Carlotta Nobile

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Carlotta Nobile
Carlotta Nobile, fotografata da Manuela Morgia nel 2008.JPG
Carlotta Nobile photographed by Manuela Morgia in 2009.
Background information
Born(1988-12-20)20 December 1988
Rome, Italy
Died16 July 2013(2013-07-16) (aged 24)
Benevento, Italy
GenresClassical Music
Occupation(s)violinist, art historian and writer
Years active2005–2013

Carlotta Nobile (Rome, 20 December 1988 – Benevento, 16 July 2013) was an Italian art historian, violinist, writer, blogger, and artistic director of Santa Sophia Academy chamber orchestra in Benevento from September 2010 up to her death. Polyhedral personality of artist and scholar, among the most popular young Italian violinists of her time,[1] she is also known for her testimony of courage in the fight against cancer[2] and for the deep experience of Faith gained in the last months of her life, which ended at the age of 24.[3] In February 2018 she was included among the "Young Witnesses" of the Synod of Bishops 2018 on the theme "Young people, faith and vocational discernment", announced by Pope Francis.[4]


Born into an ancient family,[5] she graduated in violin at the Conservatory of Benevento when she was only 17,[6] attaining First Class Honours with Distinction, under the guide of her mentor Massimo Bacci.[6] After that, in her short but intense career, she took many specialist courses in violin like the one with Pierre Amoyal at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg, with Pavel Vernikov at the International Academy of Portogruaro and at the Fiesole School of Music, and with Eugen Sârbu at London.[7]

Carlotta Nobile playing in duo with the pianist Marco Scolastra in support of the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association (AISM),[8] at the St. Domenico Auditorium in Foligno on 7 October 2012.[9] Photo by Francesco Fratta.

Absolute winner of many national competitions,[10] including the First Absolute Prize at the "F. Kreisler" National Violin Competition of Matera (2006) and at the "Città di Viterbo" National Competition (2008), and the First Prize at the Riviera della Versilia National Competition (2005),[7] she took the award of "Distinguished Musician" at the International Ibla Grand Prize 2007 and "Ernest Bloch Special Mention" at the International Ibla Grand Prize 2008.[10]

Marcello Abbado said about her: «an exceptional musician, a sweet and sensitive girl with an extraordinary vocation for music».[11]

She combined music with her passion for arts, taking a bachelor's degree cum laude in Art History Studies at Sapienza University of Rome in 2010[10] and attending the University of Cambridge (Art History International Summer Courses in 2009), the Contemporary Art Course at Sotheby's Institute of Art of New York (in 2010)[12] and taking the LUISS Master of Art 2011/2012 in Rome.[13]

Santa Sophia Academy chamber orchestra in Benevento during the artistic direction by Carlotta Nobile (the first from the bottom).

In December 2008, she released her first book "Il silenzio delle parole nascoste" ("the silence of hidden words"), followed by "Oxymoron", published by Aracne Editrice in 2012. For several years she wrote a music column called "Righe Sonore" on the website and wrote for the magazine "Realtà Sannita".[6]

At only 21, in 2010, she became the artistic director of Santa Sophia Academy Chamber Orchestra in Benevento.[6] As first Artistic Director, she is committed to the Academy launch, also for the purpose of exporting it outside its region,[14] taking care of the three-year concert program, new formula on the whole national territory.[15] Her proposal for a varied and eclectic program, ranging from Mozart to The Beatles, from Piazzolla to Strauss, from Bach to the Italian Twentieth century and the Neapolitan Eighteenth century,[15] collects acclaim and public success.[16][17][18][19] Nobile will remain active as Artistic Director of Santa Sophia until the untimely death. Her work helped to lay the foundations for the rapid entry of the academy into the Fund for the Performing Arts (FUS) of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage.[20] After her death, the Academy will live three years of stop. It then resumed its activities under the artistic direction of Maestro Filippo Zigante.[21][22]

During her career, she explored the interconnections among music, contemporary art and writing, using interdisciplinarity and contamination criteria.[23]

In Rome, together with some other young scholars, she founded the group "Almost Curators", with the aim of connecting contemporary art experts with general public. As a member of "Almost Curators" group, she managed cultural events and wrote many articles on the group's blog.[24]

