Monday, 15 October 2012

Venice - Ancient City Young at Heart - News from Guggenheim, La Biennale & La Fenice Focus on Youth

Frank Stella - Gray Scramble -
Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof Collection
(Venice, Italy) Hennelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof were passionate collectors of Italian, European and American art of the decades after 1945, and felt they were kindred spirits of Peggy Guggenheim. Upon her death this past February, Hennelore bequested 83 works to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, including those by Afro, Alberto Burri, Alexander Calder, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Eduardo Chillida, Tony Cragg, Ellsworth Kelly, Willem de Kooning, Lucio Fontana, Jean Dubuffet, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Anish Kapoor, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol, enriching the Peggy Guggenheim Collection with art dating up to the 1970s and 80s. When I saw pieces from new collection, which were deftly integrated into the existing art, I had the same feeling of wonder that I'd had on a class trip I took to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City when I was 13-years-old and witnessed modern art for the first time. The Schulhof Collection blends perfectly into the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

Sound Garden by Architettura Sonora
The Biennale's International Festival of Contemporary Music finished on an exciting note this year: attendance by students was way up -- over 20% of the audience was young people and students. Paolo Baratta, President of La Biennale, said that it was encouraging to look out over the audience and not only see a sea of white-haired heads. "We have reaped the rewards after spending a long time laying the ground work to attract young people. Ivan Fedele, the new Director of the Music Sector, performed with presence and passion. The result is a turning point for the Music Sector of the Biennale, which will attach increasing importance to the dissemination of knowledge of music and supporting new talent, further strengthening the program and the Biennial Educational College." Ivan Fedele countered and said that even if someone has white hair, they can still be young at heart.

Also doing their part to encourage the musical youth of Italy, the Fondazione Teatro La Fenice di Venezia and the Friends of La Fenice Foundation held their annual Premio Venezia National Piano Competition this past week. Saturday night, October 13, the two finalists competed against each other. This year, two young women ended up in the top slots: Martina Consonni, a 15-year-old from Como, and Giulia Rossini, a 19-year-old from Milan. 

The program:

Martina Consonni

Trenta due Variazioni in do minore sopra un tema orginale Wo0 80 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Scherzo n.2 in si bemolle minore op. 31 by Fryderyk Chopin 
Mephisto-Walzer n. 1, S. 514 by Franz Liszt

Martina Consonni - Second Place

 Giulia Rossini

Scherzo n. 3 in do diesis minore op. 39 by Fryderyk Chopin
Sonata n. 1 in fa minore op. 1 by Sergej Prokof'ev 
Sonata n. 2 in sol minore op. 22 by Robert Schumann 

Giulia Rossini - Winner Premio Venezia
Giulia made a striking figure at the piano, with long blond tresses held back with a crimson headband and matching crimson gown, looking a bit like Sleeping Beauty come to life. Martina chose an elegant, sophisticated black classic look. Both young women were excellent, poised and confident, playing with passion and grace. During the intermission while the jury voted as the audience sipped prosecco, both girls ventured into the foyer, and it was evident that they had each other's support. Giulia won the top prize, which includes a plethora of cash and concerts, as does second place, so there really is no "winner" and "loser" if a young pianist reaches the finalist slot. I've written about the prize before: 

Friends of The Phoenix - Amici della Fenice - Premio Venezia

The other three 2012 finalists were:

Antonino Fiumara, born in Messina in 1993
William Greco, born in Nardò in 1987
Serena Valluzzi, born in Gioia del Colle in 1994

Congratulations to everyone! 

Photo: Comune di Venezia
On another note, Giorgio Orsoni, the Mayor of Venice himself attended the protest on Saturday, October 13, 2012 against the attempted grab of Arsenale by Consorzio Venezia Nuova, a group of private construction companies. From the Consorzio Venezia Nuova website:

The Consorzio Venezia Nuova consists of a group of Italy's leading construction companies of international importance and local cooperatives and firms with considerable experience of operating in the lagoon. 

To carry out its work as State concessionary responsible for studies, experimental activities, projects and works, the Consorzio Venezia Nuova has developed a structure able to plan, organise, manage and control the safeguarding measures during the various phases of implementation, while at the same time acting as the operational interface between the granting administration (the Venice Water Authority) on one hand and those carrying out the work on the other (designers, experts responsible for studies and experiments and companies carrying out the work). 

Giorgio Orsoni - Photo: Comune
This summer, after fighting the State for decades, the Comune of Venice had finally gotten control of Arsenale, an enormous section of Venice where the renowned Venetian ships were once built. Apparently Consorzio Venezia Nuova tacked a clause onto another piece of legislation and reversed the decision. Maybe they thought no one would notice...

Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog 

1 comment:

  1. The Biennale's International Festival of Contemporary Music finished on an exciting note this year: attendance by students was way up -- over 20% of the audience was young people and students.