Trieste Prima Festival - International meetings with contemporary music

The 2014 Trieste Prima festival kicks off on October 31st

This year, once again, our city will be able to enjoy what’s new in the field of serious contemporary music. Friday, October 31st in fact, in the prestigious setting of the “Sala Victor De Sabata” in the “Giuseppe Verdi”, Theatre, sees the opening of the Trieste Prima festival concert season. But that’s not all. The very same evening also sees the announcement of the winners of the “Premio Trio di Trieste - Giampaolo Coral Award 2014” International Composition Competition.

Year after year, the festival, beginning in 1987 from an idea of the late composer Giampaolo Coral from Trieste, who died in 2011, has introduced the city of Trieste to the world of twentieth century classical music right through to the new millennium, as well as developing in the regional capital, what takes place in large cities such as Milan or Rome, a different culture of listening, one that is aware, replete with the cultural issues that have developed since the immediate post-war period through to the present day. The awareness of listening in the setting of a revival of the battered West (the centenary 1914-2014 itself is eloquent) is joined this year - and supported – by the coming round again of the Composition Competition dedicated to the actual founder of the festival, Giampaolo Coral. The composition competition has been strongly supported by the Chromas Association (which is also the promoter of Trieste Prima) and by the Chamber Music Association, to bridge the cultural gap that appeared following the end of the City of Trieste Music Prize, for which Giampaolo Coral was the artistic director for many years and that he would have wanted to revive as soon as possible.

The Trieste Prima 2014 season is shaping up to be extremely interesting. From October 31st to December 5th you will have the opportunity to follow six concerts, all starting at 18.00, with important artists of international renown. The theme that connects the six events is a broad one. Entitled Trieste Prima 2014 “a century of music”, the festival aims to illustrate the developments that classical music has undergone from the early twentieth century through to the present. Therefore all the concerts propose at least one “historic” composer. On October 31st you will hear Brahms, but other concerts of the season feature pieces from Schönberg, Casella, Stravinsky, Debussy and Messiaen. Amongst these, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring stands out, performed by the Spinosa - Calcagnile piano duo together with the chamber ensemble of Milan. December 5th at the Auditorium of the Museum Revoltella sees the last appointment of the season.

Opening a parenthesis, apart from the first, all the concerts will be held at the Museum Revoltella. As has already been stated, the concert on 28th November will be held at the Teatro Miela when one of the most acclaimed Italian contemporary music groups, the Icarus Ensemble of Reggio Emilia, will present a programme dedicated to the Milan compositional environment, performing material by names of absolute importance, such as Solbiati, Taglietti and Laganà.

The perspective that has characterized Trieste Prima in its twenty-eight years of activity is also the opening of our city to the culture of Eastern Europe. The 2014 edition focuses on Slovenia. On November 14th a duo will perform composed of the violinist Črtomir Šiškovič and the pianist Luca Ferrini. The programme, although focusing primarily on Slovenian music, can still be read from the perspective of the main theme, since it also relates to the development of compositional thought running from the twentieth century through to today. Alongside the Rondò-fantasy by Danilo Švara, one of Slovenia's most acclaimed composers of the last century, the programme sees the first run of Strasonata by Patrick Quaggiato, a young musician at the start of his compositional career.

On November 20th Trieste Prima offers an entirely original concert. The Duo Orion, a Swiss chamber ensemble, are performing, made up of two international artists, the violinist Anne-Noëlle Darbellay and the horn player Olivier Darbellay. If the duo arouses curiosity with its unusual combination of violin and horn, the repertoire is equally intriguing, as it presents the music close to the form of theatre with the two musicians performing as actors, playing pieces dedicated to them by prestigious composers including Heinz Holliger and Jürg Wyttenbach.

An exceptional concert is scheduled for November 8th, performed by the ImprovvisoFantasia group, a chamber ensemble from Rome, which sees a true legend of the Italian avant-garde music among its musicians, Giancarlo Schiaffini, the “father of the contemporary Italian trombone”. It will be an evening devoted mainly to improvisation, accompanied by the unforgottable “Serenade for a satellite” by Bruno Maderna, although there will also be pieces in closed form (including Raps VIII by Giampaolo Coral, a composer of whom the festival has dutifully presented a detailed portrait over the years). The presence of Giuseppe Giuliano and Walter Prati amongst the interpreters of ImprovvisoFantasia will lend the eloquent sound of the group an “electronic” gloss. Tireless experimenters in their performance, the two musicians will take advantage of their experiences in computer music. The necessary technical support will be supplied by the School of Music and New Technologies of the Tartini Conservatory.

Tonight, October 31st, the inaugural concert opens with the announcement of the winners of the International Composition Competition Premio Trio di Trieste - Giampaolo Coral Award. The reinstated competition takes place for the second time this year and the evening continues in fact, after the announcement of the winners, with the execution of Rocco De Cia’s “Rosa amara” (“Bitter rose”) and “Refrain in extenso” by Maurilio Cacciatore, the winning pieces of music from the first edition of the competition, which took place in 2012. Performing is the renowned Josef Suk Piano Quartet from Prague, which finishes off the concert with the Piano Quartet op. 60 by Johannes Brahms.

Corrado Rojac