This year’s theme is Nature

That choice immediately stood out for its richness. When you think about it, classical music is in and of itself an ode to nature – and remains one of the few musical genres played with non-electrified instruments. Of course, the classical music repertoire has always taken a great deal of inspiration from natural phenomena.

Whether it's the elements (water, fire), landscapes (countryside, forest, desert), exceptional phenomena (floods, storms) or recurring events (sunrise, sunset, the seasons), ornithological evocations or conjuring up the origins of the world, nature has always found a home among the staves of classical music. No period, style or school has ever been exempt from taking nature into account. And among the thousands of new pieces of music that every year are born on this planet, many continue to be inspired by our relationship with nature, the environment we live in and the places we know. I would say, then, that the opportunity to attend 140 concerts amid their infinite expressions of nature promises to be a truly fascinating experience for ears and brains. And that, I believe, should be the goal of any music festival.

Once again, this year's MITO SettembreMusica sets out to meet that goal with performances that have been especially conceived for the festival by some of the leading musicians on the world scene today, along with the most prestigious musical realities from host cities Torino and Milano. The excitement unfolds in both traditional classical music venues – concert halls and theaters – as well as in more unorthodox settings outside the city centers, where free concerts will be held each evening of the festival, some featuring the same great musicians also performing at the downtown shows.

Consult the program for concert titles and program descriptions. Each performance is preceded by a 4-minute introduction to help newcomers and classical music devotees alike better appreciate the intense experiences that await. It's a short ritual we inaugurated so successfully last year, and I feel it's an added attraction worth keeping, throughout the 18 days of the festival. Fans can once again look forward to the MITO Open Singing event, which in 2016 brought out some 25,000 people to sing in Milano's Piazza del Duomo and Torino's Piazza San Carlo. This year too we'll be giving out free copies of scores to follow, for participants to sing along, led by a conductor whose specialty is working with audiences to make simple but carefully constructed music that, in essence, celebrates our human nature.

The same piazze will also be hosting very special performances of Beethoven's Ninth by a fantastic group of young musicians we've invited. Their interpretation promises to refresh our take on this masterpiece. Joy for eyes, ears, brain and heart.

Lastly, I like to think of the focus MITO SettembreMusica puts on children, with its world-famous shows for young people, as something very special. Great listening experiences in music are essential for sound childhood development. Weekend performances are dedicated to children ages 2 and up, including two premiere productions created especially for MITO SettembreMusica.

We look forward to seeing you!


Nicola Campogrande
Artistic Director


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