The 27th edition of "Elba Isola Musicale d'Europa", as previously announced, will take place from 27 August to 10 September in Portoferraio and other municipalities on the Island of Elba, Capoliveri, Rio, Marciana and Marciana Marina, with an unprecedented "trip out of town" to the Island of Capraia: online presales have been available from Wednesday 21 June on Vivaticket.com. It will be, as always, a festival with an international flavour in the wake of the combination of music and nature, art and history, and the dialogue between different repertoires, styles and sounds, from chamber and symphonic music to jazz and Brazilian music. In addition to other novelties, the new edition will be marked by the return of great soloists such as Gidon Kremer and Mario Brunello, and by the confirmation of the Eba Festival Orchestra experience, successfully conceived in 2022, thus initiating a new phase of the Festival itself.
"Last year we created the orchestra, a project that we are particularly fond of because it combines the concert aspect with the training aspect, offering the opportunity for many young musicians, from different corners of Europe and even further afield, to confront themselves with world-famous soloists," specifies George Edelman, Artistic Director of "Elba Isola Musicale d'Europa", in introducing the complete programme of the 27th edition, "This year, we will also be proposing the encounter between music and cinema. But there will also be several novelties, first and foremost the event on the Island of Capraia, which, in building a bridge with another festival in the Tuscan Archipelago, reinforces our collaborative and proactive vocation through precious listening opportunities against the backdrop of unique landscapes".
Portoferraio: from Rachmaninov to Chaplin via South America and Mozart
The city of Portoferraio has always been the main venue of 'Elba Isola Musicale d'Europa', this year with a new location, the Chiesa del Santissimo Sacramento, which will provide the setting for the Orchestra's concerts.
Six events are planned at the De Laugier Cultural Centre, starting with the opening event on Sunday 27 August, which will have as its special guest, a national exclusive, the violinist Gidon Kremer: the famous Latvian musician will open the concert for violin, piano and strings Hob XVIII:6 by Joseph Haydn together with his compatriot pianist Georgijs Osokins and the Festival Soloists, including for the occasion violinists Aki Saulière and Chiara Sannicandro, violist Georgy Kovalev, cellist Raphael Bell and double bassist Amerigo Bernardi. In the second part, then, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninov's birth, the Trio Elegiaco No. 2 op. 9 for violin, cello and piano will be played by Kremer and Osokins and cellist Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė.
The following evening, the spotlight will be on Mônica Salmaso, considered to be the finest female voice in Brazilian music today, in a trio with pianist Nelson Ayres and saxophonist and flutist Teco Cardoso, while on Thursday 31 it will be the turn of the Klimt Quartet who, in addition to the Quartet for piano, violin, viola and cello op. 13 Strauss, will perform the Sextet for piano, violin, two violas, cello and double bass op. 110 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. 13 by Strauss, will perform the Sextet for piano, violin, 2 violas, cello and double bass оp. 110 by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, enlarging the ensemble with Amerigo Bernardi and violist Margherita Di Giovanni.
Rachmaninov (Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 19), together with Brahms (Quartet for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano, Op. 60), will also be the focus of the concert on Sunday 3 September featuring violinist Liana Gourdjia, violist David Quiggle, cellists Erica Piccotti and Raphael Bell, and pianist Enrico Pace. Again at De Laugier, on Friday 8 September, the Festival Soloists - this time with violinists Jonian Ilias Kadesha and Pablo Hernán Benedí, violist Georgy Kovalev, cellists Vashti Hunter and Indira Rahmatulla and pianist Noam Greenberg - will perform music by George Enescu (Quintet for piano and strings op. 29) and Schumann (Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano No. 1 op. 63).
The encounter between music and cinema, as last year, will put the final seal on the 27th edition of "Elba Isola Musicale d'Europa": on Sunday 10 September, the German composer and conductor Günter Buchwald and his improCinema ensemble will give a new musical twist to three short films by Charlie Chaplin, The Vagabond, One a.m. and The Pawnshop, all from 1916.
All concerts at the De Laugier will start at 6.30 p.m., with the exception of Mônica Salmaso and the evening of 10 September, both at 9.15 p.m.
There will instead be three appointments in the Church of the Holy Sacrament (6.30 pm), all with the Elba Festival Orchestra in the foreground, formed this year by musicians from 10 different nations and with Liana Gourdjia as concertmaster. Monday, 4 September will begin with Haydn's Concerto for organ and orchestra Hob.XVIII:1: the guest will be the Artistic Director of the "Capraia Musica Festival", Maria Grazia Amoruso, who will play a very curious wooden organ, completely mechanical, built using the same craft methods as the ancient organ builders. This will be followed by Mercadante's Concerto for flute and string orchestra in E minor, with soloist the British flutist Adam Walker, and Mozart's famous Symphony No. 29 K. 201. The following day it will be cellist Mario Brunello, a regular presence at the Festival since the first edition, who will join the Orchestra, for a performance of Mieczysław Weinberg's Concertino for cello and strings op. 43°, followed by Dvořák's Serenade for string orchestra op. 22.
