Great July Programme for Music in Lucca Province

VERSILIA CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL

The 48th season of concerts at Pieve a Elici, organized by Massarosa Municipality and Associazione Musicale Lucchese opens with a piano recital by Jin Ju. The famous Chinese pianist, Tuscan by adoption, performs Rameau’s double Gavotte and Variations in A minor and well-known pieces by Debussy and Chopin.

On Sunday, July 12th Pavel Berman, a fine violinist and “Virtuosi Italiani” leader, with Roberto Arosio, piano, performs Grieg’s violin sonata n. 3 in C minor, Schumann’s violin sonata no. 1 in A minor, Chausson’s Poème and Wieniawski’s variations on a theme from “Faust”.

The season’ third event is on Sunday 19th with the great cellist Enrico Bronzi and Lucchese pianist Simone Soldati who perform Bach’s solo cello suite no 5 and Beethoven’s variations on Bei Männern, welche Liebe fulhen from Mozart’s Magic Flute and his Violin Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69.

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The events conclude on Sunday 26th July with the young pianist Mariangela Vacatello. The programme includes music by Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and Ginastera.

The concerts start at 9.15 pm. Tickets are 12 € (10 € reduced; 7 euro for AML members). For information contact Associazione Musicale Lucchese tel. + 39 0583 469960;

IAM FESTIVAL OF CASTELNUOVO GARFAGNANA

This festival continues until July 7th. The International Academy of Music Festival is an event that, since 2003, brings some of the best international chamber music performers to the Serchio Valley. These are the events for July: Wednesday, 1st at 4 pm in the “Boccherini” Institute Auditorium in Lucca, a students’ gala concert will take place, while at 5 pm, in Castelnuovo Garfagnana’s Sala Suffredini, Henry Wang plays piano music by Haydn, Liszt, Ravel and Rachmaninov. The same day, at 9.15 pm at Cardoso, clarinettist Julian Milkis and pianist Natalia Strelle perform 20 miniatures by Kancheli, while tenor Nils Neubert, accompanied on the piano by Yuri Kim, sings arias by Beethoven, Brahms and Puccini.

The following day there will be a concert at the Church of the Capuchins in Castelnuovo at 9.15 pm, with pianist Phillip Kawin with Dmitri Berlinsky, violin, and Efrem Briskin, piano. Friday 3rd at 9.15 pm at Castelnuovo’s Teatro Alfieri the Orchestra della Toscana conducted by Federico Ferri play music by Vivaldi, Martini, Mozart and Telemann.

The evening of Saturday 4th, always in Castelnuovo, while several concerts will be taking place outdoors at the Porta Loggiato and piazza Ariosto, in the Capuchin Church, there’s also a Brahms concert  with Joseph Rosen (clarinet), Berthine van Schoor (cello) and Natalia Strelle (piano) followed by the violin and piano duo of Elena Peres and Yuri Kim.

July 5th at 5 pm, in the Sala Suffredini there’s a recital by pianist Aleksandr Bolotin, and at 9.15 pm the “Boccherini” Institute Orchestra, conducted by GianPaolo Mazzoli, will perform at the Teatro Alfieri, with pianist Jonas Aumiller and Daniel Eras Saborio.

Monday 6th at 5 pm Saborio performs a piano recital in the Sala Suffredini, while in the Church of Cascio at 9.15 pm there’s a chamber concert with Julian Mikis, clarinet, and Gena Raps, piano, Irina Tseitlin violin, Eugene Briskin, cello, and Efrem Briskin, piano. The Festival’s closing ceremony will be held at the Teatro Alfieri on 7th July at 9.15 pm.

Info: http://www.iamitalia.com.

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BACH CHOIR AT THE FESTIVAL OF SACRED MUSIC IN SAN PAOLINO

The traditional Festival of Sacred Music, sponsored and organized by Polifonica Lucchese directed by Egisto Matteucci, is now in its thirty-first year. Saturday, July 4th at 9.15 pm in Lucca’s Basilica of San Paolino, the “Johann Sebastian Bach”, women’s choir conducted by Brunetta Ulivieri Carmignani, will perform sacred music from medieval times and also by Marco Antonio Ingegneri, Matteo Adola, Monteverdi, Gounod, Poulenc, Kodaly and Dobri Hristov. The concert is free.

