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Riccardo Muti to Lead International Concerts of Verdi's 'Requiem' in Honor of 100th Anniversary of World War I

By Louise Burton l.burton@classicalite.com on Jul 05, 2014 01:53 AM EDT

Conductor Riccardo Muti will lead an international ensemble of musicians in performances of Verdi's Requiem to recognize the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I.

The president of Italy, as well as leaders from Germany, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary, are expected to attend the performance in Gorizia, Italy on July 6. This concert will take place at a WW I memorial site honoring more than 100,000 soldiers who lost their lives.

The concert will be broadcast live on the Italian network RAI 3 at 9:00 p.m. on July 6. Soloists include Tatiana Serjan, soprano; Daniela Barcellona, mezzo-soprano; Saimir Pirgu, tenor; and Riccardo Zanellato, bass.

Other performances will take place at the Palazzo Mauro de André in Ravenna, Italy at 9:00 p.m. on July 5 and in the Congress Square of Ljubljana, Slovenia at 9:00 p.m. on July 7. The concert in Ravenna is part of the 25th anniversary season of the Ravenna Festival.

Muti will lead an orchestra and chorus  of musicians from countries involved in World War I. The orchestra includes two musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, trumpeter Tage Larson and bass trombonist Charles Vernon.

"These performances," Muti said in a statement, "honor the hundreds of thousands who died, no matter what their national origin. It is a symbolic gathering of musicians from the nations that took part in the war, from all political sides, and who seek unification in this hymn to the future that arises from the peace-making embrace of music."

The concerts are part of Muti's longstanding project with the Ravenna Festival in Italy, Le vie dell'Amicizia (The Paths of Friendship).

The international orchestra also includes musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Orchestra del Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Symphonique du Théatre Royal de La Monnaie, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini.

Funds raised at the dress rehearsal on July 4 will support the children of the Little Prince school in Nairobi, Kenya. Through Muti's generosity, the Ravenna Festival continues to support the children of the school by providing scholarships with funds raised through concerts and open rehearsals.

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TagsRiccardo Muti, Verdi's Requiem, Ravenna Festival, World War I

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