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The Culture of Emilia-Romagna



Maestro Arturo ToscaniniTo attempt a detailed description of Emilia-Romagna’s musical life is not simple. It is perhaps best understood as an answer to a calling and, above all, to a hierarchy of relationships, a network of responses to an artistic and theatrical stimulus which at various moments in the region’s history has assumed various forms and directions. It would be helpful to think of the entire region as a royal court, an ideal society whose musical life develops around the work of the great reigning dynasties such as the Este in Ferrara and Modena, the Papal State in

Giuseppe Verdi Theatre, 19th cent., Busseto
Giuseppe Verdi Theatre, 19th cent., Busseto
Bologna (at that time it was already one of the Italian peninsula’s chief centres of music and cultural exchange between North and South), the Farnese, the Bourbon and the Habsburg dynasties in Parma and Piacenza. The specific weight of the people’s musical aptitude is galvanized by this legacy and finds concrete expression via administrative structures designed and set up with the express purpose of optimizing the relationship between musical supply and demand. Organizational structures which were to bear lasting fruit since the patterns adopted in the Po plain were immediately taken up by international centres of thought, fashion and ideas.

Municipal Theatre, 19th cent., Carpi
Municipal Theatre, 19th cent., Carpi
This musical identity, the expression of a collective heritage based on a shared sensibility, is epitomized in landmarks like Corelli and Paganini (the latter laying the foundations for what was to become the
Luciano Pavarotti with the Emilia-Romagna Symphony Orchestra Arturo Toscanini
Luciano Pavarotti with the Emilia-Romagna Symphony Orchestra Arturo Toscanini
modern orchestra when he was with the Orchestra Ducale di Parma in the first half of the nineteenth century), Padre Martini (with whom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart studied. The young composer went to Bologna in 1769 and brilliantly passed the examination to become a full member of the prestigious Philharmonic Academy of Bologna), Rolla, Paer and on to Toscanini and Pizzetti. It is thanks to Giuseppe Verdi, however, the high point, the most significant episode in a long line of memorable musical experiences, that the region’s energies drifting on the current of Italian melodrama, were channelled in a new direction towards the tenets and guiding principals of Central European culture.

A living, productive cultural model

Teatro Romolo Valli, 19th cent. Reggio Emilia
Romolo Valli Theatre, 19th cent., Reggio Emilia
The structures operating today in the region are the true expression of its cultural history: the Bologna Municipal Theatre Foundation, the six traditional theatres of Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Ferrara and Ravenna, a multitude of small and medium-sized historical theatres, the Theatre Association of Emilia-Romagna (ATER), a pioneering venture to bring concerted regional planning to the arts. Born of the need to coordinate and streamline policy, programming and production, ATER paved the way for Aterballetto and the Regional Orchestra and, most
Regio Theatre, 19th cent., Parma. Concert conducted by G. Gavazzeni, Messa di Requiem by G. Verdi
Regio Theatre, 19th cent., Parma. Concert conducted by G. Gavazzeni
recently, the Arturo Toscanini Foundation, the region’s chief source of musical production which runs the Emilia-Romagna Orchestra, dedicated to serving the region in terms of concerts and operatics as well as the “educational” sector for schools, and for the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, an excellent orchestra of international standing which represents the region’s contribution to the exclusive circle of great Italian symphonic orchestras. 

These organizations constitute the various segments of the region’s multi-faceted production system, organized to channel and foster new development on the historic and cultural heritage of this land.

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Pubblicato il 28/10/2011 — ultima modifica 21/07/2015
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Regione Emilia-Romagna (CF 800.625.903.79) - Viale Aldo Moro 52, 40127 Bologna - Centralino: 051.5271

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