Cancer and the blog[edit]

Carlotta Nobile and American pianist Martin Berkofsky, as volunteers of Donors of Music, play for the patients of the oncology department of Carrara Hospital on 9 April 2013. The violinist would die three months later, followed by Berkofsky, who was also ill, in December.[25]

In October 2011, when she was 22, she was diagnosed being afflicted with melanoma: she fronted every possible cure and various surgical interventions[26] while keeping on her musical and artistic career, alternating concerts and hospitals recoveries. On the newspaper La Stampa, Sandro Cappelletto said: “The more the treatment was hard and the diagnosis got worse, the more her music became a form of rebellion to her destiny, her real life, never losing a bit of quality”.[27]

In April 2012, she started, under a concealed identity, her Facebook page "Il Cancro E Poi" ("Cancer and Afterwards") that gave birth to a huge community of people suffering from cancer just like her. They identified themselves with her thoughts, finding a vital help in her words.[28][29] In August she created the related website.

I don't even know how many centimeters of surgery scars have been drawn on my body, but I love them all, one by one. Every single centimeter of etched skin which will never be healed!
Those are the starting points of my wings.

— Carlotta Nobile, Il Cancro E Poi_[26]

Because you want to prove first of all to yourself that you can even suffer from IV stadium metastatic melanoma but LIVE. Live all joys, projects, sorrows, tears that life gives you every single day.
Because there's an Afterwards you'll never stop fighting for. Because nobody can keep you away from the certainty that – despite all the scars, surgeries, needles in veins, tests, contrast liquids, therapies and sorrows – there's a unique happiness waiting for you, there's your greatest dream which keeps looking at you from the future and can't wait to reach you. Because you know that all you're living now will be given back to you.
Because you clearly feel that the way you now have to look at life could have been reached just through this sorrow.

— Carlotta Nobile, Il Cancro E Poi_, August 5, 2012[30]

During the period of her illness, playing in a duo with the pianist Martin Berkofsky, she joined "Donatori di Musica" ("donors of music"), a social community involved in bringing music concerts in the Italian cancer wards.[31][32] About her social and charity commitment there's the book "Donatori di musica" by L. Fumagalli, Curci Editions (2015).

Her Faith and the letter to the Pope[edit]

In the last months of her life, Carlotta lived a deep Faith experience,[33][34][35][36] born suddenly on 4 March 2013 at her awakening from a crisis that brought her to the Hospital of Milan for a few days.[37] This fact, perceived like a revelation, was anonymously told by Carlotta on her blog dedicated to cancer in the last post before her death:

I'm healed in my soul. In an instant, in an ordinary day, as I awoke from a crisis.
I opened my eyes and I found I was a new person. And that's a miracle.

— Carlotta Nobile, Il Cancro E Poi_, April 5, 2013[38]

She continued in the same post:

" And in a moment you understand that the cancer can HEAL YOUR SOUL, restore the balance in your life essence and give you Faith, hope, self abandon, consciousness of finally becoming who you really wanted to be in all your life but never were: a PEACEFUL WOMAN. So you understand that it’s the cancer that leads you to finally love yourself wholeheartedly, in your strengths and weaknesses, it leads you to savour each moment, each smell, each flavour, each perception, each word, each sharing, every little fragment of infinity condensed in a very common and very precious moment. You understand that it’s cancer with its torment and aggressiveness, with its brutality, to bring you the LIGHT in the end. »

— Carlotta Nobile, Il Cancro E Poi_, April 5, 2013[38]

Her spirituality was considerably inspired by Pope Francis's sermon calling young people to bear the Cross with joy (24 March 2013 Homily).[39]

The sculpture "Step by Step" by Antonella Boscarini, dedicated to Carlotta Nobile and donated by the artist to San Giacomo in Augusta Church, in Via del Corso (Rome), in January 2014. Made in the form of a Franciscan sandal, it is located in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart.[40]

