Italy's Symphonica Toscanini Opens U.S. Tour

Classic Arts News   Italy's Symphonica Toscanini Opens U.S. Tour
Symphonica Toscanini, an orchestra of young musicians established just last spring in Rome, begins the American leg of its international tour tonight with a concert at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. portion of the tour (which concludes January 28) follows the route of the tours which Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) made in 1920 with the Orchestra Arturo Toscanini and in 1950 (aged 83) with the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

Next month, the Symphonica will go on to perform in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Japan, and Israel.

The tour was planned to honor the 50th anniversary of the death of the legendary conductor. All concerts will be conducted by Lorin Maazel, Music Director for Life of the Symphonica (and current music director of the New York Philharmonic).

Repertoire for the tour is inspired by Toscanini's programming choices and includes Brahms's Symphony No. 4, Rossini's Overture to Il barbiere di Siviglia; Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini, Respighi's Fontane di Roma and Pini di Roma, and the overture to Wagner's Tannh‹user.

A highlight of the group's U.S. visit will be a joint gala concert at New York's Avery Fisher Hall on January 16 with the New York Philharmonic and soprano Ren_e Fleming. Repertoire for the performance includes the Philharmonic playing Strauss's Don Juan, the Symphonica performing Respighi's Pines of Rome, both orchestras together playing Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini and Fleming singing several arias, including "Signore, ascolta" from Turandot and "Casta diva" from Norma. Proceeds from the gala will establish the Arturo Toscanini Associate Conductor's Chair at the New York Philharmonic.

Symphonica Toscanini, comprised of a rotating group of nearly 200 young musicians, was founded in Rome in May 2006. The orchestra has already toured Russia, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

The Symphonica is "dedicated to the musical ideals and integrity embodied by the great conductor, Maestro Arturo Toscanini," who served as music director of Milan's Teatro alla Scala, New York's Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic and the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

The 2007 Symphonica Toscanini tour title, "In the Footsteps of Toscanini — Symphony of the Air," is inspired by the Symphony of the Air, the orchestra formed after Toscanini's retirement from the NBC Symphony Orchestra in 1954.

Dates and locations for the U.S. portion of the tour include:

January 11: Italian Embassy, Washington, DC
January 12, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
January 13, Grand Opera House, Wilmington, Delaware
January 14, State Theatre, New Brunswick, New Jersey
January 16, Avery Fisher Hall, New York City
January 17, Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois
January 19, Great Hall, Krannert Center, Champaign, Illinois
January 20, Edman Memorial Chapel, Wheaton College, Illinois
January 21, Lied Center, Lawrence, Kansas
January 23, McCallum Theatre, Palm Desert, California
January 25-26, Segerstrom Concert Hall, OCPAC, Costa Mesa, California
January 27, Artemus Ham Concert Hall, University of Nevada at Las Vegas
January 28, Zellerbach Hall, University of California at Berkeley

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