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Festival Berio 2023

The second edition of Luciano Berio Festival was held from 26 to 28 May, dedicated this year to the exploration of different 'Dialogues' inspired by the music and biography of Luciano Berio. It was a great musical festival that enlivened the village of Radicondoli to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the maestro's death, and at the same time inaugurated the events planned for the next three years.
The audience, heterogeneous in terms of origin and interests, was sold out in all the activities organised during the Festival: at the opening concert, given by the Filarmonica 'Rossini' of Florence (conducted by Giampaolo Lazzeri), at the concert with Andrea Lucchesini, Valentina Pagni, Claudio Pasceri and the ITER Research Ensemble choir conducted by Giovanni Cestino, and the musical walk from the town centre to Luciano Berio's home, 'Il Colombaio', in whose garden the local Street Band and the two choirs (the ITER Research Ensemble and the Coro Radiconventomusica) performed pieces composed, re-elaborated or even simply particularly loved by Berio. The leitmotif of the entire Festival was a popular song that the composer had often revisited, E si fussi pisci, the story of which was skilfully and originally traced in a soundessay devised by Giovanni Cestino with the collaboration of Gioele Onida.

For the festival brochure click here.
For the festival programme click here.

The official presentation of the Festival was held in the form of an extraordinary City Council meeting on the morning of 26 May in Radicondoli's Palazzo Bizzarrini. Mayor Francesco Guarguaglini and deputy mayor Luca Moda emphasised the extraordinary cultural operation intended to reinforce the dialogue and strong ties existing between the Tuscan village, its community and Berio, recounting numerous anecdotes that have intertwined the maestro's musical life with the community over more than thirty years. Speakers included councillors Ettore Barducci, former mayor of Radicondoli in the last years of Berio's life, and Stefania Dei; Prof. Anna Paris representing the Tuscan Regional Council; President of the Luciano Berio Study Centre Maurizio Frittelli; Honorary President Talia Pecker Berio; Cristina Berio (on behalf of Berio's five sons) and Angela Ida De Benedictis, CSLB Scientific Director, creator and driving force behind the Festival.

Talia Pecker Berio added to the many moving memories, when 'Berio had organised a trip in March 1982 to allow his fellow citizens to attend the world premiere of La vera storia at La Scala [...]. In addition to the concept of dialogue, fundamental to Berio's poetics and the key word of this edition of the Festival, La vera storia also celebrates the idea of celebration. [...] I am experiencing this extraordinary occasion not so much as a commemoration as a reminder of the music that gives meaning to life today, yesterday and tomorrow. I feel that Berio is among us, as alive as ever with his works and his thought, with the people and the songs he loved'.

Looking to the future is the wish of Angela Ida De Benedictis, the Festival's creator and driving force: 'In this Festival we have succeeded in giving the joy of making music and, at the same time, nurturing in ourselves the desire to give that joy, and to do so through study, understanding, and an informed approach that embraces both the music and the man behind it. To do so, finally, by making music truly together, breaking down the barriers between 'high' and 'low', between specialists and amateurs, and, at the same time, respecting differences... Berio would have used perhaps only one word for all this: making music in 'solidarity'. [...] The firm hope is to be able to continue along this path and, in the next editions of the Festival, to establish in Radicondoli a true training centre for young generations of musicians and performers interested in the music of Luciano Berio and, more generally, in contemporary music.'

There were many statements of strong emotional participation in the Berio weekend from the Festival's co-protagonists and participants. Rather than a thousand words, we leave the emotions and memories fixed in the strength and beauty of the shots we publish in the photo and video galleries dedicated to the Luciano Berio Festival 2023, thanking all the participants for their enthusiasm, for their desire to build together, and for the promise to meet again, ever more numerous, in the next editions of the Festival!

- Photos © Centro Studi Luciano Berio (commissioned to The Factory prd/Simone Petracchi)
- Photos © Laura Cavallazzi

- Listen to the interviews on Radio3 Suite (click here)
- Read the long salute to Berio by Leonetta Bentivoglio in Repubblica's newsletter 'La gazza ladra' (click here)