“Veiled Music. Schumann and Brahms” is the theme of the 56° edition of the International Piano Festival of Brescia and Bergamo, from 15 April to 10 June 2019.
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6 febbraio 2019 – 6 febbraio 2019 – 6 February 2019 – The Festival’s 2019 edition was announced to the media and the public at the traditional press conferences in Brescia at Palazzo Loggia and in Bergamo at Palazzo Polli Stoppani. The Festival will open with “Ein deutches Requiem” by Brahms, exceptionally performed by the Basel Symphony Orchestra and the MDR Leipzig Choir. As every year, the Festival will open first in Bergamo, on Monday 15 April, and the following day, Tuesday 16, in Brescia.
1853 was the year that changed young Brahms’ life. At the age of 20, he presented himself at Schumann’s home with the hope of being received by him. Schumann not only received Brahms but immediately recognized his genius and loved him like a son. An extraordinary story about friendship and life that marked the entire existence of both Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann and did not end with Schumann’s death. Out of love and sincere devotion Clara and Johannes spent their whole lives to ensure that Robert’s music would not be forgotten.
In his famous and very acute review of the young Johannes Brahms in 1853 Robert Schumann noted: “There was genius in his playing that made an orchestra out of the piano, with plaintive and jubilant voices. There were sonatas, or rather veiled symphonies.”
“In this climate some of the greatest, sincere, passionate and yet familiar works for piano were written,” the artistic director Pier Carlo Orizio explained. “I am sure the artists that will perform in our Festival this year will make us rediscover the timeless charm of this Music.”
Many new debuts, among which the Italian premiere performance of the young Russian pianists Ivan Bessonov, 16, in concert in Bergamo, and Alexandra Dovgan, 12, who will perform in the Auditorium San Barnaba in Brescia. Among the under-35s, George Li, silver medalist at the 2015 Tchaikovsky piano competition, known as one of the most talented and creative young pianists, and Sunwook Kim, Korean pianist who won the Leeds Competition in 2006, as a soloist with the Belgian National Orchestra.
For the first time the Festival will host Stefano Bollani with the Bologna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Kristjan Järvi, on May 16th for an out-of-season concert at the Creberg Theater in Bergamo combining classical and jazz influences.
Many big international stars will come back and join the Festival this year again, including Grigory Sokolov, Arcadi Volodos e Misha Maisky, but also orchestras like the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted this time by Pier Carlo Orizio, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Ivan Fischer.
STEFANO BOLLANI GUEST IN 2019
For the first time the Festival will feature Stefano Bollani with the Bologna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Kristjan Järvi, for one date, on May 16th at the Creberg Theater.
The non-subscription evening, within the 56th edition, inaugurates the collaboration with the Bergamo Jazz Festival, one of the leading musical organizations in Bergamo.
Järvi, “Aurora” for orchestra
Bollani, “Azzurro” for piano and orchestra
Gershwin, Rhapsody in blue
THE PIANO FESTIVAL: A 56-YEAR-LONG-STORY
The Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo is one of the major world musical events and it is expressly dedicated to the piano, both as a solo instrument and as a prestigious partner of important orchestras.
The Festival was founded in 1964 by M° Agostino Orizio and it hosted herehence the most sought-after international soloists and orchestras in charming venues such as the Teatro Grande in Brescia and the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo.
Among the world’s most famous musicians who performed at the Festival, we can list pianists like Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, who was protagonist of the first five editions, Magaloff, Richter, Arrau, Pollini, Ashkenazy, Radu Lupu, Zimerman, Brendel, Martha Argerich, Evgenij Kissin, Grigory Sokolov, istrumentalists, singers and conductors like Mstislav Rostropovich, Mischa Maisky, Uto Ughi, Luciano Pavarotti, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Gergiev, Giulini, Sawallisch, Solti, Maazel, Chung. Outstanding guest orchestras have been the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of St. Petersburg, the Natonal of France, the Orchstra dell’Accademia Santa Cecilia di Roma, the Filarmonica della Scala.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Festival is its theme-structure: this means that the Festival develops around a central idea that can be a composer, a cultural environment or a specific historic period.
In 1986 the Festival was awarded the Premio Abbiati della critica musicale italiana and the Listz Medal from the Hungarian Ministry of Culture. The Festival is founding member of Italiafestival, it is placed under the patronage of the Presidente of the Italian Republic, and since 1992 it is also patronized by the President of the European Parliament.
Important changes have happened in the last years , such as the handover of the Artistic Direction from Agostino Orizio to his son Piercarlo, and the appointment of Andrea Gibellini as President, succeding Filippo Siebaneck.
Under the guidance of Pier Carlo Orizio, the Festival has taken a new direction which places side by side contemporary music and the vast classic repertoire. This is what occurred for example in 2007, when the Festival put the figure of Beethoven near that of Arvo Pärt, in 2008, with the focus on Chopin and Berstein, and in 2009, when the Festival, which was dedicated to China, saw the participant of Tan Dun.
2012 edition will be remembered for the exceptional prologue with Riccardo Muti conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
In 2013 the Festival celebrated its 50th birthday inviting the Polish composer and conductor Krzystof Penderecki and the London Symphony Orchestra with Antonio Pappano.