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Home XV Emilia Romagna Festival - ERF

XV Emilia Romagna Festival - ERF

Emilia Romagna Festival has now reached 15 years in existence and is looking towards the Orient.  A long musical itinerary, from July 18 to September 16, from Europe to Asia and then towards the West Indies, coming back to Italy through Spain, thus completing a tour around the world by backtracking along Columbus's route.  The excellent guide to this Gateway to the Indies, this journey into culture and faraway lands, will be the magnificent composer Johann Sebastian Bach, the father of, and constant inspiration for, contemporary music.


A trip divided into 41 stops, from classical to tango, from ancient to contemporary, and up to the most innovative musical trends, all held in the most prized places of the architectonic tradition of Emilia Romagna, in the provinces Bologna, Ferrara, Forlì-Cesena and Ravenna.


Opening and closing the 2015 edition of ERF are two exceptional events which are both premieres.  Once again a female composer will inaugurate this festival, Silvia Colasanti, a young but well-known Roman composer who, after the great Sofija Gubajdulina who starred in the opening concert of ERF 2014, will kick off the festival - Saturday, July 18 at 9pm, at the Teatro Arena in Castel San Pietro Terme (Bo) - with the world premiere of Partita per flauto e archi.  Along with this new work by Silvia Colasanti, there will also be some of Bach's most famous pages, including two Concerti Brandeburghesi, played by the famous Iranian pianist Ramin Bahrami, one of the greatest scholars and interpreters of works by the master from Eisenach, the director of ERF and famous flute player Massimo Mercelli, and the Orchestra de I Solisti Aquilani, a prestigious chamber orchestra that will be the resident orchestra of ERF 2015.


The closing concert – Wednesday, September 16 at 9pm, at the Chiesa di San Giacomo in San Domenico in Forlì – will be an extraordinary concert dedicated to dialogue and reconciliation.  The prestigious Hover State Chamber Choir of Erevan (Armenia), founded and directed by Sona Hovhannisyan in 1992, who will also direct the choir for this occasion, will perform a repertoire of music between the Orient and the West, in line with the historic happenings of those regions, which have always been meeting places where many peoples come into contact, as well as cultures and different civilizations, and which will include the Italian premiere of  Psalmus III by Krzysztof Penderecki.  This work was expressly written by the Polish composer for the Hover Choir and it premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York on May 26, 2015.



Here is a preview of the artistic projects and events on schedule.



Seven concerts dedicated to the figure of Johann Sebastian Bach, the composer who more than anyone else determined the history of western music from the 1700s to today.  Great international musicians and young new artists will take on some of the most classic Bach pieces along with works by contemporary composers.  After the inaugural evening - the first event of Bach to Italy – the next event held on July 22 (Bologna, Corte del Circolo Ufficiali) will be dedicated to Bach's masterpiece: the famous Variazioni Goldberg played by Ramin Bahrami, with narration by the well known music critic and journalist Sandro Cappelletto.  On August 1 (Varignana, Bo, Chiesa di San Lorenzo), it will be the turn of the great Serbian violinist Jovan Kolundžija who will show off his skills playing the Sonate e Partite for violin solo, including the one in re minor which contains the famous Ciaccona, a formidable example of single instrument polyphony and one of the greatest masterpieces of all time for violin solos.  This will be followed, on August 3 (Imola, Bo, Chiesa di San Domenico), by one of the most "intriguing" works, the Offerta Musicale BWV 1079, recognized as one of the most articulate and complex pieces ever composed, which will be performed by Ramin Bahrami, together with Massimo Mercelli and the Trio de I Solisti Aquilani.  The star of the concert on August 22 (Tossignano, Bo, Chiesa di San Girolamo) will instead be the famous Bosnian guitarist Saša Dejanović who will play a Fuga and two Suite by the German master while on August 26 (courtyard of the Musei San Domenico in Forlì) it will be Alexander Hülshoff's turn, the cellist of international fame, who will perform the Suite, known for being one of the most famous and challenging pieces ever written for cello.  “Bach to Italy” will end on August 27 (Codigoro, Fe, Abbazia di Pomposa Sala delle Stilate), with Andrea Manco, a young flute virtuoso who has just been named first chair at the Scala, and Aina Kalnciema, a very refined performer of Bach's works for the harpsichord, with a program called Sonate for flute and cembalo where inspiration and technique will combine in an incomparable way in a superior musical sphere.


