera tragically passes
Vincenzo Spera, president of Italy’s live music association Assomusica and founder of event management company Duemilagrandieventi, has tragically passed away aged 70.
The Salvitelle-born exec was hit by a scooter on the evening of 13 March in Corso Magenta, Genoa, a few meters from his home. He was reportedly taken to San Martino hospital where he passed away at around 1 am.
Spera founded Duemilagrandieventi in 1974 and went on to work with a whole host of international artists, from Miles Davis to Bob Dylan, as well as household Italian entertainers such as Beppe Grillo to Fabrizio De André.
Since 2012, he has held the role of president of the Association of Italian Organisers and Producers of Live Music Shows, representing the majority of live music companies in Italy.
Spera was also a member of the Superior Council of Entertainment, president of the European Live Music Association (ELMA) and former member of the Consulta dello Spettacolo of MiBACT.
He was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and Ambassador of Genoa in the World by the Municipality of Genoa. He was also a prolific journalist.
“If Genoa has hosted concerts of great artists over the years, it is due above all to its tenacity, ability and dedication”
“During his Assomusica presidency, he carried out numerous battles in favour of the development and internationalisation of live music, placing the enhancement of young talents as an absolute priority and constantly committed to dialogue with the institutions – Italian and European – so that our sector had the right importance in the social, cultural and entrepreneurial life of the country,” reads a statement from Assomusica.
“Especially in the difficult years of the pandemic, his determination, strength and lucid vision made it possible not to disperse the entrepreneurial heritage and the work of the years in which his project made the association great and authoritative.
“We will not betray your desire to “cultivate emotions” with a smile on your lips, the cheerfulness and courage of those who want to get excited. May your – our music – always accompany you.”
Tributes from associations, politicians, live music executives and others have already begun pouring in.
ILMC head Greg Parmley paid tribute to the late exec, saying: “I’m truly shocked to hear the awful news about Vincenzo. He was a hugely important ambassador for the Italian live music business, and his tenaciousness during the pandemic helped thousands of professionals. I’ll miss his regular phone calls about whatever new campaign he was devising, and his input at the ILMC association meetings. But more so I’ll miss his fantastic hospitality because a dinner with Vincenzo typically lasted five hours and around 15 courses! He was a passionate and unique individual.”
Fellow Italian association Arci said Spera’s passing was “a tremendous loss to all who loved him and to the world of live music for which he dedicated his whole life with passion. He was a road companion in many battles to give dignity to a world made of dreams, work, toil, and often underestimated. He was close to us during the pandemic when even the Arci circles that make live music were at risk of closing permanently.”
“For years we have shared ideas and projects to reform the Live Show giving the right weight to contemporary folk music in all its declines. We’ll miss Vincent’s strength, generosity and grit.”
“An innovative and tireless entertainer of the cultural life of Genoa and Liguria”
Genoa mayor Marco Bucci paid tribute to Spera’s “tenacity, ability and dedication”. “It was no coincidence that he was appointed Ambassador of Genoa in the world. If Genoa has hosted concerts of great artists over the years, it is due above all to its tenacity, ability and dedication. He always worked with the city, ready to lend a hand when it was useful to the cause and always able to provide important advice that we will inevitably miss.”
Senator of the Democratic Party Roberta Pinotti hailed him as “an innovative and tireless entertainer of the cultural life of Genoa and Liguria and an important point of reference for the world of Italian culture and shows”.
Federico Gasperi, CEO of Genoa-based recording studio Nadir Music, adds: “I was a passionate rookie who didn’t dream of becoming a rockstar but to be a manager and organise concerts, and to me you were simply an idol. You called me one very late night to ‘ask’ me to show up in your office because there was ‘urgent work to be done’, you taught me, helped me, encouraged me, gave me credit, offered me lunches and dinners, took me to a thousand concerts and introduced dozens of important artists and colleagues. You walked me home in the car at night telling me all the tales of your amazing career. You’ve always treated me with respect, affection and generosity.”
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.