Ravello Music Festival

Ravello Festival 2014: a rich program of concerts, art events and cultural meetings

With its nearly fifty concerts divided into three calendar months and the rich outline of events and visual art exhibitions, Ravello Festival is probably the most important event of music, art and culture in Campania. It is no coincidence that the opening and closing ceremonies of the event are proudly “Neapolitan”: indeed, the opening night is dedicated to Eduardo while the closing concert will be held by the Orchestra of the Teatro di San Carlo, directed by Juraj Valcuha.

At the time of the first edition, in 1953, the festival was to be a tribute to Richard Wagner’s music. The great German composer and conductor was in love with these places to the point of having set here the garden of Klingsor in the second act of Parsifal. Over seventy years, the Wagnerian concerts have marked the most salient moments of the Ravello Festival, but nowadays the calendar proposes a multidisciplinary format spread throughout the summer, which mixes music and a number of artistic and multimedia events organized in collaboration with associations and international cultural institutions. This spectacular nature annually gathers more than 60 thousand visitors from all over the world, who flock to the Festival evenings and events.

The 2014 edition of Ravello Festival, to be held from 21 June to 20 September, has the South as the main theme, to emphasize the pride of this people for their art and their wonderful land.

The Symphony section of the Festival this year is more than important, it is sumptuous: every weekend, the Festival presents a concert by an orchestra always selected among top-rate orchestras in the world, such as the London Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Harding on the podium, the Orchestre National de France conducted by Daniele Gatti, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Wagnerian city par excellence, with violinist Viviane Hagner. Among the younger but equally excellent orchestras the line-up includes the OGI of Fiesole and the Brazilian Neoijba Orchestra, conducted by the extraordinary Martha Argerich, who will perform her personal interpretation of Concerto in G by Ravel. Italy will be also represented by the Orchestra of Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice, which will perform at the spectacular and unique and Dawn Concert, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Turin’s Teatro Regio, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda that will guide the interpretation of an important Wagnerian concert, enhanced by the beautiful voice of soprano Evelyne Herlitzius. Finally, from the East to witness the “global status” of the event, the Festival will host the Qingdao Chinese Orchestra.

However, the Ravello Festival is not only classical music and opera, but also a great opportunity to enjoy prestigious events ranging from pop to jazz, up to ethnic music. In this regard, the 2014 Ravello Festival boasts a prominent line-up: from Dulce Pontes back on the stage for the occasion, and Chick Corea with Stanley Clarke, to important debuts as Israeli Asaf Avidan and Cape Verdean Mayra Andrade, heir to Cesaria Evora, continuing with American Chrysta Bell, scouted by director David Lynch, French composer Alexandre Desplat and Spanish Hevia, with his electronic bagpipes.

Between jazz and contemporary music, the Festival will also host pianist Michel Camilo, the glorious and famous Jean Luc Ponty, the Kronos String Quartet, perhaps the best in the world today in the modern repertoire. Many of the events will give vent and visibility to South Africa and Argentina music, in line with the celebration of the South of the world, including a brand new show that will be presented by Luis Bacalov and Michele Placido in August. The poignant “Memoirs of a slave” by Pamela Villoresi and Baba Sissoko will tell us of South Africa instead. Also the concert “Southern Comfort” by jazz violinist Regina Carter and the study on Pergolesi in jazz by Maria Pia de Vito refer to Southern issues. Finally, from the southern part of Italy this time, also the great Pino Daniele will debut in Ravello this year in an unplugged version inspired by the “South” theme as well, with a moving dedication to his friend Massimo Troisi, twenty years after his death.

Do not miss the everlasting Beatles played by Alessandro Haber during the show “The fool on the hill” and the noble father of international pop Burt Bacharach who we recommend to younger audiences to understand where twenty-first century music comes from.

This year, on the heels of a successful and recent tradition, dance companies propose two shows in August performed by as many American artists: the highly regarded Alvin Ailey II and the amusing Les Ballets de Trockadero.

As every year, the Ravello Festival offers many great visual arts exhibitions and media events such as the one organized by Tony Cragg who, as Mimmo Paladino did in 2013, will turn Villa Rufolo and Piazzale Niemeyer into an open air museum. His exhibition will last until October 31st to underline its importance, considering the difficulty of having the artist’s works available to be admired in public.

We remind you that the venues of the Ravello Festival will be Villa Rufolo, Auditorium Oscar Niemeyer and the gardens of some of Ravello’s hotels.

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