Happy Listening 2018

Those who have followed us for many years will not be surprised to read that the XV season of Rondò is once again the runway on which multiple projects dedicated to young people of Divertimento Ensemble will be displayed. This is once again true of our 2018 season and presumably will not change anytime soon. I always hope that another one of my brief newsletters will be read by a new audience, and I cannot help but to highlight some unique characteristics of this year’s program Rondò.

Young artists are an important part of this season: firstly, the young composers selected from our competitions, or those who have been taught by our partners at Ulysses, the European network that we partnered with in 2012, as well as those I discovered while curiously scouring the web, but also young conductors and performers who have taken the courses and masterclasses through IDEA, an academy born from the Divertimento Ensemble.

Together with these young artists, as always, we have the great masters of the twentieth century and some of the most important figures in Italy and in Europe that have been active with us for years.

This year, we plan to present to you 28 performances, almost all of young composers, and among these, we present Vittorio Montalti, our composer in residence for 2018, who will present us with a total of five compositions.

We have also included two concerts with guest conductors; Marco Seco of Argentina, who debuted with us last season in conducting Whiter Would You Go? by Alessandro Solbiati, and Viktoriia Vitrenko of Ukraine, who conducted the final concerts of the conducting courses in 2016 and 2017.

We are delighted to present a young musician from Rome who has studied in the masterclass of Maria Grazia Bellocchio, pianist Erik Bertsch, who we have hired to perform at the Italian debut of a piece by Marco Stroppa for piano and electronics, Miniature estrose, which will make up an entire program in and of itself.

We will have two concerts with young percussionists and singers who will perform after studying in the masterclasses of Gert Mortensen and Alda Caiello, and a concert with young musicians who make up the Ulysses Ensemble, and have been selected from the most prestigious contemporary music academies of Europe within the Ulysses Network.

The theme of this year’s short cycle of concerts held on Sunday mornings at Museo del Novecento is At the roots of twentieth century music in Italy. Luigi Dallapiccola, Giacinto Scelsi and Bruno Maderna are three composers we believe that in their own unique ways, are of the utmost importance. These three strong individuals with few similarities among them, have influenced future generations for a long time and will continue to do so in three different directions.

Many other “classics” from the twentieth century will be represented in the concerts of Rondò: Georges Aperghis, Harrison Birtwistle, Pierre Boulez, John Cage, Niccolò Castiglioni, Gérard Grisey, Sofija Gubaidulina, Mauricio Kagel, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Toru Takemitsu and above all, György Ligeti, to which we have dedicated the masterclass of Maria Grazia Bellocchio that will end with the complete production of his work played by the pianists of the masterclass.

Many other Italian and European composers in our program are seen as influential figures to our youngest composers, for the strength of their inventiveness and the originality of their thought; including Italian composers Claudio Ambrosini, Francesco Filidei, Stefano Gervasoni, Mauro Lanza, Gabriele Manca, Marco Momi, the Austrian Beat Furrer, who will be with us twice in two different concerts, the French Franck Bedrossian, and the English Rebecca Saunders.

To the musicians of Divertimento Ensemble, who with curiosity, experience, and passion make it possible to listen to more than 120 scores every year of Rondò, we wanted to dedicate a new series of concerts this year. Those who frequent Rondò have come to know them, having heard them in almost every concert, and often in solo roles. We want you to get to know them individually by allowing them a “Self-Portrait”, a solo concert in which they select the program, including the pieces they love the most, and the pieces with which they most identify. We will begin this year with five soloists: oboist Luca Avanzi, percussionist Elio Marchesini, violinist Lorenzo Gorli, cellist Martina Rudic, and pianist Maria Grazia Bellocchio, but will continue the series to include all of our musicians in the years to come.

The enthusiasm we received for the chorus Le Nuove Voci of Divertimento Ensemble began last year after the performance of the aforementioned score by Alessandro Solbiati, and inspired us to continue the project, commissioning a new work to Gabriele Manca to which, in order to follow up on the “migration” project of the past year, we wanted to give the theme of welcoming the other.

Additionally, we will continue the projects we have been presenting to our audience for a long time in order to deepen our musical senses:

  • the Take Your Time cycle: lessons on the relationship between today’s music and its origins held by Alessandro Solbiati, Michele Tadini and Alfonso Alberti;
  • Happy Music: meetings in a laid back setting where we discuss topics related to our concerts. Starting this year, both Take Your Time and Happy Music will take place in the new venue of Fabbrica del Vapore;
  • meetings with composers, some of which will precede concerts;
  • open rehearsals, which will allow audience members to have not just one, but two close listenings of the same piece; a very rare treat.



Sandro Gorli