64th International Festival of Contemporary Music

64th International Festival of Contemporary Music

The 64th International Festival of Contemporary Music will be held September 25 – October 4, as part of the Venice Biennale. This year’s edition, besides including music by many young composers, spotlights the work of three great 20th-century Italian composers: Bruno Maderna, along with Ricordi’s own Luigi Nono and Franco Donatoni.

Three compositions by Luigi Nono (1924-1990), who studied under Maderna and, like him, also hailed from Venice, will be featured in a concert that celebrates Nono’s final creative period: Post-praeludium n. 1 per Donau and La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura were inspired by a pair of renowned experimental musicians, tuba player Giancarlo Schiaffini and violinist Gidon Kremer. Closing out the set will be …sofferte onde serene… for piano and recorded tape. 

This year’s Biennale also pays tribute to Franco Donatoni (1927-2000) in a concert by the Divertimento Ensemble, featuring Arpège, Spiri, and Hot, pieces from Donatoni’s most free-spirited and productive period, which the composer himself called a “playful exercise of invention”.  

Also on this year’s program is the Italian premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s opera I Cenci in Italian, to be performed by Ensemble900, from the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, conducted by Francesco Bossaglia. The work made its world premiere in English back in 1997, at London’s Almeida Theatre, and went on to be performed in French and German.  

The Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento, conducted by Timothy Redmond, will be performing Fabio Vacchi’s Concerto per violino e orchestra (Natura Naturans) and the Italian premiere of Recorder Concerto by Dai Fujikura.

Rounding out performances of music by Ricordi artists, Munich’s Oktopus Ensemble presents the Italian premiere of Francesco Filidei’s Ballata n. 7.