From Purcell and Vivaldi to Schoenberg, Berio, and beyond, the line-up at Santa Cecilia this month covers the entire spectrum of classical music tastes. Tiffany Parks shares the program.
April starts with a bang at Rome’s most prestigious classical music organization, the Santa Cecilia National Academy, with Tugan Sokhiev, on the first of the month, conducting the orchestra in an interpretation of Haydn’s dazzling Symphony n. 104 “London” followed by Mahler’s Songs of the Earth performed by mezzosoprano Alice Coote and tenor Russell Thomas. On the 3rd, legendary pianist Grigory Sokolov plays Purcell and Mozart in solo recital. From 6 to 8 April, Fabio Biondi conducts Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Academy orchestra and chorus as well as solo vocalists Marie Lys and Lucia Cirillo
Antonio Pappano, the long-time resident conductor and music director of the Academy, who will be retiring his role later this year to become chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, takes up the baton on 13, 14, and 15 April for the world premiere of Ambrosini’s The Shadow of the Tyrant, a work commissioned by the Academy, with Strauss and Shostakovitch also on the program. For one unmissable night only, the 17th to be exact, pianist Maurizio Pollini interprets Schoenberg, Nono, and Chopin in solo recital. Later in the month, from 20 to 22 April, Jakub Hrusa is at the podium for an evening dedicated to the great Bohemian masters Dvorák and Janácek with the Academy orchestra and chorus and vocalists Kateřina Kněžíková, Nicky Spence, and Vito Priante. Rounding out the month, from 27 to 29 April, conductor Antonello Manacorda leads the orchestra in an unusual program of The Bourgeois Gentleman, an orchestral suite by Strauss inspired by the eponymous Molière play, the Brahms/Berio Sonata for Clarinet featuring soloist Alessandro Carbone, and Schubert’s Symphony no. 6.
The Santa Cecilia Academy is also dedicated to fostering a love for classical music in the youngest of hearts, so if you’re traveling with little ones, take them to the family concert on 16 April featuring the Sestetto Stradivari performing Strauss and Tchaikovsky. santacecilia.it