FOUR PUCCINI OPERAS AT TORRE DEL LAGO

The Puccini Festival in Torre Del Lago, now in its 61st year, presents four operas by Lucca’s composer across sixteen evenings beginning on July 24th and ending on August 31st. They are Tosca, Turandot, Madama Butterfly and Il Trittico.

Tosca (July 24, 31 / 15, 21, 30 August) will be sung by Daniela Dessi, Fabio Armiliato and Giovanni Meoni. Valerio Galli conducts. New theatrical scenarios by Mimmo Paladino. Direction by Vivien Hewitt.

Turandot (July 25, August 16, 23, 29) will be presented with four of the alternative ending of the opera. Puccini’s, with a performance stopping when the Maestro died. Another performance will have Alfano’s first finale version and the other two performances will have Alfano’s second finale version and Luciano Berio’s ending. Singers are Giovanna Casolla (Princess), Rudy Park and Rubens Pellizzari (Calaf), Alida Berti and Valentina Boi (Liù). Bruno Nicoli conducts. On the 28th August there’s a performance by Beijing’s Chinese National Opera House. Production is by Angelo Bertini.

Madama Butterfly (1, 8, 14, 22, 29 August) have singers Svetla Vassileva (Butterfly),  Sergio Escobar and Rubens Pellizzari (Pinkerton), Laura Brioli and Mariella Guarnera (Suzuki); Alberto Mastromarino (Sharpless). Francesco Ivan Ciampa conducts. Stage sets by Renzo Giacchieri.

The season ends on 20th August with Il Trittico with the young talents of the Puccini Festival Academy directed by Massimo Morelli.

The Puccini Festival is also presenting the legendary Spandau Ballet (9th August), a concert by the “Il Volo” trio (12 and 13 August) and Puccini heroines with French choreographer and dancer Julien Lestel (August 18). In the program, as part of the Festival, there are also contemporary art exhibitions and events.

Info and reservations 0584 359322- 0584 427201; www.puccinifestival.it

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LUCCA SUMMER FESTIVAL

The Lucca Summer Festival is now eighteen years old and for this wonderful birthday offers for its first event an unforgettable evening with Bob Dylan (who inaugurated it in 1998) and Francesco De Gregori. The two great artists will take the stage in Piazza Napoleone on Wednesday, July 1st at 8 pm in separate sets for a truly memorable evening. The festival continues throughout July in Piazza Napoleone with twelve other events attracting thousands of fans from around the world. Here are the programme details: Sunday 5th (9 pm) John Legend, an artist who has sold over seven million records; Tuesday 7th (9.30 pm) the “Los Lobos” band, an explosive mixture of rockabilly, country, blues and salsa; Wednesday 8th (9 pm) the welcome return of Paolo Nutini, born in Scotland but whose father is from Barga; Thursday 9th (9.30 pm) “The Script” band consisting of three brilliant young Dubliners; Friday 10th (9.30 pm) Billy Idol, great exponent of pop music; Saturday 11th (9.30 pm) another welcome return of a great artist: Elton John with his band; Monday 20th (9.30 pm) evening with MS Lauryn Hill who won five Grammys in 1999; Wednesday 22nd (9.30 pm) Mark Knopfler will be performing with a seven-piece band; Thursday 23rd (9.30 pm) Robbie Williams presents a show entitled “Let Me Entertain You Tour”; Friday 24th evening with two exponents of Italian rap, Fedez and Jax; Sunday 26th (8.30 pm) performance by the New York rocker Lenny Kravitz; Finally on Tuesday 28th (9 pm) concert by Snoop Dogg who has sold over 35 million albums worldwide. Info +39 0584 46477

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There will also be three free events, all at 9 pm: July 16th, an evening dedicated to Lucca’s talents; July 17 tribute to Pino Daniele and Joe Cocker with Enzo Avitabile and Tony Esposito; July 18th,  live on Rai Radio1, 610 with comedians Lillo and Greg.

