63. International Festival of Contemporary Music of the Venice Biennale

Not-to-be-missed events at this festival dedicated to the most interesting music of the Old Continent

From 27 September 2019 to 06 October 2019

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The 2019 Venice Biennale Music festival will be staged from September 27 to October 6! Venice is gearing up to welcome the best of contemporary music for the 63rd edition of one of the highest acclaimed international festivals! Many events are to be staged every day, for a total of 16 concerts, with as many as 30 premiere performances: 19 world premieres and 11 Italian premieres.

With the aim to showcase and add value to the many genres and trends of today’s music, the 63° 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 call for 2019 aims to support the production of 4 low-budget chamber musical theater projects based on a comical, surreal, fantastic and/or playful theme. The selected works - 'Trashmedy' (Alessandro De Rosa and Mimosa Campironi), 'Ab Ovo' (Talya Eliav and Liron Barchat), 'Tredici secondi’ o ‘Un bipede implume ma con unghie piatte' (Marco Benetti and Fabrizio Funari), 'The color's mechanics' (Nuno Costa and Madalena dos Santos) - are included in the program of the Venice Biennale Music Festival 2019.

Entitled ‘Back to Europe’, the 2019 Venice Contemporary Music Festival shines a light on the composers and performers of the ‘Old Continent’, which represents the benchmark of the music and culture of our time. A continent that still today is at the center of many propulsive forces that drive artistic contexts all over the world and can open a dialogue with current needs and research. Reinforcing this theme is George Benjamin, winner of the 2019 Golden Lion for Life Achievement, with his first broad-scoped operatic masterpiece ‘Written on Skin’, performed by the Rai National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Clemens Schuldt. Created in 2012 for the Aix-en-Provence festival, ‘Written on Skin’ - which alongside the most highly acclaimed British composer in the world of international music involved Martin Crimp for the libretto and Katie Mitchell as the director - will inaugurate the 63rd Contemporary Music Festival in Venice and will be performed in a concert at Teatro Goldoni.

One of the performances to be staged at the Music Biennale Venezia 2019, aimed at highlighting the great theme of this festival, will be by Matteo Franceschini: his music originates from his open attitude to different dimensions, combining chamber and symphonic music with musical theater, acoustics music with the most innovative electronic compositions as in ‘Songbook’, purposely written for the 63rd Festival for rock quartet, amplified ensemble and live electronics The piece will be performed by the Icarus Ensemble and the Cantus Ensemble on October 3 (Teatro Toniolo di Mestre), coinciding with the awarding of the Silver Lion award.

During the Biennale Music Venice 2019 instruments that are distant in time and space will come together to reinvent music, on example being ‘Nomaden’, a work by Dutch composer Joël Bons. His music incorporates a wide range of instruments - from Armenian duduk to Iranian setar and Azerbaijani kamancha, from Chinese ehru to Japanese shakuhachi and Indian sarangi - and their mostly unknown palette of sounds. This way music becomes an artistic crossroad of different cultures...

Emanuela Battigelli’s concert will feature a marriage between harp and electronics to reveal the seduction in the union of, on the one hand, the seemingly distant and contrasting sounds of the harp, one of the most fascinating and ancient instruments that embody harmony, capable of covering so many genres, and on the other, the possibilities of electronics that have characterized music experimentation from the late twentieth century to today.

‘Esemble Spirito’, which will premiere at the Music Biennale in Venice, expresses in music the emotional heart of words, as in the juxtaposition of ‘Missa da cappella a sei voci’ by Claudio Monteverdi and the motet ‘In illo tempore’ by Gomberti with the composition by Gianvincenzo Cresta for six voices and electronics. It will be performed by the vocal ensemble Spirito from Lyon, conducted by Nicole Corti, along with I Ferrabosco for Monteverdi, a consort specializing in Italian sacred and secular polyphony, and for Cresta, the electronics curated by Francesco Abbrescia.

The concert by Filippo Perocco and Lucia Ronchetti will transform the listening space of music into a vast stage with musician-performers, scenographic soundscapes and immersive multimedia installations. The concert includes the performance of two new pieces commissioned by the Biennale, two independent works that share a common 'theatrical' matrix with texts by the Russian-American poet and essayist Eugene Ostashevsky and set design and direction by Antonino Viola and Antonello Pocetti.

The concert of the Flemish ensemble HERMESensemble, founded in 2000 by director Koen Kessel will present a journey to the boundaries between art and contemporary music. This musical and visual journey by Wim Henderickx and Vykintas Baltakas is conceived with New York visual artist and musician Kurt Ralkse. Similarly, the work by Annelies Van Parys at the Biennale, is the result of a prophetic 1932 feature film – ‘Histoire du soldat inconnu’ - by Belgian filmmaker Henri Storck.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary since the earthquake that struck L'Aquila in 2009, I Solisti Aquilani will present a music repertoire that ranges from pre-baroque to contemporary with a special attention towards Italian composers. During the concert you can listen to all the new songs that Stefano Taglietti, Andrea Manzoli, Roberta Vacca and Pasquale Corrado - in Venice also as director – have composed in remembrance.

The Festival of Contemporary Music in Venice, 2019, will be a unique opportunity to listen to extraordinary pieces composed by international artists and revered figures of contemporary music, but there will certainly be many, many surprising events that will make this famed festival an unforgettable experience!

63rd Venice Biennale Music Festival. Great music, beautiful locations and internationally renowned artists ... Do not miss it!

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By Insidecom Editorial Staff