On Good Friday 2013, in the centre of Rome, Carlotta was looking for a church because she wanted to confess but usually they are closed during the lunch break. The only one left open was the San Giacomo in Augusta Church, in Via del Corso. There Carlotta met the parish priest don Giuseppe Trappolini, they had a very touching conversation and, as Don Giuseppe said, she "cried from Joy" as she talked about her story, her battle against melanoma and the tranquillity she felt after listening to the words of Pope Francis. The priest was moved by a remarkable coincidence: just the day before he was received with some other Roman priests by the Pope and in that occasion the Holy Father asked them to keep the churches open on Good Friday all day long to allow anybody to confess. So Don Trappolini decided to tell the Pope the story of Carlotta in a letter and the Pope rang up back to tell he would pray for her. Even Carlotta wrote him a letter to communicate her faith in life and in God’s encounter.[41][42]

You can read in the letter:

Dear Pope Francis,
You have changed my life.
I am honored and blessed to be able to carry the Cross with Joy at the age of 24. I know that cancer has healed my soul, by loosening all my interior knots and giving me Faith, Trust, Surrender, and an immense Serenity right at the time when my illness was most severe.
I trust in the Lord, and on my difficult and troubled path, I always see His help.
Dear Pope Francis, You have changed my life.
I would like to ask You something… I have an immense desire to meet You, even for only a moment. To pray together with You the "Our Father"!
"Give us this day our daily bread" and "Deliver us from evil" Amen.
I entrust this dream of mine to Don Giuseppe and I trust in God!
Pray for me, Holy Father. I pray for You every day.

— Carlotta Nobile, Letter to Pope Francis, April 12, 2013[34]

The last three months[edit]

Thanks to Don Trappolini, Carlotta was about to meet personally the Pope but, in May 2013 her condition started to get worse and so she went back to Benevento and she spent the last months of her life in her family house. In those months she dedicated herself to prayers in a mood of total trust, self-abandon, and gratitude with God.[43][44] On the last night of her life, that between 14 and 15 July 2013, her father was awakened by the following words of Carlotta, whispered repeatedly in a serene tone and his gaze turned towards the ceiling:

Lord, I thank you. Lord, I thank you. Lord, I thank you.

— quoted in F. Rizzo, P. Scarafoni, In un attimo l'infinito. Carlotta Nobile, Paoline, Milan, 2017, p. 191

The next day, a few hours before her death, she gave her loved ones the last farewell:

My three wonderful men: Dad, Fanfy and Matteo. My sweet mom. What could I want more?! I am lucky.

— quoted in F. Rizzo, P. Scarafoni, In un attimo l'infinito. Carlotta Nobile, Paoline, Milan, 2017, p. 192

After two years of struggle, she died at the age of 24.[45] The death of the Violin Angel – as the media and the web called her – was announced on the most renowned newspapers and national TV channels.[34][46]

Testimony of Faith[edit]

The family chapel where Carlotta Nobile rests, in the Municipal Cemetery of Benevento.[47]

Her funerals were held in the morning of 17 July 2013 in the Basilica church of San Bartolomeo, so full to not contain all the people coming. After having read some fragments and personal messages through which Carlotta announced calmly the "healing" of her soul, the Rector of the Church Mgr Mario De Santis preached in his homily: «Young people, move, walk and find yourselves! She found the Faith. Today it’s not a sad day, on the contrary the bells will ring in a festive way because even if we cry for having lost a person, on the other side this event offers us the meaning of Resurrection».[48]

The Archbishop of Benevento Andrea Mugione remembered her as "an extraordinary example of Faith and love ending with sacrifice".[49]

Her story of Faith, told and translated in different languages in 2016 by the catholic information site Aleteia, has spread on the web and on the Catholic press in Italy[33] (where it was broadcast on the news of TV2000, Italian Episcopal Conference's TV channel[50]), United States,[51] France,[52] Slovenia,[53] Croatia,[54] Spain,[55] Mexico,[56][57] Portugal, Brazil,[58] India[59] and Vietnam.[60]

In January 2017 the University Ministry of the Archdiocese of Benevento started the Facebook page "Carlotta Nobile, Testimone di Fede" ("Carlotta Nobile, Witness of Faith") to "collect, keep and enhance her beautiful testament of Faith, that keeps on drawing admiration and keeps on connecting many people, especially the young ones, from all over the world".[61]


In September 2013, she posthumously received the ANLAI Prize,[62][63] and the Arechi II Prize from the Province of Benevento in June 2014.[64][65]

The "Carlotta Nobile" Classroom in the Department of History of Art and Performing Arts of Sapienza University of Rome.