THE “CITY OF CAMAIORE” ORGAN FESTIVAL CELEBRATES TWENTY YEARS

The “Città di Camaiore” organ festival, held in the Badia di Camaiore, is now into its twentieth year, enriched, as you may read in LuccaMusica’s “History” section, by the archive from Camaiore’s Arrosti musical family, with music by Marco Santucci and other Camaiore composers which up to now have remained in Rinuccini family ownership and were inaccessible. The start is on Saturday, July 18th with a concert by Stefan Kagl dedicated to the memory of Albert Schweitzer, the great twentieth century scholar and Bach interpreter on the fiftieth anniversary of his death, and continues on Wednesday 22nd with organist Mario Ciferri (see photo) and Tuesday 28th with Enrico Barsanti (all concerts are at 9.15 pm: entry tickets 5 euro). The evening of July 28 will begin at 6 pm and is a celebration of the organ festival’s 20th anniversary, the presentation of the proceedings of the 2010 Study Day that saw the presence of Christoph Wolff and other prestigious scholars and finally a dedication for the acquisition of Camaiore’s Arrosti musical family’s archive. The meeting will also be attended by Lucca musicologist and historian Fabrizio Guidotti. After dinner at 8 pm, a concert by organist Enrico Barsanti follows.

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CLASSICAL MUSIC AT CORSANICO WITH VINCENZO COLONNA’S MONUMENTAL ORGAN

Saturday, July 11th, in the Parish of St. Michael the Archangel, Corsanico, the “Corsanico Festival 2015” starts. The opening evening, entitled “From Vivaldi to Beethoven,” features the Cembalorchestra with Nello Salza as violin soloist and conductor. The program includes Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Bellini’s trumpet concerto and Beethoven’s Romanza-transcription for trumpet and strings with Michelangelo Lentini as trumpet soloist. Saturday, July 18th, with the “Voce di Assisi”, tenor friar Alessandro Brustenghi and organist Matteo Venturini, perform “il Canto della Lode”, in addition to Saint Saens, Frank, Bizet, Dike, Casini, Morandi, etc.

Friday, July 24, with the title “Journey to Italy” we’ll hear a cultural and musical interlacing with organist Andrea Vannucchi. The programme includes music by Pasquini, Martini, Bach, Mozart and Catenacci. Main protagonist of the festival is Vincenzo Colonna’s historic seventeenth-century organ now known throughout the world. The concerts start at 9.15 pm, tickets cost €. 10 each and events will continue with great artists throughout August. Info: http://www.corsanicomusica.it – ​​grazianobarsotti@libero.it  tel. +390584 954016

BANDONEON ORCHESTRA AT THE CHIESA DEI SERVI

The Orchestra Filarmonica Di Lucca’s concert season continues in July under the artistic direction of Andrea Colombini with two great events and with soloists of national and international fame. Wednesday, July 1st, in the Chiesa dei Servi at 9.15 pm, the Grosseto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Giancarlo De Lorenzo accompanies the famous bandoneon player Cesare Chiacchiaretta in a programme of music by Astor Piazzolla for bandoneon and orchestra. Sunday, July 12th, also in the Chiesa dei Servi at 9.15 pm, there’s a symphony program dedicated to Franz Schubert, with his Fourth “Tragic” symphony and Chopin’s first piano concerto with Bulgarian pianist Ludmill Angelov, winner of international competitions and teacher at the Conservatory and University of Sofia. Joshua Zone conducts. Both concerts will be free admission for all residents of the province of Lucca thanks to the Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca. To book seats phone +39340 8106042 infoline 10 am -6 pm daily.

