MITO SettembreMusica: a month of music in Milano and Torino

7 September 2012

MITO SettembreMusica, a month of music turns Milano and Torino on their ears! The programme is brimming with concerts featuring classical, jazz, rock and pop, ancient music and avant-garde, world music and some of today's most innovative musical trends. Audiences are treated not only to loads of great music – they'll be experiencing it all in the host cities' most enthralling – and in some cases little known – locations. The festival runs from 5-23 September, with a total of 190 events in Milano and Torino, including 156 concerts and the participation of some 4,100 artists, bringing music to ever-expanding audiences. A hallmark of MITO SettembreMusica is its accessibility, with affordably priced tickets and many performances with free admission – a genuine opportunity to get out and enjoy some truly great music without spending an arm and a leg! This year MITO SettembreMusica remains loyal to its commitment to music education as the festival involves elementary, middle and high schools, as well as local universities in the music experience. The festival will be offering young people music appreciation and listening guides, seminars with musicians and preparatory sessions for concert performances in learning institutions throughout the two metropolitan areas. MITO SettembreMusica continues to be at the forefront of music education, dedicated to making even the youngest children true music lovers. Inauguration and the Big Orchestras The 2012 edition of MITO SettembreMusica kicks off Wednesday, September 5 at Torino's Teatro Regio with the Orchestre National de France, conducted by Daniele Gatti, for a tribute to Claude Debussy marking the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth. On September 6 Gatti and company head to Milano to open the festival there at the Teatro alla Scala. A whole series of performances will be featuring the music of Debussy, including symphonies, chamber music and a slew of piano works performed by talented young musicians. Among the major international orchestras and ensembles to grace our huge two-city stage: the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yuri Temirkanov; the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Colin Davis; the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, conducted by Helmuth Rilling; Le Concert des Nations, conducted by Jordi Savall; the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen; the Teatro Regio Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Bertrand de Billy; I Filarmonici di Roma, conducted by Uto Ughi. The Filarmonica della Scala returns, with performances on September 16 in Milano and September 17 in Torino, conducted by the young Italian Andrea Battistoni. The Milano date promises to be particularly exciting, as classical music abandons the usual elite venues in a special performance for a crowd of thousands at the Mediolanum Forum, featuring the music of Brahms and Musorgsky, with Louis Lortie at the piano. In Torino the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne will be performing three concerts featuring piano music by Beethoven at the Auditorium Giovanni Agnelli, with pianist and conductor Christian Zacharias. Contemporary Focus: Luis De Pablo and Kaija Saariaho MITO SettembreMusica introduces audiences to contemporary music with a hefty series dedicated to two living composers, Luis De Pablo of Spain and Kaija Saariaho of Finland. Their music will be played by the London Sinfonietta, conducted by David Atherton; Filarmonica '900, conducted by José Ramon Encinar; and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, conducted by Daniel Kawka. Three concerts in both Milano and Torino feature an identical program of selections representative of the composers' works for orchestra and ensemble, with a total of nine Italian premieres and one world premiere. This year's edition of MITO SettembreMusica also hosts a number of other contemporary composers – Giacomo Manzoni, Sylvano Bussotti, György Kurtag, Claude Vivier, Fabio Vacchi, George Crumb, Filippo Del Corno, Gilberto Bosco, Michele Dall'Ongaro, Giulio Castagnoli, Fabio Mengozzi and Stefano Pierini – proof that music in its multiple expressions is a truly “young” art in continuous expansion. Sacred, Ancient and Baroque Music One of the initiatives that best puts the focus on the historical connection between music and the host cities is dedicated to sacred, ancient and Baroque music, with concerts and masses in local churches – an historical and architectural context that underscores the music's content and recreates the bond between past and present. The program features music by Ockeghem, Monteverdi, Bach and Haydn, with important novelties that emerge from the past, such as Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle, which had been thought lost but resurfaced in 1991. For the first time in Torino, with his Concerto Italiano Rinaldo Alessandrini performs Claudio Monteverdi's Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria; while the Milano section features performances of Monteverdi's symphonies and madrigals. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of Giovanni Gabrieli, known as the “inventor” of stereophonic sound. MITO SettembreMusica celebrates the event with a tribute to the Venetian master and his compositions with the sounds of voices and instruments that intermingle beneath church buttresses for an extraordinary experience that combines music and architecture. Tribute to Giulio Ricordi In celebration of another important anniversary in the music world, MITO SettembreMusica dedicates an entire day of its Milano program to Giulio Ricordi, the enlightened Milanese publisher, author, poet and composer, marking 100 years since his death. Events include a conference and a series of concerts featuring some of Ricordi's pieces for piano and chamber music. From the Italian Tradition to World Music MITO SettembreMusica aims to be a model for new balances and proposals with a program open to a variety of genres and contributions. Two different spirits lead the way. There's the Italian tradition and a series of performances of music by singer-songwriters and folk music that explore the nuances and depth of Italian heritage, featuring Ambrogio Sparagna, Francesco De Gregori, Paolo Conte, Peppe Servillo in Memorie di Adriano, and the group Marta sui tubi playing songs by