“Concerti della Normale”: the New Season. 21 Classical Music Soirées in Pisa

On 18 October 2017, the Soloists from the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, under their director Ton Koopman, will open the 51st edition of the “Concerti della Normale” in a soirée dedicated to Bach and Vivaldi. If the opening night is in the spirit of tradition, the closing event, on 15th June 2018, will be quite unorthodox for a classical concert season: Michael Nyman, undisputed leader of the contemporary musical scene, will perform his own compositions for the cinema (e.g.: “The Piano” soundtrack) at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa.

These two temporal and stylistic extremes will frame a programme of 19 concerts including some entirely new performances, such as the music composed specifically for the Scuola Normale’s concert season (a composition by Matteo D’Amico will debut on 31st October with La Scala String Quartet, and one by Mauro Montalbetti will be interpreted by the cello player Enrico Dindo on 8th May). New is also the idea of the three concerts not included in the regular subscription that will be performed in the Sala Azzurra of the Palazzo della Carovana, the Scuola Normale’s prestigious hall preserving the Salviati Archive. In this frame, three improvisation artists (another element introduced in this edition) will offer the audience a new listening experience, oriented both to the European classicism (as in the concert for fortepiano by Costantino Mastroprimiano on 20th November, and the one for piano and percussions by Glauco Venier on 23rd February), and to the North American musical culture (as is the case for the guitar solo by Ralph Towner on 27th February).

“We will offer a variety of proposals ranging from intensely spiritual performances to experiences of sheer fun”, announced the Artistic Director of the Concerti della Normale, Carlo Boccadoro, who, together with the Director of the Scuola, Vincenzo Barone, just yesterday introduced this year’s programme to the President of the Pisa Foundation, Claudio Pugelli, and to the President of the Teatro di Pisa Foundation, Giuseppe Toscano. “We wish to reach a greater public, and to spread the idea that assisting at a concert can be a regular activity such as going to the cinema. This season’s concerts intend to be both accessible and meaningful, pleasant and exciting, keeping in mind that the only way for classical music to reach a larger audience is to be always offered at its best”.

This is the reason behind the presence of important names from the musical scene such as Rinaldo Alessandrini and his Concerto Italiano (performing on 16th January in a soirée dedicated to Monteverdi), Maurizio Baglini and Silvia Chiesa (offering a concert dedicated to Mendelssohn, Schumann, Rachmaninov on 23rd January), Mahan Esfahani (playing Berio, Ligeti, Bach and others on the 28th March), Francesco Filidei (performing in April in the Cathedral of Pisa). Other interesting evenings will see the exhibition of the Cappella Neapolitana (with a baroque concert on the 13th February), and Moni Ovadia, performing as reciting voice within the concert by the Turin String Quartet on 26th March in Santa Caterina’s Church. The Stradivari Sextet of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia will play Brahms, Capogrosso, and Tschaikovsky on 7th November. The programme also includes the consolidated collaboration with the Orchestra della Toscana (19th December, 13th March and 14th May), the Vincenzo Galilei Choir (performing on 19th November together with the Nuovo Contrappunto Ensemble, and again on 10th June), and the New York pianist Jeffrey Swann with his musical seminars (on 3rd May the one about Claude Debussy).

 

“The 2017/18 edition offers us an exciting challenge”, declared Vincenzo Barone, together with Giuseppe Toscano and Claudio Pugelli. “We want to bring art music to those people who never even thought to go to a concert before. This shared intent sees us in perfect unison with Carlo Boccadoro, who, in addition to being one of the most appreciated composers on the international scene and to his collaborations with the greatest artists and orchestras, is also a competent “populariser”, a skill that will definitely prove helpful for reaching our goal”.