The 2016 edition of Firenze Suona Contemporanea, a contemporary classical music festival in Florence, will take place from September 14 to 30, 2016. As every year, sound and visual art meet in an increasingly appealing schedule of events that go beyond the traditional concert shape. Each year also sees new venues; previously located in the courtyard of the Bargello, this year the events will take place at the 19th century greenhouse at Ponte Rosso, the Tepidarium del Roster, at the Museo Novecento, Le Murate and in the Sala d’Arme at Palazzo Vecchio. ArtTrav is pleased to renew as media sponsor of the festival again this year.

Screen shot from War Work by Michael Nyman
Screen shot from War Work by Michael Nyman

The theme of the 2016 edition is “the sound in gesture”, chosen by the festival’s Italo-American director Andrea Cavillari to take full advantage of the scenographic locations in Florence, where sound, visual and performance will combine to break down barriers between the arts and push the boundaries of contemporary music.

The line-up of music is international, part of the festival’s initial mission since it started nine years ago. I’m particularly excited about the opening act on September 14 which will be put on inside a 19th-century greenhouse that is only very occasionally used for events, and I’ve never managed to get in! It promises to be a big production, with music performed live by Klangforum Wien, an ensemble with musicians from 10 different countries. They have premiered some 500 pieces of contemporary music to date, and this night will be no exception, with a world premiere of both music and a “video concert” commissioned by the festival (I have no idea what this will look and sound like!).

Those with patience for musical marathons should plan on attending “For Philip Guston”, an epic 4-hour-long piece composed in 1984 by the American Morton Feldman, which will be performed by FLAME | Florence Art Music Ensemble on September 17 at Le Murate. I hope that the set-up will permit one to wander around the space… I think this would be brilliant to hear in a comfortable living room.

On September 18th at the Museo Novecento there’s an opportunity to learn about Luigi Nono, Italian avant-garde composer (d. 1990), through a talk and monographic concert. Check out this impressive bio on wikipedia if you hadn’t encountered him yet (I hadn’t). The piece in the video above, Das atmende Klarsein, will be performed.

I’m also really excited about the immersive experience at Palazzo Vecchio on September 20th at 9pm: War Work is a series of interlocked films of archival material (think war new clips and propoganda overlayed with Dadaism) accompanied with a specially written score sometimes played live by the Michael Nyman Band, other times as a recorded soundtrack. The Sala d’Armi has an immersive video set-up with 7 projectors so that each space between columns becomes a screen, and this adaptation of the 2014 film makes it a world premiere.

Additional concerts will take place at the Museo Novecento on September 21 and 23, while the closing act in two showings on September 29 will be a world premiere taking place at the Murate. The ex-jail is the right background for a dramatic soprano interpretation of the life of Milanese poetess Alda Marini, who wrote about her experience undergoing electroshock therapy. Don’t bring the kids to this one.

A.I.R. Gallery, Negin Sharifzadeh, Inspector Sorrow.
A.I.R. Gallery, Negin Sharifzadeh, Inspector Sorrow.

The round-up also includes an interesting immersive art exhibition from September 25-28, Inspector Sorrow by Negin Sharifzadeh, a Brooklyn-based artist who grew up in Tehran in the wake of the Iranian Revolution; she is fascinated by the mechanisms and interplay of natural, emotional, and political systems. The show looks extremely cool from this review in ArtReport. (The vernissage is on September 24 at 6pm, and the exhibit will be open in the following days)


Visitor Information

All shows are FREE with previous booking required.

FLAME | Florence Art Music Ensemble
Via G. D’Annunzio 121 – 50135 Firenze – Italy
+39 055 611299

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