The third and last concert with the Elba Festival Orchestra, on Thursday 7 September, will be marked by the world premiere of the Concerto for guitar and orchestra written expressly for the Brazilian guitarist Plínio Fernandes by the Colombian composer Arturo Cuéllar, by now a devoted friend of "Elba Isola Musicale d'Europa". Also on the programme are Nonetto II by Finnish Olli Mustonen (first cello Orfeo Mandozzi) and Schubert's Symphony No. 5 D. 485.
Two other particularly iconic locations in Portoferraio will host as many significant performances: the Villa Romana delle Grotte, which offers a breathtaking view of the town's gulf, where on Wednesday 30 August (6 pm.30), in collaboration with the Associazione Amici del Festival, the Signum Saxophone Quartet (with Elba's Jacopo Taddei on alto sax) will perform music by Haydn, Ginastera, Gershwin, and Bernstein arranged especially for saxophone quartet; and the Napoleonic museum Villa di San Martino, where on the morning of Saturday 9 September (11.30 a.m.) the Irishwoman Naomi Berrill will present her evocative Island Songs for cello and voice.
Musical Journey to the Island of Capraia
This is certainly one of the most emblematic moments of the 27th edition of "Elba Isola Musicale d'Europa": the trip to the Island of Capraia on Tuesday 29 August promises to be an event that, by inaugurating the collaboration with the "Capraia Musica Festival", further emphasises the link between the Festival, the sea and nature. Departure by ship from Portoferraio is set for 2.00 p.m., with about two hours of navigation. In the Church of St. Anthony (6.30 p.m.), which together with the adjacent convent was built by the Franciscan Order in the second half of the 17th century, the violinists Aki Saulière and Chiara Sannicandro will perform the Sonata for two violins op. 56 by Prokofiev and then, after being joined by Georgy Kovalev on viola, Raphael Bell on cello and Amerigo Bernardi on double bass, the Quintet for two violins, viola, cello and double bass op. 77 by Dvořák.
The return to Portoferraio is scheduled in the evening, departing from Capraia Island at 9.30 p.m.
Tango in Capoliveri, strings in Rio, winds in Marciana and jazz in Marciana Marina
Once again this year, "Elba Isola Musicale d'Europa" does not fail in its itinerant nature with four concerts in as many municipalities. On Friday 1 September, at the Teatro Flamingo in Capoliveri (6.30 p.m.), the cello-guitar duo formed by two talented young musicians, Erica Piccotti and Gian Marco Ciampa, will play music with a Latin flavour by Piazzolla, Albéniz, De Falla and Granados, while on Saturday 2, at the Church of SS. James and Quirico in Rio (6.30 pm), violinists Chiara Sannicandro and Diet Tilanus, violists Georgy Kovalev and David Quiggle, and cellist Raphael Bell will take turns performing scores by Martinů (Duo no. 1 for violin and viola Three Madrigals H. 313), by Frank Bridge (Lament for two violas) and by Mozart (Quartet K. 421). On Wednesday 6 September (6.30 pm), at the Fortezza Pisana in Marciana, the notes of Mozart (Divertimenti for wind sextet K. 253 and K. 270) and Haydn (Quintetto per fiati Hob II F12 Parthia in F) will be played by I Fiati del Festival, namely Rossana Calvi and Davide D'Agostino on oboe, Jukka Hariju and Marian Strandenius on horn, Andrea Zucco and David Garnés Poved on bassoon.
Finally, to complete a programme that is, as usual, rich and multifaceted, "Elba Isola Musicale d'Europa" will give space to jazz with the well-rehearsed quartet of trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso, who will pay tribute to one of the icons of black music, Steve Wonder, on Saturday 9 September in Marciana Marina (Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, 9.15 p.m.; free admission).
"Elba Isola Musicale d'Europa" is realised with the support of: MiC - Ministry of Culture, Region of Tuscany, Municipality of Portoferraio, Municipality of Capoliveri, Municipality of Marciana, Municipality of Marciana Marina, Municipality of Rio, GAT - Gestione Associata dei Comuni per il Turismo dell'Elba.
Full chronological programme on: https://www.elba-music.it/it/project/2023_it/
Concerts in Portoferraio, Centro Culturale De Laugier, Chiesa del Santissimo Sacramento, Villa delle Grotte: full price 25 Euro; reduced 15 Euro (young people up to 24 years old, accompanying persons of disabled persons, conventions). Disabled persons will be admitted free of charge.
Other concerts: full price 20 Euro; reduced price 15 Euro (young people up to 24 years old, accompanying persons with disabilities, conventions). Persons with disabilities will be admitted free of charge.
Musical trip to Capraia: 15 Euro entrance fee to the concert + 35 Euro boat ticket (tickets cannot be purchased on Vivaticket)
Concert on 9 September in Marciana Marina: free admission
Subscription: 210 Euro (concerts in Portoferraio, Centro Culturale De Laugier, Chiesa del Santissimo Sacramento, Villa delle Grotte, Villa di San Martino)
Ticket office Festival
Sala Gran Guardia – Porta a Mare – Portoferraio
Monday 21 August to Sunday 10 September, 9.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m