Classical Music Evenings at San Miniato

Beatrice Venezi

The musicians of the Tuscan Regional Orchestra (ORT) will return to the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte above Piazzale Michelangelo for two classical music evenings on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28 at 9:30 pm. The series was put together by young composer, Beatrice Venezi, and the choice of music was meant to match the atmospheric setting.  Guests can enjoy the performances for free, though availability is limited; seating is first come first serve. 

The selections span three centuries–from the 18th to the 20th. The basilica hosts the orchestra’s interpretation of works by composers Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Respighi; all poetic pieces. 

The program consists of two serenades with by a string suite in the middle. The first serenade is Serenata Notturna K.239 written by Mozart in 1776. This is one of Mozart’s earliest pieces and one of his most exquisite. It is actually as a “concertino” composed of two violins, viola and double bass. The string instruments will be accompanied by kettle drums, filling the air with sound. The second piece is the Serenata op. 48, one of the compositions that was influenced by Tchaikovsky’s personal crisis–bouts of depression and creative stasis–between 1877 and 1885. The work reflects a nostalgia for the 18th century musical style made popular by Mozart. Between the two serenades is the Suite for strings P 41, by Italian 20th century composer, Ottorino Respighi. 

Beatrice Venezi, from Lucca, conducts the ORT for this special event. At age 29, she is the youngest composer and conductor in Europe. Incredibly popular on the musical and social scene in Italy, she was named one of Forbes top 100 most influential people in music under 30. Venezi is the chief conductor of the Nuova Scarlatti in Naples and the Milano Classica Orchestra. She has been on podiums all over the world, including Japan, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Lebanon, Portugal, Canada and Argentina. Venezi’s style is a mix of baroque with contemporary, conducting with passion as she moves and dances along to the music. She brings a modernity to the podium as opposed to more traditional direction by her male colleagues. Venezi will release an album, My Journey, on October 18, 2019. (alexandra reilly)