62. International Festival of Contemporary Music of the Venice Biennale

A long list of not-to-be-missed events for a festival dedicated to the musical influences of Europe and America

From 28 September 2018 to 07 October 2018

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The 2018 Venice Biennale Music festival will be staged from 28th September to 7th October! Venice is gearing up to welcome the best of contemporary music for the 62nd edition of one of the highest acclaimed international festivals! There will be lots of events every day, for a total of 18 concerts, 40 first performances and 18 absolute premieres, one European premiere and 21 Italian premieres.

With the aim to showcase and add value to the many genres and trends of today’s music, the 62nd Venice Contemporary Music Festival draws inspiration and at the same time looks out to the vast repertoire of themes that in recent editions have contributed to widening the concept of 'contemporaneity'. Innovation, quests, experimentation, and support - the staple of the Biennale Music of Venice - will be placed next to the now customarily featured encounters between renowned artists and emerging young performers who are making their first appearance in the music scene. Under this light, the Biennale College Music plays an important role: the international competition announcement for 2018 puts forward the aim of supporting the production of 4 mini theatre productions with a surreal, playful, fictional and/or comical theme. The chosen productions – Push! (Alvise Zambon and Maria Guzzon), Rodi! Rodi! (Sofia Avramidou and Cecilia D’Amico), El sueño de Dalí (Ignacio Ferrando and Jorge Ferrando), Trìstrofa (Elisa Corpolongo and Ilaria Diotallevi) – are all in the program of the Venice Biennale Music Festival 2018.

Named ‘Crossing the Atlantic’, this year’s Contemporary Music Festival in Venice will consider the musical influences between Europe and America, focusing both on specific genres – particularly on Keith Jarrett, one of the greatest icons of improvisation, who was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement – but also on the inspirations and influences between different them.

Among the examples present at the Biennale  Contemporary Music Festival, aimed at proving how every musical style can be enriched by the experiences of another, absorb its meaning and present it in other forms, there are 'The Yellow Shark' by Frank Zappa, the above-mentioned Golden Lion winner Keith Jarrett, 'María de Buenos Aires' by Astor Piazzolla, 'Aliados' by Sebastian Rivas and the Victor Wooten Trio.

Considered the highest expression of the creative intelligence of Frank Zappa, testimony of a musical thought that crosses all genres, able to merge orchestral score and improvisation, 'The Yellow Shark' was chosen to inaugurate the 62nd International Contemporary Music Festival in Venice. It will be performed with the 26 elements of the Ensemble Contemporary Music Park directed by Tonino Battista and with the participation of one of the most original vocalists in the world, David Moss.

Rock, jazz and tango: Astor Piazzolla brings back to life one of the most popular dance genres in the world using different instruments, techniques and styles that revolutionize and enrich its expressive range. Marcelo Nisinman, composer, arranger, director and champion of the bandoneón, brings to the Venice Music Biennale a new edition of 'Maria de Buenos Aires', the most famous opera-tango by Piazzolla that mixes sacred and profane.

The Silver Lion of the Venice contemporary music festival, Sebastian Rivas, covers digital, acoustic and electronic experimentation: he will bring on stage 'Aliados', a fascinating multimedia work that recalls the meeting between Augusto Pinochet and Margaret Thatcher - allies at the time of the conflict for the Falkland Islands - through sounds, images and voices manipulated in real time.

Featuring in the 'Rolling Stone' list of 10 best bassists of all time and crowned three times bassist of the year by the readers of 'Bass Player', Victor Wooten has contributed to the innovation of the executive technique of an indispensable instrument for every band, long remained marginal. The music Biennale Venice 2018 presents in European premiere its latest CD, 'Trypnotyx', accompanied by drummer Dennis Chambers, session man with Scofield, McLaughline and Santana, and by saxophonist and flutist Bob Franceschini.

In the vast landscape of music created or enriched by technological devices, the concerts of the Music Biennale Venice often become theatre productions, thanks to the presence of performers, scenographic sound environments and immersive installations that transform the scenic and listening space of the music. This happens in 'Nidra' by Giacomo Baldelli, a multi-sensorial work described by the New York Times as a tour de force of contemporary music for electric guitar and video; in 'Le chant de la matière' by Laura Bianchini and Michelangelo Lupone from the Rome Music Research Center, which create large drums of interactive membranes, with a metal shaft, that make the secret voice of matter resonate like an imposing symphony... The fascinating vibrations are projected onto a screen, thanks to the percussionist Philippe Spiesser.

Great expectations also for concerts dedicated to solo double bass. At the 62nd Venice Biennale of Contemporary Music: Dario Calderone, interpreter of 'Ur'; Giorgio Netti in two rites for solo double bass, presented in an amplified version that immerses the viewer in the sound and in the instrument; Florentin Ginot presents 'Not Here', a concert-set design in which four contrabasses are placed on the four sides of the scene, one for each song, in order to explore the entire sound range of this instrument; Charlotte Testu, on the other hand, uses electronic devices to rework the instrumental technique of the double bass. Finally, the duo of augmented cellos by Norman Adams and Nicola Baroni: score, programming and execution lose definition, leaving space for a 'virtual' sound that emerges as a consequence of the actions that take place on stage.

Another illustrious presence at the contemporary music festival in Venice is Margaret Leng Tan, defined as 'the diva of avant-garde pianism' and an interpreter of choice for Cage and Crumb. His concert in Venice, with music by Cowell, Cage, Crumb, tells the story of artists who first laid the foundations of every linguistic extension of the piano, starting an instrumental research still not completed.

The ensembles and quartets invited to the Biennale Venice - music 2018 offer an interesting cross-section of different styles and generations. The focus for all of them is on the dynamic, performative and spatial element of the performance: the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento conducted by Tito Ceccherini, with Giulia Bolcato - soprano - and Francesco D'Orazio - violinist - as soloists; the Ensemble Linea, founded by the pianist and conductor Philippe Wurtz, who was an assistant to Kent Nagano and Peter Eötvös; the Mivos Quartet, born only 10 years ago and already considered one of the most fierce performers of contemporary music; the string quartet Untref, one of the largest ensembles in Argentina dedicated to music from the second half of the twentieth century to today; the Ensemble Itinéraire, representative of new French and non-French music, will bring an unprecedented and significant window on contemporary Colombian music to the International Festival of Contemporary Music.

Space will also be given to new features, such as the accreditation 'spectators in residence' to enjoy the 62nd festival from an all-encompassing perspective thanks to the presence of a tutor who will guide spectators between shows, artists, meetings and moments of exchange, and the competition 'writing in residence' that allows under-30 Italian graduates to undertake a hands-on research project by participating in the festival and studying at the Biennale Historical Archive, under the guidance of professionals and sector directors.

62nd Venice Biennale Music Festival. Great music, beautiful locations and internationally renowned artists ... Do not miss it!

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By Insidecom Editorial Staff


Period: From 28 September 2018 to 07 October 2018

Event location: Venice

Contacts: tickets and full program available on labiennale.org/musica

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