The Latin term moti is not simply a play on words with the acronym MITO, although MITO SettembreMusica 2024 and 2025 do take aim at the profound lightness that such wordplay implies. MOTI is also a way of seeing MITO as a catalyzer of ideas, thoughts and experiences in motion. MOTI alludes to Leonardo da Vinci’s “motion of the soul”, the facial expressions that translate one’s most intimate thoughts and feelings into visible signs, and projecting that motion onto the sphere of musical creativity. Motion of the soul, ideas and people.

“Motion is the cause of all life.”
Leonardo Da Vinci, Codex Trivulzianus

Planning MITO SettembreMusica’s 2024 and 2025 events involves the dual aspects of promoting and exploiting the best expressions of culture produced and promoted by and in host cities Milano and Torino, on the one hand, and, on the other, the dialogue with realities beyond our city walls with the aim of constructing working relationships within a framework of European integration. The 2024 edition sees the launch of two projects, which will be reproposed in a similar fashion at the 2025 edition, based on two aspects of culture expressed by the two host cities – the culture of business and the culture of soccer.
In terms of cultural cooperation with our international partners, Torino, being located so close to the French border, is in an ideal position to engage in a culture-themed dialogue with the city of Lyon. For the first time we’ll be hosting ensembles from the Opéra de Lyon, conducted by musical director Daniele Rustioni. Let’s hope this occasion leads to ongoing bilateral exchanges of artistic experiences and talent.

MITO SettembreMusica 2024 is not based on a single theme, but rather on a set of thematic areas. This decision came about as a way to reproduce the complexity – verging on chaos – of the present moment, which, I hope, will not confound fans loyal to the MITO formula. The aim is to expose each and every member of the audience to stimuli, provocations, reflections and ideas in a grand scheme that has been devised not solely as a means of highbrow entertainment. This year’s edition promises to be a classical music festival more in line with the times, marking the transformation from a solid to a liquid or perhaps gaseous state, gifting concert-goers myriad opportunities for spiritual revival and reinvigoration.

The festival is not based on a single theme, but rather on a set of thematic areas.

With respect to past editions of the festival, this year’s MITO SettembreMusica serves up less but more highly diversified events staged in Milano and Torino, with the goal of coaxing spectators into motion in order to create, within the realm of the humanly possible, one big MITO audience through ramped up exchanges between the two host cities. It’s also a means for individual audience members to stylize their own custom-designed festival through several different thematic areas, some of which will be making a reappearance at MITO SettembreMusica 2025.

Contemporary works are to be found in each of the thematic areas, and are either paired with all-time great pieces performed at symphonic concerts or conceived and commissioned as part of projects especially created for MITO SettembreMusica 2024. The special attention reserved for the music of today – a moral imperative for a festival with any claims on being a contemporary festival – harkens back to the original SettembreMusica music festival born in Torino, which each year, among other events, put the spotlight on great contemporary composers. The complexity and fragmentary nature of languages used to express today’s music is best reflected in the polyphony of experiences and personalities that fill this year’s program – a reflection of the creative chaos of the times in which we live.

The special attention reserved for the music of today is a moral imperative for a festival with any claims on being a contemporary festival.

Particular attention is also given to Italian and European compositions of the early 20th century, with a special focus on Giacomo Puccini, as MITO SettembreMusica commemorates the 100th anniversary of his death with a series of Puccini-inspired events. Compositions by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Richard Strauss and Béla Bartók, as well as Franco Alfano, Giorgio Federico Ghedini and Alfredo Casella create a fresco of sound from around the turn of the century that helped to galvanize Puccini’s writing.

Then there’s Beethoven, an artist who spanned and connected a host of different thematic areas as if sewing them together with invisible thread. On his own he is a veritable musical monument, whose experimentation with forms and contaminations and innovation of the classical music canon is as refreshing as it is surprising. We like to think of him as a source of inspiration for generations of musicians, including the 20th century’s boldest avant-garde composers, such as Béla Bartók and Igor Stravinsky, and beyond. Indeed, the opening performance for this year’s edition of MITO SettembreMusica features Beethoven’s Ninth – a ray of light in days that at times grow darker by the minute. In a program that offers lots more Beethoven, he is a mirror of the past for our reflections on the present.

The stages of MITO SettembreMusica 2024 will be graced by a cavalcade of talented young Italian musicians, many of whom have already made a name for themselves on the international circuit. They’re featured in some of the festival’s most unusual offerings, and will be cluing us in on what’s happening in art music today, kickstarting a slew of breathtaking events. MITO SettembreMusica ushers in the new.

Giorgio Battistelli

Giorgio Battistelli
Artistic Director, MITO SettembreMusica