THIRD SEASON – 13-30 April 2017

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FROM IDEA TO FESTIVAL by Eleonora Contucci

In April 2015, with Massimiliano Matesic, friend and conductor, and his string ensemble from Zurich i baroccoli, I organized two baroque music concerts in Pienza and Montepulciano. His ensemble is unlike others as it is made up not of professionals but rather of "dilettanti", in the old-fashioned sense of the word: doctors, lawyers, musicians who play to the highest level but only as a "hobby", for the pleasure of making music together. In June we repeated the events in Kaiserstuhl, in Switzerland, at the Festival der Stille, of which Massimiliano Matesic, together with his wife, the violinist Daria Zappa, is Artistic Director. The collaboration was a resounding success and was enthusiastically received by critics and the public alike, both in Tuscany and in Switzerland.

It was no time before I was inspired to repeat the experience in venues of high artistic value in my home town and surroundings, with new programmes involving a larger number of top-level players: thus was born our Easter Festival. Already in 2015 the project began to draw together threads of my professional and personal life: the many friends to whom I affectionately and respectfully turned for help gave their unstinting support with touching generosity; we passionately share the conviction that only culture and a love of beauty in all its forms can offer hope for a rebirth of that humanity which seems to have long ago lost its sense of a higher purpose.

In Italy more so than elsewhere. We are nonetheless convinced that there are many who are crying out for, and urgently, sources of inspiration which cannot be found in shopping malls, in television broadcasts, in the greater part of newspaper material. The Easter Festival sets out to contribute warmth and light and thus to fuel those sources of inspiration.

Picking up on my perhaps idealistic, even Utopian ideals, it will come as no surprise that I grew up in Montepulciano with the Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte, with the idiom and vision of Maestro Hans Werner Henze as my guiding light. Nothing new for Montepulciano therefore. I am merely a minor off-shoot and, after years of study and time spent working far-afield, I have now returned to my city to make my contribution of music and beauty.

The Festival continues to owe its existence also to the generosity and team spirit of those musicians, scholars and friends whose involvement is the life-blood of this tiny Utopia dedicated to Beauty.

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