60th International Festival Of Contemporary Music at the Venice Biennale

Unmissable events to celebrate an important anniversary

From 07 October 2016 to 16 October 2016

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From October 7th to 16th the Venice Music Festival 2016 will be centre stage at the Biennale! Venice is ready to welcome the best of contemporary music to celebrate the 60th edition of one of the most popular festivals on the international scene!

Large ensemble, live-sets, chamber music, jam sessions, video and film in concert: the 60th International Festival of Contemporary Music in Venice, Italy continues its multi-faceted alternation between genres and styles… Jazz, electronic, folk, literate customs and folk traditions converge within the rich 2016 Venice Music Biennale program.

46 premieres, including compositions commissioned by the Biennale to national and international artists of particular interest, testify the growing success and increasing prestige acquired by the International contemporary music festival in Venice over time. Year after year, the Music Biennale continues to encompass a broad spectrum of sounds, both in time and spatial terms, to embrace music in its many possible forms.

For the first time, the Contemporary Music Festival in Venice in 2016 has also introduced live-sets with artists of the current electronic scene such as James Mazzucato, aka Yakamoto Kotzuga, and the duet Michele Ducci and Alessandro Degli Angeli, known professionally as M+A. The current digital music scene represented at the Venice Biennale 2016 music concerts will also count on the presence of the radical and innovative Japanese artist Ryo Murakami who will debut in Italy and will be awarded the Silver Lion as a new music talent. Not of least importance, the KL4NG ensemble, considered the most adventurous and open-minded wing of the Accroche Note, will bring an innovative reinterpretation of avant-garde music to the International festival of contemporary music at Venice in 2016, using a live-set that interweaves instruments, voice and modern technology.

There will also be a significant number of Italian artists at the Venice Biennale music festival in 2016... From Sylvano Bussotti, Giacomo Manzoni and Azio Corghi to Luca Mosca, from Stefano Gervasoni, Claudio Ambrosini and Michele dall'Ongaro to Vittorio Montalti, Gabriele Cosmi and Mauro Lanza, just to name a few. Italian musicians are also the performers in a few dynamic ensembles such as Sentieri Selvaggi e Fontanamix, and in the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto.

At the Festival of contemporary music in Venice American music will take on a significant role, especially offering a broad overview of the authors active in recent years, open to the of other musical genres and able to interconnect music, cinema, art and dance. From the post minimalism of Julia Wolfe, David Lang and Jóhann Jóhannsson, to the classical indie of Tyondai Braxton, Nico Muhly, Judd Greenstein and many other artists who all share the same 'post-genre' sensibility and will offer the Venice Biennale Music a taste of the recently constituted 'New York school'. Undisputable protagonists of American music will also attend the Venice Biennale music festival: namely, the sophisticated Bang On A Can All-Stars, classical band as well as rock and jazz, and one of the most important Italian pianists, Emanuele Arciuli, renowned and with widespread concerts across the United States.

The concerts of Ensemble Modern, Accroche Note and Ensemble U, the latter debuting in Italy, present at the Biennale Music Venice in 2016 will showcase German musical literature, the latter including Enno Poppe, JörgWidmann and Arnulf Herrmann, French François-Bernard Mâche, Philippe Schoeller and Yann Robin, and Estonian Helena Tulve, Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes, Märt-Matis Lill and Jüri Reinvere.

Interesting connections between the visual and musical worlds are encompassed within many concerts at the Music Biennale in Venice:

  • the Ensemble OrchestralContemporain lets Gérard Grisey, a seminal figure in the music of the second half of the last century take on the image of Australian artist Andrew Quinn. These images will be created live and activated by the sound of the same compositions;
  • the Bang On A Can All-Stars are known for creating songs with and for short experimental films, often signed by the same composers. Among these Christian Marclay stands out, already awarded at the 2011 Biennale for 'The Clock', that merged together sounds, photography, videos and film.
  • the best liaison between art cinema and music will be established during the Percussions de Strasbourg concert, in which 'A Hollywood Extra' by Robert Florey and 'Entr'Acte' by René Clair, undisputed masterpieces of American and European experimental cinema in the 20s, will be commented with music by Spanish composer Javier Elipe Jimeno.

In addition to meeting the contemporary scene, the Biennale Music in Venice also attempts to face the delicate relationship with tradition, which results in some truly original experiments:

  • Argentinian cellist Fernando Caida Greco offers to bring to the Biennale Venice contemporary music festival 2016, the late Baroque literature by Joseph Marie Clément dall'Abaco. He presents it as a 'point of restart for the future' in a long-distance dialogue, in which he interposes between the 11 Capricci from Abaco a prologue, an epilogue and 10 intermezzo commissioned to six Italian composers (Alessandra Bellino, Sonia Bo, Alessandra Ravera, Paolo Rosato, Andrea Manzolis and Umberto Pedraglio).
  • Divertimento Ensemble brings to the 2016 music festival in Venice, Italy a concert that tackles the complex relationship between three Iranian composers - Alireza Farhang, Karen Keyhani, Mehdi Khayami, who studied in Europe, with their tradition and their musical culture.
  • The musicians of Tempo Reale - Francesco Canavese, Francesco Casciaro, Francesco Giomi, Damiano Meacci - address a more recent past, in line with an 'ecological' philosophy: their music retrieves devices that rapidly disappeared from the musical scene - turntables or blenders, for example - defeating the speed of technological consumerism and the rapid obsolescence of digital devices.
  • The jazz band Locomotive, led by Raffaele Casarano, will bring a special guest to the music festival in Venice: Paolo Fresu. They have been entrusted with the arduous task of reinterpreting Venetian folk songs - the so-called 'canti da battello' - as jazz music.

Pertaining to the field of musical theatre, the Biennale music festival in Venice, Italy will present four short one-act plays created within the Biennale College Music project, which seeks to promote young talents by enabling them to work in contact with artists of established reputation. Selected through an international call, since March these young artists have been working in the production of their projects under the supervision of Salvatore Sciarrino and Luca Mosca for music, Nicholas Hunt and Franco Ripa di Meana for direction and Sergio Casesi and Giuliano Corti for dramaturgy. 'Funeral Play' by Caterina Di Cecca, 'Il flauto tragico' by Roberto Vetrano, 'Troposfera' by Francesco Ciurlo and 'Trascrizione di un errore' by Alexander Chernyshkov.

In addition to the artists mentioned above, the ensembles working at the Music Biennale Venice 2016 also include the Ensemble Geometrie Variabili, founded as a part of the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai and Quatuor Diotima; Repertorio Zero, a classical quartet that will produce electric sound, accompanied by the champion of flute Flavio Caroli; and the eclectic London Sinfonietta, conducted by Marco Angius, one of the most prestigious ensembles in Europe.

60th international festival of contemporary music in Venice, Italy: 9 days of great music, with several appointments scheduled throughout the day, stunning location and internationally renowned artists... Do not miss the Venice Music festival in 2016!

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By Insidecom Editorial Staff