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“ALFREDO CATALANI” CIRCLE OF FRIENDS OF MUSIC

Monday, July 13th at 9.30 pm in San Luca Palace Hotel’s Sala Catalani (via San Paolino), the “Alfredo Catalani” Friends of Music circle offers a listening guide to Lehar’s The Merry Widow. The listening guide, with free admission, will be with soprano Carla Giometti and accordionist Franco Bonsignori: the two artists will illustrate the plot and perform the most popular songs from the operetta.

Sunday 19th the Catalani Circle is also organizing a trip to Genoa’s “Carlo Felice” Theatre for a performance of The Merry Widow conducted by Felix Krieger and directed by Augusto Fornari with  the theatre’s orchestra and chorus. Information and bookings Tel:  347 9951581.

CINCINNATI YOUTH CHOIR CONCERT

The Children’s Choir of the University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music, conducted by Robyn Reeves Lana, will perform on Tuesday, July 7th at 9 pm in the Chiesa dei Servi. To welcome the young American singers will be the choirs of the Torre Del Lago Puccini Festival directed by Sara Matteucci. After Lucca, the Cincinnati Children’s Choir has been invited to represent the United States at Milan’s World Expo, and will be performing in the USA Pavilion under the American flag. The event is part of the “Sui Sentieri della musica (On the paths of Music)” festival organized by “Il Baluardo, Lucca’s vocal group of “The Bulwark” conducted by Elio Antichi. The concert is free.

CAMIGLIANESE CHORAL FESTIVAL

Saturday, July 4th, in Camigliano parish church at 9.15 pm the first evening of Camigliano’s choral festival will be held. Guest choirs will be the “Polifonica – City of Viareggio,” which celebrates its twentieth anniversary under the masterly direction of Gianfranco Cosmi (a versatile artist who has devoted over fifty years to music, in particular to Lucca) and the “Il rifugio – città di Seregno” choir (see photo) from Lombardy, a group founded in 1966 that has won choral competitions for its interpretation of traditional and mountain folk songs.

Sunday, 5th July the “Il rifugio – città di Seregno” choir, on a visit to Lucca, will accompany Mass with some pieces at 10 am in the church of S. Maria Corteorlandini (S. Maria Nera). Saturday, 18th, in the garden of San Gennaro’s beautiful Villa Bove, as part of “Estate in Villa” sponsored by the City of Capannori, there’s an evening entitled “Poesie e Canti sotto le stelle (Poems and songs under the stars).” Narrator Lorenza Corsini, classical guitar Sergio Berti. The songs will be performed by Camigliano’s “Giacomo Puccini” choir, creating a pleasant blend of poetry and harmony in a splendid landscape.

PIETRASANTA IN CONCERT

From July 24 to August 2, in the splendid setting of the Cloister of St. Augustine and the Piazza del Duomo in Pietrasanta (LU), the “Pietrasanta in Concerto” international festival of chamber music returns, directed by Michael Guttman (see photo).The July 28th free concert will be at the Rocca in front of the Piazza Duomo with the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina conducted by Giuseppe Lanzetta. The programme is available at http://www.pietrasantainconcerto.com and on Facebook and Twitter. In detail the programme is:

Friday, July 24th, “Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the French poet of the piano” with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano; Basle Chamber Orchestra with Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli Jr., conductor. Saturday, July 25th “Paganini and Mendelssohn: Tribute to Italy” with the Chamber Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino conducted by Michael Guttman (Lorenzo Gatto, violin). Sunday 26th “The devil’s trills” with the Moscow Soloists conducted by Yuri Bashmet (Leonard Schreiber, violin). Monday 27th “Two giants of the string quartet: Shostakovich and Beethoven” with the Debussy Quartet. Tuesday, 28th performances by the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina, free admission. Wednesday 29th, “La voce di Vivaldi” with Dominique Corbiau, countertenor; Fabrice Holvoet, theorbo; Katsufumi Suetsugu, harpsichord and organ with the Moscow Soloists. Thursday 30th Denis Kozhukhin, piano – Yuri Bashmet, viola and conductor. Friday 31st Russian Evening with Boris Berezovsky, piano. Saturday, August 1st, “Sogno di una mezza estate (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)” with Salvatore Accardo.” Sunday, August 2nd, “the Labèque sisters: Four hands, two souls: an historic duo.”

