COMO CONTEMPORARY FESTIVAL
International Festival of Contemporary Music and Other Arts
November 4-26, 2023
The Como Contemporary Festival is returning in the month of November. Born in 2019 in the crucible of ideas of the Polifonie Cultural Association, a series of meetings and concerts dedicated to New Music, a vital and thriving form of art that is too often absent from the programs of theaters and concert halls. Among the great names that will be in Como for the 2023 Contemporary Festival is Jean-Pierre Leguay, the organist of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris for forty years.
The Como Contemporary Festival, now in its fourth edition, is the International Festival of Contemporary Music and Other Arts, promoted and organized by the Polifonie Cultural Association. A dense program of events will unfold from November 4 to 26, 2023, in various venues in the city of Como and Cernobbio. CO.CO.Fe represents a unique moment in the cultural landscape of Como, where contemporary music intertwines and blends with other arts, from poetry to theater, from dance to fiber art, offering compositions created for the occasion and performed for the first time in the world. A meeting point for young artists and established masters, between an audience eager for new listening experiences and authors of unpublished scores, the Festival is closely linked to other activities of the Polifonie Cultural Association: the International Composition Competition "Appassionato Ensemble," aimed at promoting the writing and publication of new works, and the masterclasses where talented students can benefit from the lessons of some of the greatest active musicians.
The Como Contemporary Festival will open its doors on Saturday, November 4, with an extraordinary guest, Jean-Pierre Leguay, the choir master of Notre-Dame in Paris for nearly half a century. Leguay will present a program of music composed entirely by himself at 8:30 PM, highlighting the qualities of the Grand Organ of Como Cathedral (admission by voluntary donation). The evening concert will be preceded by an afternoon meeting at 4:00 PM at the Hotel Barchetta Excelsior, where the French artist will engage in a dialogue with Umberto Pedraglio and Victoria Saldarini, revealing the secrets of contemporary organ composition. Admission to this event is free.
On Saturday, November 11, at 6:30 PM, the Final Concert and Award Ceremony of the 7th International Composition Competition "Appassionato Ensemble" 2023 will be held at the Centro Cardinal Ferrari. The Appassionato Ensemble will present the finalist scores. Among the guests and judges of the competition, in addition to Vittorio Zago, Director of the Como Conservatory, the Iranian composer Mehdi Khayami will return to the city. Young participants from around the world compete in this annual event. Admission: 10 euros, available in advance at www.polifonie.it.
The third event is a musical theater performance by Ljuba Bergamelli (voice) and Simone Magnani (dance) on November 12 at 6:30 PM at Villa Olmo. "Una voce" is the evocative title of a program that combines historical names such as Luciano Berio, Cathy Berberian, and John Cage with others like the Greek Georges Aperghis and young Italians Pasquale Corrado and Vittorio Montalti, an interesting author of chamber music theater. Admission: 10 euros, available in advance at www.polifonie.it.
On Thursday, November 16, at 6:30 PM, CO.CO.Fe moves to Villa Bernasconi in Cernobbio to present the excellence of Polifonie International Music Masterclass. On this occasion, the young winner of the masterclass concert award, led by the Russian violinist and educator Pavel Berman, a teacher at the Conservatory of the Italian-speaking Switzerland in Lugano, will be announced. Admission is free.
Don't miss the event on Saturday, November 18, in collaboration with the Syntax Ensemble, one of Italy's leading groups for the interpretation of New Music. Alfonso Alberti (piano) and Maurilio Cacciatore (live electronics) will perform a monographic concert at 6:30 PM at the Pontificio Collegio Gallio featuring music by Ivan Fedele, a first Italian performance. Admission: 10 euros, available in advance at www.polifonie.it.
The last weekend of CO.CO.Fe begins on Saturday, November 25, at Villa Olmo at 6:30 PM with "E anche a me piace stare in mezzo al buio," a dialogue between the voice of actress Jasmine Monti, with texts by Alessandro Quattrone, and the silk cello of Umberto Pedraglio, who plays the dual role of interpreter and composer of the music. The two artists will be coordinated by actor-director Stefano Annoni. Admission: 10 euros, available in advance at www.polifonie.it.
The final event of the Festival, on Sunday, November 26, at the Pontificio Collegio Gallio, revolves around the figure of Helmut Lachenmann, an octogenarian German composer and one of the legends of our time. Lachenmann was a student of Luigi Nono and Karlheinz Stockhausen and a mentor to generations of new composers. His name is associated with the concept of concrete music. In 2008, when he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, they said of him: "Lachenmann has had a great influence on composers for at least two generations. His radical and utopian conception of a sound stripped of semantic weight, reaching a mineral state, has marked the extreme consequences of structuralist musical avant-garde but at the same time opened a new sound world, revealing a new idea of language."
At 6:30 PM, MDI ensemble, an excellence in the Italian chamber music scene, will perform Helmut Lachenmann's music in the concert "See the sound." The concert lineup will include Paolo Casiraghi (clarinet), Luca Ieracitano (piano), and Giorgio Casati (cello). Admission: 10 euros, available in advance at www.polifonie.it.
Where indicated, admission tickets for events cost 10 euros and are available in advance at www.polifonie.it. Other events are free of charge. A subscription (50 euros) guarantees a reserved seat at all scheduled concerts, including those that are not ticketed. The Como Contemporary Festival is realized with the support of the Lombardy Region and with contributions from the City of Como, the City of Cernobbio, Villa d'Este, and BCC Cantù.
For more information:
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