The ideal way to follow up the series “Bach to Italy” is with the two concerts on schedule on July 19 and July 20.


In the scenographic Hay Bales Arena in Cotignola (Ra, July 19), a whole evening dedicated to Vivaldi, of whom Bach was a great admirer and for whom he transcribed many concerts: the Orchestra de I Solisti Aquilani, together with the famous flautist Francesco Loi and the violin soloist Daniele Orlando, will perform the Concerti della Natura, Le quattro Stagioni, La notte, La tempesta di mare and Il gardellino, works of extraordinary evocative force that the Venice maestro dedicated to the power and beauty of creation.  On July 20 (Codigoro, Fe, Abbazia di Pomposa Sala delle Stilate), the Orchestra de I Solisti Aquilani together with four soloists with years of experience - Salvatore Lombardi on the flute, Federico Cardilli on the violin, Giulio Ferretti on the cello, and Daniele DUbaldo on the timpani - will take on a program that offers a comparison of two music greats, Bach and Vivaldi, in some of their most famous works which reveal the admiration of the great German composer for the ‘red priest’, with a short excursus into contemporary Neapolitan music, including the world premiere of a work by Enzo Avitabile, Indigmna Concerto per flauto e timpani.



Among the musicians of the 15th edition is the Banda Musicale della Polizia di Stato (Police Band), which for more than 70 years has been an important vehicle for spreading music in Italy and abroad, lead by Maurizio Billi, who will perform together with the soprano Federica Balucani on July 23 in Cesenatico (Piazza Spose dei Marinai) and on July 24 in Comacchio (Arena di Palazzo Bellini).  The Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, among the oldest and most prestigious symphonies in Turkey founded in 1827 by Donizetti's brother, conducted by the great wand of Ender Sakpinar, the group's main conductor since 2014, will perform on July 27 (Forlì, Chiesa di San Giacomo in San Domenico) in a program of music by 1900s composers, with an intriguing mix between East and West: from Turkish composers like Ulvi Cemar Erkin and Cemal Resit Rey, to the American Aaron Copland, up to the contemporary Michael Nyman, whose work the Sinfonia n. 8 Water Dances, will be performed in an Italian premiere – in collaboration with Mittelfest - a work which was commissioned by BASF SE for the 150th anniversary of the company in 2015.


And again on July 30 (Codigoro, Fe, Abbazia di Pomposa) it will be the turn of the Coro Voz Latina with the Grupo del Barrio, together with the soloist voice of Luciana Elizondo and under the direction of Maximiliano Baños, with the Misa Criolla by Ariel Ramírez, a splendid synthesis between sacred, popular and folk music.  On August 4 (Codigoro, Fe, Abbazia di Pomposa) Tania Bussi will perform with the pianist Davide Finotti and on August 10 (Forlì, Chiostro dei Musei di San Domenico) the bassoon of Paolo Carlini together with the piano of Matteo Fossi will take on the world premiere of Totem 3 (segnali) for bassoon and piano, a work written by Ennio Morricone and dedicated to Carlini.  On September 5 (Sasso Morelli, Villa La Babina), in collaboration with the 61st Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, there will be the Galà Lirico with outstanding young opera singers from the very advanced Academy of the Puccini Festival, with a wonderful tribute to the great Puccini.


