The 2013-2014 concert season of the Rai National Symphony Orchestra opens with a final, grand tribute to Giuseppe Verdi, on 10 October 2013 – the anniversary of his two hundredth birthday. Twenty-three concerts will be performed at the “Arturo Toscanini” Rai Auditorium in Torino from October to June. All the concerts will be presented on two consecutive evenings, broadcast live on Radio3, in live audio-video streaming on www.osn.rai.it, filmed in part by the Rai3 TV cameras and broadcast by the programme “La musica di Raitre” and on Rai5.
The inauguration on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 October 2013 features the Principal Conductor of the Rai Orchestra Juraj Valčuha directing Giuseppe Verdi’s choral-symphonic masterpiece: Messa da Requiem. With him will be the Czech Philharmonic Chorus of Brno and a cast of great Verdian voices: soprano Hui He, mezzo-soprano Marianna Pizzolato, tenor Francesco Meli and bass Aleksandr Tsymbalyuk. And during the opening of the season there will be an entire “Verdi Weekend” from 10 to 13 October at the Rai Auditorium, with a display of Verdi manuscripts in the foyer, a conference about the year’s celebrations on Thursday 10 October, at 6 p.m. by the journalist
Taking to the podium of the Rai Orchestra next season will be such illustrious names as Ivor Bolton, Omer Meir Wellber, Roberto Abbado, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Pietari Inkinen and John Axelrod. Also participating will be emergent conductors, although already well-known on the international scene, like Dima Slobodeniouk, Gaetano d'Espinosa, Francesco Lanzillotta, Nicolaj Znaider (a successful conductor/violinist), and Andrea Battistoni, as well as two of today’s most famous female conductors: Susanna Mällki and Xian Zhang.
And great soloists will be on the stage of the “Arturo Toscanini” Rai Auditorium in Torino: pianists Arcadi Volodos, Mikhail Pletnev, Yuja Wang, Maria João Pires, Daniil Trifonov, Saleem Abboud Ashkar and the star of the web Valentina Lisitsa; violinists Midori, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Isabelle Faust, Sergej Krylov and Leila Josefowicz; violist Yuri Bashmet, cellist Johannes Moser, flautist Emmanuel Pahud, tenor Ian Bostridge, soprano Regula Mühlemann and mezzo-soprano Michelle Breedt (alongside Juraj Valčuha in the monumental Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler, which returns to the Rai Auditorium after baptizing the reopening in January 2006. As is customary, the season’s guest is the Maghini Chorus of Torino, which performs the Mass in E flat major by Franz Schubert, conducted by Ivor Bolton.
As is traditional, the first chairs of the Orchestra will be featured in solo roles. In the course of the season the protagonists will be the cellist Pierpaolo Toso and the violist Ula Ulijona, the violinist Roberto Ranfaldi, oboists Carlo Romano and Francesco Pomarico, clarinetist Caesar Coggi, horn player Corrado Saglietti, bassoonist Elvio Di Martino and trumpeter Roberto Rossi.
An absolute novelty during the season is the “Sostiene Bollani Live” concert – 30 and 31 October 2013 - realized in collaboration with Rai3. The Rai Auditorium in Torino turns into a large TV studio for the occasion, and pianist and showman Stefano Bollani, together with the Rai Orchestra, livens up the final episode of the second series of its program “Sostiene Bollani Live”, broadcast on Rai3. For the audience, moreover, Stefano Bollani at the piano and Francesco Lanzillotta on the podium present Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin, Short Ride in a fast Machine by John Adams and Circus Polka by Igor Stravinsky.
This year the traditional Christmas Concert on 20 December 2013 – separate from the season ticket – is entitled “Les valses” (The Watzes), and features Juraj Valčuha conducting a selection of some of the best-known waltzes in music history, from Johann Strauss Jr. to Ravel. Also separate from the season ticket is the concert presented on only one evening – 2 May 2014 – which sees Susanna Mällki on the podium and the solo violinist Leila Josefowicz. In addition to works by Brahms and Haydn, the programme includes the first Italian performance of the Violin Concerto by Luca Francesconi, the result of a joint commission by the BBC, Swedish Radio and the Rai.
The season closing – 22 and 23 May 2014 – is entrusted to Alexander Lonquich in the dual role of pianist and conductor, who presents two different programmes in the two evenings, both dedicated to Mozart.
Rai NuovaMusica 2014
From 14 to 28 February 2014 the season makes way for Rai NuovaMusica, which returns as usual with three symphonic concerts devoted entirely to contemporary music: premieres, first performances in Italy and new works commissioned by the Rai. The detailed programme will be announced before the start of the event.
Concerts Outside Torino
The new season will also include many concerts performed outside of Torino. During the summer, on 4 July in Sordevolo (Biella) and 22 August at the Verona Arena, two large concerts will be conducted by Ennio Morricone, who will offer a selection of his most popular soundtracks. Then on 6 September, the Rai Orchestra and Juraj Valčuha return to the Malatestiana Festival of Rimini with a grand symphonic concert that will be repeated on 7 September for the Accademia Filarmonica of Verona. A couple of days later, on 9 and 10 September, will be the most prestigious international appointment: two concerts at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest, again with Juraj Valčuha and violinist Anna Tifu. There will also be the traditional concerts in Torino and Milan for MITO SettembreMusica and the opening and closing concerts for the Prix Italia in Torino on 21 and 26 September.