The Sapienza University of Rome awarded her a posthumous MA degree in Art History Studies[66][67] and, with solemnity, on 22 November 2014, dedicated to her memory the hall Aula Tre of the History of Art and Performance Arts Department "for her fine studies on the relationships among Art, Music and Writings".[68][69][70]

Thanks to the will of Donatori di Musica group, the music hall of the cancer ward of San Maurizio Hospital in Bolzano has borne her name from 6 August 2014.[71][72][73][74]

The "Carlotta Nobile" Municipal Nursery School, in Benevento. It is located in Via Firenze.

On 20 September 2016 the Benevento city Council disclosed that the nursery school in via Firenze has been named after Carlotta Nobile, because of her "extraordinary example of Faith, love and life".[75][76] With the participation of the highest authorities of the city, the ceremony of entitlement was held on 20 December 2016, on Carlotta's birthday. In that occasion the mayor Clemente Mastella said: «The entitlement of the nursery school to Carlotta Nobile is for all of us a very important event. Carlotta is a positive example of the spirit of resilience Pope Francis always talks about: in fact she fronted the adversities with a deep strength and courage. Her example is to be followed by the entire community».[77][78]

The Italian Minister of Education Valeria Fedeli discovers the Classroom plaque with the name of Carlotta Nobile in the "Nicola Sala" State Conservatory of Music of Benevento, on 4 March 2017. Photo by Carmine Pizzella.[79]

On 4 March 2017, during the inauguration of the academic year, the "Nicola Sala" State Conservatory of Music of Benevento names a Classroom of the institute after Carlotta Nobile, in the presence of the Minister of Education, Universities and Research of the Italian Republic Valeria Fedeli and of the highest civil, military and religious authorities of the city.[80]

On 31 October 2013 American pianist Martin Berkofsky (with whom Carlotta shared the dedication to Donatori di Musica) in one of his last performances before his death, wanted to commemorate Carlotta with a concert held in Milan at the Società del Giardino, playing the religious piano compositions written by Franz Liszt.[81]

On 12 February 2015, the organization "Associazione Centro Studi Carlotta Nobile" was born in order to keep alive her cultural works and activities for young people; it is building a research facility that bears her name and promotes initiatives related to her passions and cultural studies.[82][83] The organization, with the partnership and the scientific supervision of the History of Art and Performance Arts Department of the Sapienza University of Rome, in October 2015, announced the competition "Premio Carlotta Nobile", consisting of €5.000 for a Master of Arts dissertation about the relationships between Art and Music.[84][85]