Finally, not to be forgotten are two excellent youth orchestras: on September 12 (Imola, Rocca Sforzesca), arriving for their first tour in Italy, the Orquesta Juvenil Universitaria Eduardo Mata - a symphony created within the most important cultural hub in Mexico, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, a guest of the past edition of ERF - will perform with the great Massimo Quarta, the tenor José Luis Ordóñez and the soprano Lluvia Ruelas, under the direction of Gustavo Rivero Weber with a program dedicated to traditional Latin American arias.  On September 14 (Forlì, Chiesa di San Giacomo in San Domenico) the China Youth Philharmonic Orchestra will perform, a company that represents the best musical culture of their country, directed by Youqing Yang and accompanied by four young Chinese soloists, Ni Yizhen on the flute, Zhang Weiliang on the bamboo flute, Jin Hui on the violin and Song Fei on the erhu.



The Emilia Romagna Festival Career Award, a recognition begun in 2010 to pay tribute to the great stars of the international artistic scene, will be given this year to the Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez, one of the greatest tenors of our time due to his great vocal and interpretive qualities, and who, along with his brilliant artistic career, has always been socially active.  In 2011 he founded "Sinfonía por el Perù" - a social inclusion project inspired by the Venezuelan "El Sistema" - which manages orchestras and choirs to help the most vulnerable children and teens.  For this initiative, on August 16 in the historic Palazzo Fantini in Tredozio (FC), the artist will receive this award, and for the occasion the very young tenor Ivan Ayon will perform, a student of Florez who was trained in one of the centers of ‘Sinfonía por el Perù’.



As part of its dedication to mixing forms and languages, this year ERF presents a series of interwoven itineraries of sounds, writing, theatre and dance, expressive experiments which have always been dear to the Festival.  Among these are, on August 5 (Bagnara, Ra, Rocca), The Soul of the cellist an intense and involving dialogue between Erich Oskar Huetter, a famous Austrian cellist, and Tanja "Tanima" Schmid, a ballerina and a renowned teacher of free improvisation, dance theater and classic ballet; on August 12 (Codigoro, Abbazia di Pomposa) Lectura Dantis with the voice of Elena Bucci, director, actress and writer who was part of the historic group of Teatro di Leo of Leo de Berardinis, and the piano of Stefano Miceli.  During this evening, the words of Dante will be accompanied by music by Franz Liszt who admired and "felt" Dante's wok.  On August 19 (Codigoro, Fe, Abbazia di Pomposa Sala delle Stilate), the dancers of “ARKA IRA” will take the stage with a pièce of tango-theater-song, a show full of Argentinian and South American rhythms, curated by Hilario Baggini, a poly-instrument Argentinian musician, author and arranger.  Lastly, on August 24 (Imola, Bo, Villa Torano), do not miss Suite Michelangelo, a new version curated by the artistic theater group Città di Ebla of the Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti for bass and piano op. 145 composed in1973 by Dmitrij Šostakovič, a meeting point between poetry and music through an interpretive lens that looks not only at the tensions between a verbal writing and a musical one, but also the relationship between the two performers of this piece - the pianist Shizuka Salvemini and the baritone Riccardo Fioratti.



Also this year the artists of Primo Premio! (First Place) - the historic section dedicated to young performers from prestigious international music competitions – will participate, starting with the Telegraph Quartet, a brilliant group of strings created in 2013 in San Francisco and launched onto international stages by their First Place finish at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, known as the most prestigious competition for chamber music in the world (August 28 and 31; September 2 and 3).  Among the other emerging talents who will perform as part of Primo Premio! are the Delta Piano Trio, winners of the first prize ex aequo of the International Chamber Music Competition Salieri- Zinetti 2014 (July 28), and João Tavares Filho, first place at the IV Andrea Baldi International Piano Competition 2014 (August 18).


And finally, The Delicacies of ERF - Itineraries of music, discovery and tastings.  Some of the events on schedule become total sensorial experiences: along with the pleasure of listening to music, activities to discover the region and taste local wines and food will be added to the mix (July 21, Casalfiumanese, Bo; July 29, Castel Bolognese, Bo; August 1, Varignana, Bo; August 3, Imola, Bo; August 16, Tredozio, Fc).


The complete program can be found at:

Emilia Romangna Festival


Last modified Jul 06, 2015

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