The concert will pay tribute to Ponti's life and career and will be conducted by his and Sophia Loren's son, Carlo Ponti Jr., with the Russian National Orchestra and cellist Nina Kotova.
Later events during the festival, which is based in the medieval hilltop town of Cortona, include Jean-Yves Thibaudet playing Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 5 with the RNO under conductor St_phane Denve; Thibaudet will also accompany mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager in a recital.
Kirchschlager will also star in a Mozart program alongside soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and pianist Elena Bashkirova. The starry vocal lineup is crowned by soprano Anna Netrebko, who will sing Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with countertenor Andreas Scholl and the Venice Baroque Orchestra led by Andrea Marcon.
Emmanuelle HaÇm will lead the Baroque orchestra Le Concert d'Astr_e and violinist Viktoria Mullova in works by Bach and Handel; she will also conduct a separate program featuring countertenor David Daniels and soprano Laura Claycomb in excerpts from Handel's Giulio Cesare.
The final concert is an opera gala on August 16; Karel Mark Chichon will conduct the RNO, mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and tenor Jos_ Cura.
The music programs are complemented by art and literature lectures and exhibitions and cooking and wine demonstrations.
The Tuscan Sun Festival was founded in 2003 by Barrett Wissman, chairman of the powerhouse management agency IMG Artists.
Visit www.festivaldelsole.com for more information.