“The main reason I want to be an artist is because I really enjoy it. I'm always writing songs. It's become a part of my life. I love how thoughts and ideas can be communicated through beautiful melodies. I like being able to tell my stories and talk about what I've observed in the world, even if the message is sort of sad, like in ‘Forgotten.’ I want people to relate to my songs and to know they’re not alone — that others feel the way they do.”
In the course of her career as a performer, Ava Della Pietra has performed on Broadway in the original cast of School of Rock, as well as national tours of Les Misérables and White Christmas. She has appeared on the 70th Annual Tony Awards, Good Morning America, Sesame Street, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and has sung the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden in front of 20,000 Knicks fans. A multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, bass, guitar, violin, fiddle, and ukulele, Ava is also an independent recording artist and songwriter who began penning her own songs at age five. She has about 30 written and is gearing up to release her debut EP of original music, including her first single “Rising Star,” produced by Brian Malouf (Sabrina Carpenter, Colbie Caillat).
Did we mention that Ava is 13 years old?
Though she is preternaturally accomplished, Ava is also a down-to-earth girl-next door — charming, relatable, and inspirational. She is passionate about music and performing — and has practiced four instruments every night for the last several years (including during a hospital stay and on an overnight flight to Italy) — but she is also interested in neuroscience and could see being a research doctor someday. But for now the Long Island, NY, native is focused on music, showing a determined streak that colors everything she does, whether it’s learning to play bass guitar four days before her audition for School of Rock or proving wrong a major music agent, who told her mom that a Broadway career would never happen for six-year-old Ava. “He said I had as much chance of being on Broadway as my brother had to become an NFL football star,” Ava says. Not long after this exchange, Ava landed the role of Little Cosette/Young Eponine in the 25th Anniversary Broadway production Les Misérables.
Ava’s earliest memories are of her mom singing to her, “but my dad never wanted to sing to me when I was little because he didn't want to ‘ruin my ear,’” Ava says with a laugh. “There are videos of me coming up with my first songs. They were about how excited I am to have an ice cream or what a beautiful day it was outside.” Nowadays, many of Ava’s songs start as poems, including “Rising Star” — a feel-good tune about “showing others that it’s possible to do what you love” — and “Reflection,” which she wrote with Jeff Franzel and Andy Marvel about growing up and trying to find yourself. “It’s saying that even if you don’t know right now, everything’s going to be okay,” she explains. “Home,” which Ava wrote about a friend’s experience, is for any young person who might be having issues at home, while “Forgotten” was inspired by the people of Puerto Rico suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Another song, “Hear My Cry,” was intended as a Christmas present for Ava’s older brother, who saved her life when she fell into a duck pond at age four. “With all the panic, I sort of froze and my brother was the only one who heard the splash and realized that I had fallen in,” she says. “He literally reached down and stuck out his hand for me to grab and saved me.” Both “Home” and “Hear My Cry” were produced by Will Hicks — a Grammy-nominated British songwriter, musician, and producer known for his work with Ed Sheeran.
Sheeran is one of Ava’s main influences, along with Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, Ariana Grande and Andra Day.
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