Stresa Festival celebrates 50th anniversary

23 August 2011

This year – 2011 – the Settimane Musicali di Stresa e del Lago Maggiore (Stresa Music Festival) is celebrating its 50th anniversary (21 May to 4 September). For the last five years it has been under the High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic. This year’s programme “prologue” consisted of three lively Spring Concerts, boasting internationally known jazz performers - Enrico Rava Tribe, Charlie Haden Quartet West and the Al Di Meola New World Sinfonia. From 29 July to 5 August the “Meditations in music” took place, a week offering 15th and 16th century musical gems. The main body of the Festival programme, under this year’s theme of “Travel Notes”, spans a wide period, from well-loved late baroque, classic and romantic pieces to less-known composers, such as Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Donizetti, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich, all in the magic hands of outstanding interpreters and orchestras, as befits this party for the Festival’s half-century. For the inaugural concert at the Palazzo dei Congressi Gianandrea Noseda conducted the Stresa Festival Orchestra, performing the winning piece from the Settimane Musicali di Stresa 2011 5th International composition competition. The evening included Brahms’ First Symphony and Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1 for piano, trumpet and strings, with pianist Alexander Toradze. The Stresa Festival Orchestra is a chamber orchestra, established in 2003 following Gianandrea Noseda's request, formed by young, talented musicians hailing from the best European orchestras where they all play leading roles. The full festival programme is available on the EFA website.