Italian amateur orchestra festival

An opportunity to perform in a beautiful part of Italy, during the best time of year, making connections with Italian amateur orchestras and sampling truffles… can you resist?

Last year we made contact with Fedioram, the newly-formed Italian federation of amateur orchestras, and they are very keen to make connections with British amateur orchestras, hence an invitation to their second annual festival, taking place 28 April to 1 May in Fossano.

Who is it for?

You can attend as an individual (50 Euros to take part in the 2 days of workshops followed by a performance, register on their website).

Or come with your whole orchestra (if a group/an entire orchestra takes part in the workshops, there will be a discount: email Tommaso Napoli, Chair of the Federation).

There will be activity at two levels – advanced and beginner. Advanced players will be working on Beethoven’s Eroica and beginner players on Schubert’s Symphony No 9.

What is planned?

28 April – inaugural concert in the evening

29 & 30 April – 9.30am to 6pm (with extended lunchbreak) workshops at both levels running concurrently

The advanced level workshop will be conducted by Julius Kalmar; the other workshop will be taken by one of the visiting orchestra’s conductors – it could even be yours! If your conductor is interested in this, his/her accommodation and meals would be paid for.

28/29/30 April evenings: concerts by visiting orchestras. Again, if you are attending with a whole orchestra, you can perform once or more; please programme at least 40 minutes of material for a whole concert or if you want to bring less, then you could be paired up with another orchestra for a joint event.

It is also possible, if you’re interested, to organise performance opportunities in other locations nearby for any of those evenings or evenings immediately preceding/following the festival.

1 May: late morning/lunchtime – performance of the pieces from the workshops. This will allow those who need to be back at work on 2 May to make it back home; but if you are able to stay, there will be a final celebration lunch for all participants in the afternoon.

Location and venues

The festival takes place in Fossano, Province of Cuneo in the Piedmont. Nearest airports are Turin, Genoa and Milan. Turin is definitely the closest and from there Fossano can be reached by train.

Workshops will take place in the music school in Fossano.

Concerts will take place, if the weather is nice, in the castle, otherwise in the cathedral or in an auditorium.

If you’re performing in a concert with your orchestra, there will be time for a pre-concert rehearsal and there will be a rehearsal space.

Language!

Apparently if, as anticipated, participants will be from several nationalities, then English is expected to be the language most used. Though I guess you’ll know already what ‘prestissimo’ means, even if your fingers won’t do it…

Large instruments…

There is a well-appointed music school in Fossano and they would be happy to hire large instruments (e.g. double bass, percussion) where necessary. There would be a charge.

Accommodation

If you’re on a tight budget, they have arranged some free ‘home stay opportunities’ – being put up by friendly music supporting locals; there will also be a limited amount of very affordable beds in a local hostel. And beyond that there are quite a large selection of hotels, B&Bs and rooms in Fossano, so it should be fairly easy and affordable to find somewhere to stay.

Being a tourist…

The city of Fossano is very supportive of the festival and will help organise sightseeing trips if required and especially wine and food tastings if of interest. The region is famous for truffles!