Winter with Santa Cecilia

by Danilo Brunetti

Warm up the two coldest months of the year with some of the finest classical music you can find in Italy—or anywhere. Tiffany Parks has the details.

Quartetto Adorno

The New Year starts on a high note at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome’s premier classical music organization, and if your resolution this year was to attend more live concerts, you are in luck! The post-holiday season begins right on time with a fun and kid-friendly project that presents fairytale-inspired classical music from the 7th to the 9th of January. On the program is Ravel’s Menuet Antique, Stravinsky’s Fairy Kiss divertimento, and Prokofiev’s Cinderella Suite, with Juraj Valčuha at the podium. Poulenc-lovers will be delighted by the soirée dedicated entirely to the early 20th-century French composer with a program of his whimsical chamber music presented one night only on January 12th. From the 13th to the 16th, legendary conductor John Eliot Gardner brings Haydn’s Creation to life with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, and on the 19th, an intimate piano recital by the brilliant Angela Herwitt includes works by Cuperin, Bach, and Scarlatti. The month wraps up with the orchestra’s permanent conductor, Antonio Pappano, leading a program entirely of Rossini.

Angela Herwitt

The dazzling winter line-up continues into February with some of classical music’s biggest names, both young and old. On the 2nd of the month, the highly acclaimed Quartetto Adorno interprets Webern, Shostakovitch, and Beethoven, followed on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, by Kirill Gerstein performing Adés’s Concerto for Piano with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra under Antonio Pappano. On February 7th, the great Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini appears in recital, and on the 14th, twice is nice with a performance of two of the greatest young pianists of our age, Daniil Trifonov and Sergey Babayan, who come together to perform an all-Rachmaninoff bill. From the 17th to the 19th, Myong-Whun Chung conducts Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin, featuring soloist Leonidas Kavakos, and closing out the month, from the 24th to the 26th, Daniele Gatti conducts Mendelssohn and Mahler.