By its very nature, classical music is something that belongs to the world. True, composers create scores at given times, in precise places, applying pen to paper wherever they happen to be – whether it’s Vienna, Paris, Naples, Moscow, Prague, New York or anywhere else. After that, performers take those creations on the road, spreading the musical gospel. Before you know it, compositions go worldwide, and some even become huge hits that stand the test of time. Indeed, at a certain point, scores and their provenances, their backstories and hometown origins fade into the background, and people tend to forget all about that side of a great work. Yet how delightful it can be to take a trip back in time to rediscover the bonds between a piece of music and the place where it was born, gaining insight into the traditions, lifestyles, trends and fashions that provided the humus for the creation of this symphony or that quartet, a concert for cello or a sonata. Thus, we realize how firmly music is linked to the history of the plethora of places from which it issues forth, and how that history inspires and guides the work of composers in any number of ways.
How delightful it can be to take a trip back in time to rediscover the bonds between a piece of music and the place where it was born.
These reflections gave rise to the idea of building the MITO 2023 program around the “cities” theme. The continued success of this festival, now in its seventeenth year, is intrinsically linked to the felicitous union of the two host cities, Milano and Torino, whose abbreviations inspired the festival’s name. What’s more, the idea of expanding our focus to other cities and the many connections that unite them (I’m thinking of the concert entitled In Flight, featuring the Italian premiere of Tõnu Kõrvits’s piece, which was inspired by the aviator Amelia Earhart) provided much food for thought.
As in past editions, all of this year’s MITO concerts have been put together especially for the festival thanks to the collaboration of performers who have so generously helped forge our theme-based program. The musical journey you’re in for is no less than mind-boggling, making stops round the globe, from Mantua to Cambridge, from Madrid to Venice, from Dresden to Castelfidardo, from Australia to Votkinsk (where Tchaikovsky was born), and on and on from there. Look forward to an all-new interpretation of the history of music, one that brings together classical classics and new scores hot off the presses, where the Renaissance and Baroque collide head-on with live performances of contemporary works, including many Italian and world premieres.
All of this year’s MITO concerts have been put together especially for the festival thanks to the collaboration of performers who have helped forge our theme-based program.
In the wake of last year’s success, we take pride in bringing you another “festival within the festival” – featuring performances by stellar Italian pianists, fourteen in all, in outlying venues. These musical monographs hone in on the work of some of the greatest composers of all time. With titles like “Beethoven Piano”, “Rachmaninov’s Piano”, “Albenitz’s Piano” and so on… you get the idea. But wait… there’s more! For children and their families, we’ve commissioned a very special musical diptych that will lead audiences, young and not-so-young, on a journey guaranteed to amaze and inspire. The cast includes a pair of powerhouse actresses and an orchestra and choir made up of young and very young musicians and singers.
This year we’re in for an unparalleled jaunt round the world – what better way to celebrate the power and beauty of classical music… and all its fine details, fragrances and charms? Once again, what a thrill it is to welcome music lovers back to the concert halls of Milano and Torino!
Artistic Director of MITO SettembreMusica