Tuscany – The Orchestra Giovanile Italiana

by Samuele Sodini

Orchestra Giovanile Italiana

Orchestra Giovanile Italiana

The Orchestra Giovanile Italiana (founded by Riccardo Muti in 1984 and direct by Nicola Paszkowski) performed last month at Florence’s Teatro Comunale as part of the Maggio Musicale Festival, with guest conductor Gianandrea Noseda.
The musicians (all between 18 and 27) received hearty bis! and bravi! For their performances of Smetana’s Hakon Jarl,, Stravinsky’s Le Baiser de la Fée and Dvorak’s Symphony N. 8 in G major op. 88
The Orchestra Giovanile consists mainly of Italian performers, although there are eight foreigners ( from Poland, Ecuador, Japan, Romania, Macedonia, Mexico and Russia).
The musicians know that in Italy they must accept ludicrously low pay, but even so they aspire to this joyously, expecting to supplement their earnings with teaching and solo performances, but above all to pursue a career they love.
Three of the musicians ( all 25 years old) discussed their ambitions over coffee before the concert.
Percussionist Dario Varuni, a Florentine of Neapolitan extraction, although attracted to the progressive cosmopolitan capital Berlin, said he could imagine no better life than performing in his adepte city. Already he has a busy career that includes teaching and performing in the past as far away as Paris, Heidelberg, and Milan.
Cellist Anna Stasevich, on the other hand, who comes from Caluga (200 km from Moscow), said she would be thrilled toh ave a permanent position with any major Italian orchestra.
Stasevich studied at the Conservatory of  Caluga and completed her studies at the Moscow State Music Academy with Alla Vassilieva. What she likes about being in the OGI is being able to devote all her time to practing and performing Harpist Anna-Livia Walker (from Lucca), who has recently played for Live Music Now in the UK and at the Lisbon Opera House, says she would be very happy to continue working both in orchestras and as a soloist.
Sureley the world needs more of  this kind of music, but sadly Noseda, conductor of Torino’s Teatro Regio, told the audience that the Giovanile (OGI), widely recognized as one of Europe’s most distinguished youth orchestras, has had its funds cut in half this year. Noseda, who rehearsed with the musicians in the period leading up to the concert without accepting any payment, said that “ our future dreams” represented by these young artists, are under threat.

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