You can now register for the conference! REGISTER HERE

After the success of the first edition (UIC 2021) and the establishment at the Conservatorio di Musica “Antonio Vivaldi” in Alessandria of the world’s first university program of study specialized in ukulele performance — a Bachelor’s degree program in Ukulele, Musiche Tradizionali (DCPL65) ad indirizzo Ukulele, starting in November 2023 — the Second Ukulele International Conference (UIC 2023) – Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Performance, Composition, Pedagogy and Organology is organized and hosted by the Conservatorio di Musica “Antonio Vivaldi” in Alessandria (Italy), in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Heritage and Environment – University of Milan, and co-directed by Giovanni Albini and Giovanni Cestino. Its aim is to delve into the diverse cultural identities and resources of the ukulele from both academic and artistic perspectives. A volume of the conference papers will be published in 2024. Jim Beloff is the conference special guest. It will be held at the Conservatorio di Musica “Antonio Vivaldi”, in Alessandria (Italy) on October 27 and 28, 2023. You can register and get information on how to pay the registration fee on this page.

UIC 2023 will host participants in the broad interdisciplinary community of research around the ukulele who will converge, share and celebrate their ongoing research efforts, focusing on one or more of the following themes:

  • ukulele performance, techniques, and repertoires;
  • composing, arranging, and transcribing for ukulele;
  • ukulele organology and making;
  • relationship between the ukulele and other instruments;
  • cultural history of the ukulele;
  • the ukulele in media and popular music;
  • ukulele in/for music education and pedagogy.

Conference program

Events will be in-person — in Aula Abbà-Cornaglia, Conservatorio di Musica “Antonio Vivaldi” in Alessandria — as well as live-streamed on Zoom. Access to the conference, both in-person and online, is possible only for registered participants. Speakers of paper presentations (selected through a call for papers) will attend in person. The language of the conference is English. All travel and accommodation costs are the responsibility of the participant(s). All times in CET, Central European Time.

Friday, October 27, 2023

13:00 Conference registration

14:00 Welcome and institutional greetings

14:30 Keynote presentation: Jim Beloff, UKEtopia: Adventures in the Ukulele World

15:45 Paper session #1 (chair: Giovanni Cestino)

  • Marta Bianchi (Conservatorio di Musica “A. Vivaldi” di Alessandria, IT) and Peter Luongo (independent scholar, CA), Teaching Ukulele: the Canadian Experience
  • João Tostes (independent scholar, BR), The Organization, Methodology, Challenges and Outcomes of an Online Ukulele Orchestra with Participants Aged 7 to 87 Years Old
  • Davide Donelli (Associazione “C. Monteverdi”, Cologno Monzese, IT), Some Considerations on Arranging Hawaiian Melodies as a Teaching Tool
  • Alessandra Scalese (Istituto Clinico Città Studi di Milano, IT), Posture, Musculoskeletal Pathologies and What to Do to Prevent Them

18:15 Roundtable: Ukulele Teaching (chair: Giovanni Albini)
Speakers: Byron K. Yasui (University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, US), Elisabeth Pfeiffer (University of Surrey, Guildford, UK), Peter Luongo (independent scholar, CA), Vinícius Vivas (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, BR)

20:30 Conference dinner (all audience is welcome)

Saturday, October 28, 2023

10:00 UIC 2021 proceedings presentation

11:00 Paper session #2 (chair: Giovanni Cestino)

  • Serena Taretto (Conservatorio di Musica “A. Vivaldi” di Alessandria, IT), Enhancing Music Education in Italian Primary Schools: a Proposal for Integrating Historic Methods and the Ukulele
  • Elisabeth Pfeiffer (University of Surrey, Guildford, UK), Ernest Ka’ai and Ukulele Tone Production
  • Kate Lewis (Brunel University, London, UK), Just a small guitar?: The Ukulele in Mainstream Popular Music

14:00 Paper session #3 (chair: Giovanni Albini)

  • Fabrizio Nastari (Eesti Muusika- ja Teatriakadeemia, Tallinn, EE), Ukulele as a Toy … for Classical Composers
  • Enrico Dorigatti (University of Portsmouth, UK) and Andrea Beggio (independent scholar, IT), Ukulele and Electronics: Pushing the Boundaries of the Repertoire for Ukulele

15:15 Roundtable: Composing for Ukulele: Challenges and Perspectives (chair: Federico Favali)
Speakers: Andy Eastwood (independent scholar, UK), Choan Galvez (independent scholar, ES), Giorgio Colombo Taccani (Conservatorio di Musica “G. Verdi” di Torino, IT), Jim Dalton (Boston Conservatory at Berklee, US)

17:00 Roundtable: Ukulele Identities (chair: Giovanni Cestino)
Speakers: Jim Beloff (indipendent scholar, US), Jim Tranquada (Occidental College, US), Kate Lewis (Brunel University, London, UK), Shawn Yacavone (indipendent scholar, US)

19:00 Final concert: Jim Beloff and the Conservatorio “A. Vivaldi” String Quartet (Michele Ruggieri, Matteo Rolando, Francesco Calandrina, and Giulia Roveta) perform a chamber arrangement of Jim Beloff’s ukulele concerto Uke Can’t Be Serious. The concert ends with Isabella Sophie Paruzzo, the youngest student of the conservatory ukulele course.

Organizing committee

  • Giovanni Albini, Conservatorio di Musica “A. Vivaldi” di Alessandria (IT)
  • Giovanni Cestino, Università degli Studi di Milano (IT)

Scientific committee

  • Federico Favali, Conservatorio di Musica “A. Vivaldi” di Alessandria (IT)
  • Evangelina Mascardi, Conservatorio di Musica “A. Vivaldi” di Alessandria (IT)
  • Samantha Muir, University of Surrey (UK)
  • Emanuele Segre, Conservatorio di Musica “A. Vivaldi” di Alessandria (IT)
  • Amy Stillman, University of Michigan (US)
  • Jim Tranquada, Occidental College (US)

Special guest

  • Jim Beloff


Registration for all conference participants is €40 (reduced to €20 for students). You can register and get information on how to pay the registration fee on this page.