  1. ^ | "Si è spenta all'età di 24 anni Carlotta Nobile, prima enfant prodige e poi giovane promessa della musica italiana e internazionale"
  2. ^ Corriere della Sera | Carlotta Nobile: il violino, la malattia e l’immensa gioia per la vita
  3. ^ Tv2000 | La storia di fede e di umanità della violinista Carlotta Nobile
  4. ^ Carlotta Nobile "Young Witness" of the Synod of Bishops 2018
  5. ^ A family of lawyers and nesters from Benevento, descending from Sico of Benevento (a Longobard prince of Benevento in the ninth century) through the Mascambruno family, owning one of the three keys that open the little gate that keeps the bones of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle in the Church bearing the same name. (Giordano, G. (1976) "Una chiave, un "boffettone", un assassinio" in Aspetti di vita beneventana nei secoli XVII-XVIII, Napoli, Edizioni Dehoniane, p. 25). The Nobiles of Benevento were the last owners of the Castle of Taurasi (now belonging to the City), inherited from the marquises d'Aulisio Garigliota (De Angelis, R. & Capobianco, E. (2011) Il palazzo marchionale ovvero il Castello, vol. 2 di Enciclopedia Taurasina, Fontanarosa, Tipolitografia "Ideal"). The Nobile Palace, situated in the centre of Benevento, was expanded more and more after its built, in the eighteenth century. The restoration of the palace was made in 1996 by the architect Ludovico Papa.
  6. ^ a b c d Goodbye Carlotta Nobile, the angel of violin
  7. ^ a b Carriera | Sito ufficiale sulla Vita di Carlotta Nobile
  8. ^ Sito istituzionale della Provincia di Perugia | Carlotta Nobile e Marco Scolastra in concerto per la ricerca sulla sclerosi multipla
  9. ^ YouTube | Bloch 7 ott 2012 – Carlotta Nobile vl, Marco Scolastra pf
  10. ^ a b c Biography Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Ibla Gran Prize : In memoria di Carlotta Nobile.
  12. ^ Bio | Carlotta Nobile
  13. ^ OSMOSIS | LUISS Creative Business Center
  14. ^ Intervista a Carlotta Nobile – L'Areopago (CDS TV), puntata del 24/11/2010.
  15. ^ a b Programmazione della stagione concertistica 2011–2013 dell'Accademia di Santa Sofia Archived 11 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ L'Accademia di Santa Sofia affascina il pubblico che è sempre più numeroso ai suoi concerti
  17. ^ Atteso ritorno dell'Accademia di Santa Sofia
  18. ^ Accademia di Santa Sofia, concerto alla Chiesa di San Bartolomeo
  19. ^ Tutto esaurito nella Basilica di San Bartolomeo per l'Omaggio ai Beatles reso dall'Accademia di Santa Sofia
  20. ^ L’Accademia di Santa Sofia tra le associazioni musicali finanziate dal Fondo Unico per lo Spettacolo
  21. ^ Accademia di Santa Sofia: si comincia da tre
  22. ^ Accademia di Santa Sofia, debutto con incanto per ricordare Carlotta Nobile
  23. ^ Carlotta Nobile's Linkedin Page
  24. ^ Carlotta Nobile | Almost Curators
  25. ^ Dedica delle sale della Musica e del Presidente a Martin Berkofsky e Annarosa Taddei. Archived 11 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ a b About me | Il Cancro E Poi_
  27. ^ La Stampa: Addio a Carlotta Nobile, l’angelo del violino.
  28. ^ "Il cancro e poi on". Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  29. ^ Carlotta Nobile, goodbye to the angel of violin – Tgcom24
  30. ^ E poi vivere | Il Cancro E Poi_
  31. ^ Donatori Di Musica – musicians
  32. ^ In memory of Carlotta Nobile playing with the pianist Berkofsky
  33. ^ a b “Dear Pope Francis, Cancer Has Healed My Soul”. Can someone become a saint in just a few months? This is the story of Carlotta, who embraced the cross with joy
  34. ^ a b c Carlotta Nobile, the girl who wanted to meet Pope Francis – San Giacomo in Augusta Church website
  35. ^ Not only pain but also joy for people who miss Carlotta Nobile
  36. ^ Search results for Carlotta Nobile on the website of San Giacomo in Augusta Church
  37. ^ Fede | Sito Ufficiale sulla Vita di Carlotta Nobile
  38. ^ a b E Poi TUTTO cambia! | Il Cancro E Poi_
  39. ^ Palm Sunday, XXVIII World Celebration for the Youth (March, 24th 2013) Archived 21 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ E Poi... – Vita di Carlotta Nobile
  41. ^ "Caro papa Francesco, il cancro mi ha guarito nell’anima", video-intervista di Aleteia a Don Giuseppe Trappolini
