“Vladimir Delman, founder of our team, said that only after thirty years of activity can an orchestra be called such. It is with this load of responsibility, but also with the joy of having achieved such an important goal, that we officially enter into the celebrations for the thirtieth year since the foundation of our orchestra”. The words of Amber Redaelli, President from the Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir Foundation of Milansummarize the spirit with which the home institution at the Milan Auditorium faces the 2023-2024 Season, whose most important moment is undoubtedly represented by the Mahler Festivalan unprecedented musical initiative aimed at celebrating the first thirty years of activity of the Milan Symphony Orchestra and the first twenty-five years of the Milan Symphony Choir.
Three weeks dedicated to Mahler
Three whole weeks dedicated to Gustav Mahler’s repertoire, at the Milan Auditorium, from 22 October to 13 November 2023, the complete Symphonies and Lieder for orchestra by the Bohemian composer. November 13th is an emblematic date: on November 13th 1993, in fact, Maestro Vladimir Delman raised his baton to conduct the newly created Grand Symphony Orchestra of Milan in an exciting program that included the Serenade for Strings by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the Symphony Fantastic by Hector Berlioz. From that memorable concert the Orchestra has evolved to become what it represents today for its city and for Italy: an international team that has been able to grow more and more to reach the heights of symphonism, performing in the most prestigious halls concert from all over the world.
The great orchestras together
Birthdays, especially important ones, are celebrated with friends. For this reason, theMilan Symphony Orchestra, at the halfway point of the first thirty years of its activity, launches a challenge in the Italian symphonic panorama, calling together the great national orchestras to celebrate perhaps the composer dearest to the Orchestra’s public. After all, as he states Ruben JaisGeneral and Artistic Director of the Orchestra: “Over the years, the proximity to the Mahlerian repertoire has become such that the Milanese municipal administration decided to name the space in front of the entrance to the Auditorium ‘Largo Gustav Mahler’, inaugurated in the presence of the granddaughter of the Bohemian composer.”
For the first time we find the great Italian symphony orchestras called upon, in a Festival that could be elevated to an emblem of the great symphonic culture of our country.
14 events that make up a Festival in which 10 symphonic institutions compete: the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Riccardo ChaillyL’Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia driven by Manfred Honeckthe Spira mirabilisL’Musical Afternoons Orchestra directed by James FeddeckL’Orchestra of Tuscany together withItalian Youth Orchestra directed by Markus StenzL’RAI National Symphony Orchestra with Robert Treviño on the podium, theOrchestra of the Arena di Verona Foundation under the direction of Marco AngiusL’Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento under the wand from Ottavio Dantone and the Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Omer Meir Wellber.
“Celebrating thirty years of our orchestra and twenty-five years of our choir: this is the desire that stimulated us to create the Mahler Festival. For the first time in Italy the major Italian symphonic orchestral groups gathered to perform the entire repertoire of the great composer. We are truly honored to be able to share these two important anniversaries of our Foundation with the prestigious teams who wanted to join us”, continues General and Artistic Director Jais.
The Municipality and the Region alongside music
Of crucial importance for the success of such an ambitious project are the institutions of the municipality of Milan And Lombardy regionalways alongside the Milan Symphony Orchestra.
Tommaso SacchiCouncilor for Culture of the municipality of Milanhe has declared: “In such a significant moment for the Milan Symphony Orchestra and our city, on the thirtieth anniversary of this institution, the Mahler Festival is born, a new musical initiative which for three weeks will bring events dedicated to the very rich repertoire of Gustav Mahler. But it is much more than a tribute to the great Mahler, because for the first time the most important Italian symphony orchestras will come together to create an event of national importance, an emblem of our country’s symphonic tradition. It is a real honor to be able to welcome such prestigious musical realities to our Milan. This Festival is a testament to our dedication to promoting culture and art, and to the commitment we have to keeping Milan’s symphonic tradition alive. It is an initiative that once again demonstrates how the synergy between cultural institutions can give life to new experiences to enhance our immense heritage. I want to thank President Ambra Redaelli and Maestro Ruben Jais, and all those who made the Mahler Festival possible, and I want to invite all citizens to take part in this extraordinary initiative.”
These are the words of Francesca CarusoCouncilor for Culture of Lombardy region: “This Festival is unique in the Italian panorama: being able to involve the great symphony orchestras of our country and bringing them here to Lombardy is certainly a source of great pride for the regional institution that follows and supports the Milan symphony orchestra. The Mahler Festival is the right culmination of a great journey which sees in the 2023-2024 Season of the Symphony Orchestra, a varied program but capable, at the same time, of overcoming geographical boundaries, given the desire to expand the presence of numerous planning within the suburbs and places not properly used for culture. This Orchestra, a fundamental reality also with regards to the cultural offer of Lombardy in the context of the attractiveness for our region by Italian and international tourism, a useful tool for making great symphonic music known to an audience of all kinds and age, extending it therefore also to business guests of companies and fairs. And the Festival is an excellent tool for telling our Italian identity in this musical “embrace” that manages to envelop many great Italian realities.