Lucio Dalla. Then there are the important international collaborations, with the likes of Harvard University's metaLAB, the Montreux Jazz Festival, Gamelan music from Sebatu – sure to delight audiences with a wealth of new international proposals, stylistic contaminations and blends of different genres. Somewhere between erudite and folk music, in this year's concerts dedicated to a single foreign country, the focus is on Morocco, with rhythms and singing in collaboration with the Festival de Fes des Musiques Sacrées du Monde (indeed, in 2010 Fes and Torino forged an official cultural partnership). While from Romania there will be performances of a string of masterpieces by George Enescu, the most European of Romanian composers. Jazz, Rock, Pop, Electronic and Lots More Concerts featuring jazz, rock and pop, avant-garde and electronic music provide audiences with a glimpse of what's going on in today's modern music – a taste of musical genres distant from one another in appearance only. Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu returns to MITO SettembreMusica for two concerts in Milano and Torino along with Uri Caine. Performances in Torino include: a concert featuring Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto; a recital by Layori of Nigeria; two performances of Chinese music at the Museo d'Arte Orientale; AirEffects, Act I, starring Riccardo Giovinetto; the project Musica come estasi in conjunction with the Il Sacro attraverso l'Ordinario festival. In Milano: a host of international artists including the Tania Maria Trio; the young indie-folk group from Iceland, Of Monsters and Men; the multi-instrumentalist from Berlin, Konstantin Gropper, a.k.a. Get Well Soon; a tribute to the film Blade Runner; the “experimental” Ben Frost with Music for Six Guitars; a spectacular tribute to media theoretician Marshall McLuhan, in conjunction with metaLAB@Harvard University; the grand closing celebration, featuring four DJs mixing new beats and sounds with smash hits from the 1970s and '80s. Both host cities will be featuring events focusing on soundtracks and musical scores for films. The Milano section serves up a tribute to Charlie Chaplin in this, the 35th year after his death, with two film screenings and a live performance of the original score in its entirety. The Torino section features two soundscapes at the city's Museo del Cinema: KTL vs. Murnau's Sunrise, and Vladislav Delay vs. Kaurismaki's I Hired a Contract Killer. Mozart and the Tourette Syndrome is the title of a conference organized by MITO SettembreMusica in conjunction with the Niguarda Hospital, the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute, the University of Milano and the LUdeS University of Lugano, as part of an exploration of connections between musical listening, composition and performance, and the brain. Children's Shows and the MITO Educational Project Each Saturday and Sunday throughout the festival MITO SettembreMusica serves up a total of six children's shows in Torino and seven in Milano, including for the first time in Milano a playful musical romp created especially for children ages 18 months to three years. For this edition of the MITOFringe section there will be five preparatory listening sessions conducted by young musicologists. In September the festival will be hosting conferences with international music stars performing at the festival. To help young people better understand what music is all about, a portion of the MITO Educational project is dedicated to students and their teachers. In Torino the successful project Inside Music will be continued, an online guide to listening and reading musical scores. MITOFringe and MITO About Town MITOFringe in Milano and MITO About Town in Torino bring a series of off-program concerts to the host cities for the fourth consecutive year. The MITOFringe section gives the city a taste of things to come beginning June 6 (the date also coincides with the opening of the MITO SettembreMusica Box Office), running through July 7, with free concerts in Milano's piazzas, courtyards, parks, railway and subway stations, universities, libraries and lots of other non-traditional music venues, from the downtown area to the outlying districts. This month of free shows encompasses classical, jazz, rock and pop, ethnic and ancient music – a gift to the city and an opportunity for young, upcoming musicians to put their talent to the test. In Torino, MITO About Town takes place during the festival itself, with some 30 concerts held in churches, theaters, social centers and clubs in every district of the city, to continue our bond with local residents – high quality music in line with the official program, where the emphasis is on classical, although the section also features performances of jazz, singer-songwriters and world music. And as the festival continues the positive experience from years past, it will be bringing music to hospitals, assistance centers, rest homes and prisons, reaching audiences that otherwise would have no access to live music. Lastly – but of great importance nonetheless – MITO SettembreMusica remains committed to making its music green. Which is to say, it continues its commitment to the environment through compensating for emissions produced and reducing environmental impact. The sixth edition of the international music festival MITO SettembreMusica hits the twin stages of host cities Milano and Torino with a new twist that signifies major institutional recognition. Beginning this year, the presidency of the festival has been assigned to the two mayors of Milano and Torino. As Piero Fassino, mayor of Torino, and Giuliano Pisapia, mayor of Milano, write in their introduction to this year's festival, “For all of us, MITO SettembreMusica is proof that big cities working in tandem can produce innovation and spread knowledge and appreciation of our artistic and musical heritage, once the domain of a minority of elites, today accessible to everyone.” MITO SettembreMusica vice president Francesco Micheli notes that “the mayors' direct commitment to the festival confirms the institutional status that MITO SettembreMusica has achieved over the years and paves the way for even greater collaboration between the two local administrations, based on their access to a wide range of skills and knowhow, for the continued growth of this key cultural initiative, a mainstay of the September arts and music calendar.”