HONKY TONK GIRLZ

The Honky Tonk Girlz are two girls, two musicians, two all-round artists. Only a guitar, Greta Merli, and a voice, Serena Suffredini, are enough to create a unique and addictive sound. The two have different experiences but manage to fuse them into one explosive mixture of loops, delay and electronic sounds while keeping voice and story at centre-stage. In fact, their style blends acoustic guitar, percussion and melodic line, with electronic sounds and rock. The two musicians, both music teachers, met and decided to develop original arrangements of historical and contemporary pieces for guitar and voice. The HTG have played in many Italian music scenes. After a long time dedicated to the instrumentation and arrangement of covers they have also researched song writing. This is how the four songs, part of the ten songs on the album titled “Metro” published in April 2015, were born.

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GIANCARLO BIGAZZI NATIONAL SINGING CONTEST AWARD

The second year of the “Giancarlo Bigazzi Prize”, the famous composer of popular songs (see photo) and Oscar for the soundtrack of the movie “Mediterranean”, will be held this year in Lucca on 4th and 5th July, at the Auditorium del Suffragio of Lucca’s “L. Boccherini Music institute.” The contest selections will take place on Saturday 4th, behind closed doors in the presence of only the candidate and the jury. The finale, open to the public, will be held on Sunday, July 5.

The winner will be awarded a plaque and an internship of six days at the Mogol CE, including board, accommodation, photo book and recording of the winning song at CET’s studio. Second and third places will be awarded a plaque, certificate of participation, including radio recording and online distribution.

ARS LUDI CONCERT-PORTRAIT

The “Made in Italy, 3×1”, exhibition of the Scompiglio Cultural association, which takes place at the Vorno Estate, ends in July under the artistic direction of Antonio Caggiano. Saturday, July 4th, starting at 6 pm, there’s “Ars Ludi Concert-Portrait”, a meeting coordinated by Mario Gamba with Alvin Curran, Antonio Caggiano, Rodolfo Rossi and Gianluca Ruggeri. At 7.30 pm there’s a concert with Alvin Curran (keyboards and electronics), Antonio Caggiano, Rodolfo Rossi, Gianluca Ruggeri (percussion) with music by Steve Reich, Luigi Ceccarelli, Giorgio Battistelli and Alvin Curran. Tickets € 12, reduced € 7. Info: http://www.delloscompiglio.org

BOCCHERINI OPEN GOLD 2015

In July, enrolment is open for the OPEN GOLD masterclass promoted by the “L. Boccherini” Institute of Music with internationally renowned artists.

This is the programme for 2015: Flute with Paolo Taballione (5-8 September), singing with Laura Niculescu (7-10 September), Cello with Raphael Wallfisch (8-11 September), Viola and Chamber Music with Demetrio Comuzzi (9- 14 September) and piano with Wojciech Świtała (10-12 September).

Apart from music courses, on September 5th to 8th and 9th to 14th September the Alexander Technique will be held with Riccardo Parrucci while from 10th to 27th September there will be an orchestral training with Giovanni Bria and GianPaolo Mazzoli. Information: http://www.boccherini.it or at the “Boccherini” Institute tel: + 39 0583 464104; email: info@boccherini.it

SUMMER SCHOOL AT THE SYMPHONY SCHOOL

The Scuola di Musica Sinfonia promotes a musical summer campus for children aged 6 to 12. The courses, which are held from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 3 pm, provide instrumental, choral, preparatory, English, and musical theatre workshops with weekly time off  to explore the city of Lucca, in a musical journey that will deepen the figure of some of the most famous composers. This is the course calendar: Beethoven week (6-10 July), Verdi week (13-17 July), Mascagni Week (July 20 to 24) and Bizet week (27-31 July). Info: School Symphony, via Nazario Sauro n. 527; tel. 0583 312052 or scuola.sinfonia@tin.it.

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