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Emilia Romagna Festival 2014

From July 22 to September 16 the 14th edition of Emilia Romagna Festival, one of the top Italian festivals, will bring together musicians and orchestras from all over the world, in a program filled with excellent performers, great talents and a careful selection, dedicated to versatility in terms of places, repertoires and artistic expressions: a lot of music, of course, but also dance and theatre.


More than ever this year  ERF will be a true journey for its audience: 40 stops in five provinces of the Region (Bologna, Ferrara, Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena, Rimini), in the historic-architectonic and natural heritage of this land through the many fascinating places that make up this festival's program, but also, and most importantly, a journey into the sounds of the world, from ancient times to today.



The journey will start out from Russia, with the great musician and composer Sofija Gubajdulina the exceptional star of the inaugural concert, on schedule on July 22 in the wonderful setting of the Abbey of San Mercuriale in Forlì.  This Russian artist, who was recently given the Golden Lion career award at the Biennale in Venice, is back after a few years of “silence” with a new composition, Warum? Wozu? Wodurch?, which will be played here in a world premiere, in her presence, by the prestigious Italian company Filarmonica Teatro Regio Torino directed by Andres Mustonen, together with the soloists Darko Brlek (clarinet) and Massimo Mercelli (flute).  This important commission came about thanks to the collaboration between a notable network of festivals and Italian and European institutions; in fact together with Emilia Romagna Festival there are also Ravello Festival, Ljubljana Festival, Festival de Música de Canarias, Staatskapelle Dresden, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo, and Fondazione Arena di Verona.


The journey will end in Latin America with the Orquesta Filarmonica National De Mexico UNAM, the oldest professional symphonic group from Mexico City and one of the best companies from Mexico, which will close out the festival on September 16 at the Teatro Ebe Stignani in Imola.  Conducting will be the eclectic Jan Latham-Koenig, who has participated many times in this festival in past editions, who will guide the orchestra through the sounds and shapes of the music of Latin America, including Libertango by Astor Piazzolla and the evocative sounds of Huapango by Moncayo.



Among the great stars of the 2014 season, worth mentioning is the famous Iranian pianist Ramin Bahrami, artist in residence, internationally considered among the most interesting interpreters of Bach alive today.  He will perform in three concerts with different programs: under the stars at the Arena made from bales of hay in Cotignola he will take on the famous Variazioni Goldberg (premiere, July 20, Cotignola); surrounded by the architecture of the Abbey of Pomposa he will go through the dizzying notes of The Musical Offering (Musikalischer Opfer) (July 26, Codigoro-Pomposa); and lastly, August 11, in Comacchio he will end this concert series with his latest album for DECCA Universal: the Inventions and Symphonies in two and three keys, which includes two brand new pieces never before performed on a piano, including Preludio, fuga e allegro BWV 998 which Bach wrote for the lute but that, as was his habit, he considered being played by other instruments.


From China, the two prestigious Philharmonic Symphonies of Qingdao and Hangzhou, the later directed by Yang Yang and with Ning Feng, a violinist with an international career, who will perform in a moving Tribute to Claudio Abbado (August 10, Pesaro).  The Quingdao Symphony Orchestra, lead by the baton of Zhang Guoyong (the current director of the Shanghai Opera House), will instead present a fascinating program on the tracks of Marco Polo along The Silk Road, full of traditional Chinese instruments, where the famous notes of The Tiger and the Dragon composed by Oscar Winner Tan Dun will come to life (July 23, Cesenatico).  Next stop is eastern Anatolia with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the biggest and oldest orchestra in the country, performing here with two young talents of the next generation: the director Eduard Topchjan and the violinist Anush Nikoghosyan, in a beautiful program including the great "Concert for violin and orchestra" by Chačaturjan (August 26, Rimini).  This event has been made possible in collaboration with the Meeting for friendship among peoples, thanks to which also the performance of the Filarmonica del Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo directed by Pier Carlo Orizio will take place with a tribute for the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Fellini's masterpiece La Strada (August 24, Rimini).


Then it is back to Russia with a great star of classical music: the violist Yuri Bashmet, capable of transmitting a world of incredible sounds, emotions and images with his instrument, with "his" Moscow Soloists, which will take on the "olympic" concert, which mixes composers from all over the world and that will present an important  Italian premiere: Voto eterno per viola sintetizzatore e archi once again by Tan Dun (September 1, Castel San Pietro).  And again in Argentina with Recital Popular where the unmistakeable voice of Antonella Ruggiero and the Italo-Argentinian band Del Barrio will dedicate a new show to the beauty and poetry of popular music.  A concert made up of songs that speak the language of the people and expresses their feelings without national boundaries.  Famous traditional Argentinian songs, tangos and even a few of the most famous Italian songs (September 4, Forlì).


Among the great international performers worth mentioning are the Montenegro pianist Ratimir Martinovic (July 31, Mordano, Bo), the Neapolitan Edoardo Catemario one of the top stars internationally of classic guitar and one of today's great specialists in this field (August 5, Castel Guelfo); coming from Korea the Piano Trio “Ye” which will perform on July 29 in Bologna in a new and beautiful location, the Corte del Circolo Ufficiali.