  42. ^ "Don Giuseppe Trappolini, parroco romano, è stato ospite a pranzo di Papa Francesco", intervista di Tv2000 a Don Giuseppe Trappolini
  43. ^ "Carlotta Nobile una sorella con la S maiuscola", video-intervista di Aleteia al fratello di Carlotta Nobile
  44. ^ "Si può diventare santi in pochi mesi? Storia di Carlotta che ha abbracciato la Croce con gioia", video-intervista di Aleteia a Don Giuseppe Trappolini
  45. ^ Goodbye Carlotta Nobile Archived 22 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ Carlotta Nobile: La donna dell'Oltre., Corto-documentario di 8 min. (2016) sulla vita di Carlotta Nobile.
  47. ^ Gazzetta di Benevento | Peppino De Lorenzo, ad un mese dalla scomparsa, ricorda con una tenerissima lettera, la bella figura di Carlotta Nobile
  48. ^ Gazzetta di Benevento | Funerali di Carlotta Nobile
  49. ^ Emotion and sweetness for Carlotta Nobile Archived 21 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ Il servizio andato in onda al Tg2000 (21 marzo 2016): La storia di fede e di umanità della violinista Carlotta scomparsa per una malattia a 22 anni
  51. ^ "Dear Pope Francis, Cancer Has Healed My Soul"
  52. ^ «Cher pape François, le cancer a guéri mon âme»
  53. ^ Sito dell'Arcidiocesi di Lubiana: Dragi papež Frančišek: Rak je ozdravil mojo dušo
  54. ^ Svjedočanstvo glazbenice koja se borila s bolešću: Dragi papa Franjo, tumor je izliječio moju dušu…
  55. ^ "Carlotta Nobile: “¡Papa Francisco, el cáncer me ha curado el alma!”"
  56. ^ Articolo apparso sul periodico cattolico messicano El Observador: "Carlotta Nobile: “¡Papa Francisco, el cáncer me ha curado el alma!”"
  57. ^ Articolo apparso su Gaudium, il settimanale dell'Arcidiocesi di Léon (Messico): "Carlotta Nobile: “¡Papa Francisco, el cáncer me ha curado el alma!”"
  58. ^ "Querido Papa Francisco, o câncer curou a minha alma"
  59. ^ Matters India | "Dear Pope Francis, cancer has healed my soul"
  60. ^ Câu chuyện của Carlotta, cô gái trẻ mang thập giá với niềm vui
  61. ^ "Carlotta Nobile, Testimone di Fede", pagina Facebook aperta dalla Pastorale Universitaria dell'Arcidiocesi di Benevento
  62. ^ Conclusion of the fourth international competition of lutherie Anlai in Pisogne – Cremona – Lombardianews, online information
  63. ^ The Anlai prize,
  64. ^
  65. ^ Arechi II and Gladiatore d'oro Prize Award
  66. ^ MA degree in Art History Studies awarded to Carlotta Nobile | History of Art and Performance Arts Department of the University of Rome "Sapienza"
  67. ^ Corriere Roma: breaking news
  68. ^ A University hall of the History of Art and Performance Arts Department was dedicated to the memory of Carlotta Nobile – Sapienza University of Rome
  69. ^ Poster of the ceremony of inscription – Sapienza University of Rome
  70. ^ Corriere della Sera: Aula 3 bears the name of Carlotta Nobile
  71. ^ "Oncology: the waiting room becomes the music room". Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  72. ^ Tg Alto Adige news of July, 8th 2014 (from the 17th minute)
  73. ^ "Oncology: music gives strength". Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  74. ^ Tg Alto Adige news of July, 8th 2014 (from the 12th minute)
  75. ^ L’asilo comunale di via Firenze sarà intitolato a Carlotta Nobile | Comune di Benevento
  76. ^ Albo Pretorio | Comune di Benevento
  77. ^ Comunicato del Comune di Benevento | L'asilo di via Firenze è stato intitolato stamani a Carlotta Nobile
  78. ^ Ntr24 | Benevento, l'asilo nido di via Firenze intitolato alla musicista Carlotta Nobile
  79. ^ | Conservatorio "Nicola Sala" di Benevento. Visita del Ministro Valeria Fedeli
  80. ^ Ntr24 | Il ministro Fedeli al Conservatorio
  81. ^ Dedica delle sale della Musica e del Presidente a Martin Berkofsky e Annarosa Taddei – Associazione Centro Studi Carlotta Nobile. Archived 11 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  82. ^ Presentation | Associazione Centro Studi Carlotta Nobile Archived 17 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  83. ^ Realtà Sannita's article on Associazione Centro Studi Carlotta Nobile
  84. ^ Premio Carlotta Nobile on the ACSCN website Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  85. ^ Premio Carlotta Nobile on the Sapienza website

External links[edit]