Accademia di Santa Cecilia Attracts Top Artists to Rome

Rome: Abdul-Rahman Bitar - The current economic crisis in Italy, the austerity policies and the reduction of government support to all cultural activities including art, music, and museums did not diminish the imagination and creativity of Italians who always somehow manage to invent temporary solutions to their problems.
The main pillars of classical music in Italy: La Scala Opera House in Milano and Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome compete in attracting top artists and orchestras from all around the world. The Academy was established more than 500 years ago, and is presently led by the distinguished Italian conductor born in England Antonio Pappano who also heads the Royal Opera House of Covent Garden Orchestra in London. Queen Elizabeth II recently bestowed on him the noble title of Sir.

Accademia di Santa Cecilia Attracts Top Artists to Rome

The Oldest Musical Institute in the World leads New and Classical Rennaissance of Music

Bruno Cagli, President of the Academy said in a news conference that the upcoming season will be outstanding after the Academy was given more autonomy but suffered cuts in government financial backing. It has succeeded in mobilizing funds from sponsors and donors in addition to increasing sales of tickets to music-loving audiences. Both Cagli and Pappano managed to attract big names in the classical music world such as René Jacobs who conducts orchestras using period instruments, Vassily Petrenko the young Russian conductor of the London Philharmonic orchestra, the celebrated Loren Maazel ex-conductor of the New York Philharmonic, the well-known Yuri Temirkanov head of St. Petersburg Orchestra who visits Italy regularly, Fabio Biondi the talented maestro of Venice Players who specialize in baroque music particularly Vivaldi, and other musical stars such as the Russian/French Semeon Bichkov, the American conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, the young and always enthusiastic and popular Gustavo Dudamel, not to mention the most famous conductor on the planet, the Russian Valery Gergiev who conducts the Marinsky Theatre Orchestra in addition to the London Symphony Orchestra.
Moreover, the next season that starts in October with the Ninth Symphony of Bruckner will witness the arrival to Rome of many VIP pianists such as the Norwegian Leif Ove Andsnes, the German Christian Zacharias, the Russian Denis Mazov, the poetic Romanian veteran Radu Lupu, and of course the great Argentinian Marta Argerich who celebrated her 70 th birthday last year and is still going on with great energy and brilliance. Fans are counting the days to attend the Chopin/Mozart concert of Daniel Barenboim as pianist with Pappano as conductor of the Academy orchestra. The amazing story is that Pappano used to be Barenboim’s trainee and is now the Musical Director of La Scala, Milano but this time he is expected to receive directions from Pappano who will be waiving the baton and conducting. An interesting feature in the coming season is the participation of the Palestinian Salim Abboud Ashkar and the Iranian Ramin Brahimi. With their known talent, we shall see how they fare with other international big names.
Another interesting event will be the presentation of Wagner’s opera Rhinegold in the form of a concert without costumes or décor. The singers will be the same ones who present this opera at the famous Bayreuth Festival in Germany where Wagner’s works have been exclusively performed for more than a hundred years.
Among the many accomplishments of Sir Pappano since he took over the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in 2005 is the return of the Orchestra to its old glory of visiting other capitals representing best classical music centers in the world, for instance Stockholm, Tokyo, Berlin, Vienna and Moscow. The Orchestra is back again to recording some of its memorable concerts on CD or DVD and receiving international prizes after an interruption of many decades.
All the world is going to gather at Santa Cecilia, the patron saint of noble origin who loved music and singing and encouraged artists during the days of early Christianity. That is why they chose her name when they established an academy of formal teaching

Monday, June 25th 2012
Abdul-Rahman Bitar

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