Of course there will also be room for the best of chamber music as well.  A unique opportunity for the audience to "savor" the potential of every single instrument especially when they are played by extraordinarily good musicians.  From Montecarlo comes the Aïghetta Quartett, a quartet of very famous guitars in all of Europe who have done, among other things, two albums with the jazz rock guitarist John Mc Laughlin (Time remembered and Thieves and poets), who will present a mix of classical music, world music and chamber music, taking from both well known repertoires and original compositions (August 8, Codigoro–Pomposa).  With ‘L’Arte della Tromba’ the audience will have the pleasure of listening to a trio made up of the two trumpets of Vicente Campos, an internationally famous soloist and Rubén Simeó, a young talent, born in 1992, who regularly performs with great symphonic orchestras, and the organ of Marialuisa Veneziano, who is also a young, promising star of Italian concertos (August 4, Imola).


Among those returning to this festival is the ensemble made up of Friedemann Eichhorn on the violin and Andreas Froelich on the piano, two soloists of rare prestige for an evening of virtuosos, with a program entitled Souvenir d’Amérique in which inspiration and instrumental technique are woven together in an incomparable way (August 20, Russi).  Do not miss the concert dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Forli partisan Iris Versari's death, one of the nineteen Italian women awarded the "Medaglia d’oro al Valor Militare della Resistenza", with the violoncellist Luigi Puxeddu, one of the most accredited performers of Luigi Boccherini internationally, and Enrico Fagone, the first contrabass of the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana di Lugano and a first class soloist, whose vast music experiences range from Martha Argerich to Elio e le Storie Tese (17 August, San Benedetto in Alpe).



Once again this year this festival offers an interweaving of sounds, writing, theatre and dance, and expressive experimentations which have always been dear to this festival.  In regards to "contamination" and meeting points between the languages of music and theatre, Chiara Guidi and Fabrizio Ottaviucci present Tifone, an evocative concert for "viola", or better the voice of an actor, and piano, liberally taken from Joseph Conrad with adaptation and direction by Chiara Guidi, original music by Fabrizio Ottaviucci, and the production by Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio (September 11, Imola).  For crossovers between dancing and music, the Duo Petrouchka made up of pianists Massimo Caselli and Alessandro Barneschi, accompanied by Valentina Caggio, dancer and choreographer from Faenza, will offer an event that recreates the original magical and dance atmosphere contained in the extraordinary score Le Sacre du Printemps by Stravinskij (August 31, Casola Valsenio).



Also back this season is the Career Emilia Romagna Festival Award, a recognition begun in 2010 with which the Festival hopes to pay tribute to great stars of the international artistic scene who with their genius have honored music and the arts.  Awarded in past editions to Maxence Larrieu, Quirino Principe, Catherine Spaak and Ivano Marescotti, this year it will be given to the great Bruno Canino, a pillar of Italian concerts, the director of the Music Section of the Biennale of Venice, who has played as a chamber music soloist and pianist in the main European concert halls and festivals in America, Australia, Japan, and China.  Canino, known worldwide for his beautiful albums (among the most recent the integral piano work of Emmanuel Chabrier), for the occasion of the Award which will be given on August 24 in Palazzo Fantini in Tredozio, will perform a show created around the fascinating evolution of the waltz in Europe, declined on the keys of a piano.




Emilia Romagna Festival has always worked to promote young music talents, collaborating with some of the best international music competitions, and every year it hosts the winners.  The project that won the support of the Cultural Program of the EU: MUSMA – Music Masters on Air is all focused on young composers, the search for innovation and the enrichment of the musical repertoire and continues this year to collaborate with the international network European Festivals Association.  For 2014 the theme chosen by the International Festival of Music of Ankara is water, which will inspire the selected young composers to create new works dedicated to the woodwind quintet, which will be played throughout Europe and played on the partner radio station of this project.  The festival will therefore host new compositions in an Italian premiere by Keitaro Takahashi (Japan), Daan Janssens (Belgium), Adrien Tsilogiannis (Belgium), Can Bekir Bilir (Turkey) and Mikolaj Majkusiak (Poland), besides the world premiere by Orazio Sciortino.  All of the pieces will be played on September 5 in Castel San Pietro Terme  (Bo) by I Fiati Associati and for the first time they will be recorded and aired by RER Radio dell’Emilia Romagna, the radio partner of this festival for the MUSMA project.


And speaking of emerging talents, in residence at the festival for the usual section Primo Premio! (First Prize) - a historic section dedicated to young musicians from prestigious international competitions - is the brilliant formation of strings, the Omer Quartet, launched onto international stages by the First Prize of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, known as the most prestigious chamber music competition in the world (August 25, Riolo Terme; August 27, Alfonsine; August 28, Imola; August 29 Forlì).  From the yearly collaboration with the Salieri-Zinetti International Competition of Chamber Music, one of the most interesting and lively competitions in the nation, comes the Duo Hiller-Sieber from Germany, fresh from their New York debut, and from the Czech Republic the Josef Suk Piano Quartet.


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Emilia Romagna Festival

Last modified Jul 23, 2014

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