“Look: the way you play, take up jazz and you’ll be number one in no time.” This is how, in 1996, the great Enrico Rava convinced Stefano Bollani to quit his job as “the clerk of singers” and helped him become the artist he is today. From the Music Academy to the world’s most prestigious stages, either solo or with big orchestras, Bollani has always managed to combine his extraordinary musical qualities with a bent for humour and fun-making. He can effortlessly pass from a tribute to the Italian music of the ’30s and ’40s to experiments combining music and literature. A revealing anecdote about his popularity: Bollani, suitably renamed Paperefano Bolletta, appeared in two issues of Topolino, an Italian digest-sized series featuring Disney comics, of which he was appointed “Ambassador”.