27 world premieres (of which 18 commissioned by La Biennale), 15 Italian premieres, 77 composers, 31 events including concerts, installations, audio-visual performances, choral music as well as workshops, seminars, meetings throughout the entire ten-day programme, from September 23 to October 2 in Venice: these are the figures behind the 54th International Festival of Contemporary Music, titled Don Giovanni and the man of stone, and directed by Luca Francesconi.
In continuity with the commitment of the Biennale di Venezia towards the younger generations, the Music Festival – observes President Paolo Baratta – will become the stage for prestigious groups but also for young and very young professional ensembles, such as MDI, the two wind and percussion ensembles from the Malmö Music Academy, and L’arsenale, that was asked to perform one of the most important pieces in the history of the Festival, Quando stanno morendo. Diario polacco n.2 by Luigi Nono, presented at the 1982 Music Biennale. This is the reason why the Festival promotes opportunities to discover and encourage the talent of the new generations, and has invited student artists and musicians – from the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice – to measure their skills and stimulate their creative originality in contact with the professional world of composers, singers, choirs, musicians, actors, set designers and directors, all involved in producing the inaugural event, Don Giovanni a Venezia.
Titled Don Giovanni and the man of stone, the Festival refers not only to the famous opera by Mozart, but to one of the central myths of western culture, the myth of Don Giovanni: within the conflict between human finiteness and its aspiration to eternity, between the body and the spirit, reverberates the relationship between the immortality of the work of art and the inexorable breath of time, between the written and the oral, between tradition and modernity. These themes weave through the 54th International Festival of Contemporary Music and find their synthesis in the opening event, the opera-installation Don Giovanni a Venezia.