Anna Bignami is an Italian composer, big band leader and conductor based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Born in the northern italian town of Brescia, she moved to Dublin at the age of 18 to study in the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance at Dublin City University. There, she had the opportunity to study with the leading jazz musicians on the Irish scene, such as Ronan Guilfoyle, Greg Felton, Chris Guilfoyle, and Patrice Brun.
After the conclusion of her studies in jazz guitar, she moved to Denmark to attend the master’s in Rhythmic Composition at the Royal Academy of Music Aarhus, which she completed with the highest grade.
Under the guidance of Jens “Chappe” Jensen, Jakob Buchanan, Signe Bisgaard and Kasper Bai, she developed her own approach to music composition, which she calles “Rhetorical”. This approach takes its name from rhetoric, the art of persuasion through speech. As a good orator can mold words and figures of speech to provoke a strong emotional reaction in the audience, a composer can craft every single aspect of music to represent feelings, concepts and stories. Melody, harmony, rhythm and orchestration come together in Bignami’s compositions to communicate a precise feeling, describe a character and tell a story.
During the past few years, Bignami has collaborated with Aarhus Jazz Orchestra on projects featuring well known local bands such as Kalaha, Abekejser and Athletic Progression, she debuted a work for Big Band featuring acted monologues, and collaborated with string ensembles in Denmark and Germany.
Her project “Epitaphs from the Hill” saw the beginning of a collaboration with composer Laura Veltri on the creation of the jazz nonet, The Bignami Veltri Jazz Ensemble. The ensemble features some of the best-known musicians on the danish jazz scene and has received funding from DAF, DMF, Koda Kultur, Frederiksberg Kommune and Aarhus Kommune. On the 21st of January she also premiered new works for Jazz sextet titled “Nocturnes”.
Recently Bignami has also been awarded first prize in the open category of the Sophie Desmarais International Composition Competition for Large Jazz Ensemble (open category) for her piece “The Blue Fairy”, which was performed in a world premier by the Orchestre National de jazz de Montreal on the 8th of November 2023 in the Canadian city.