F.O.G. Uncovers International Youth Orchestras

F.O.G. Image courtesy of izi.Travel

FESTIVAL DELLE ORCHESTRE GIOVANILI (F.O.G. or Florence Youth Orchestra Festival). June 23 — August 20. Free entrance. More information here.

The 21st annual Florence Youth Festival will commence on Sunday, June 23 — the start of two months of celebration of music, young people, and Italy. To launch the festivities, the Sandnes Ung Symfoni, a youth orchestra from Sandnes, Norway, will play in Piazza della Signoria at 9:15 pm. The members are all between the ages of 13 and 20, and specialize in wind and string instruments.

During the two months to follow, youth orchestras and choruses from all over the world, comprising more than 600 young musicians, will perform in iconic spots around Florence, including the Sala della Maddalena della Basilica di Santa Croce and the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signoria. The performances are not limited to Florence, though. These groups will make appearances in Lucca, San Gimignano, Prato, Perugia, and Assisi as well.

In addition to the annual festival, the F.O.G. organizes tours for individual musical groups, with itineraries tailored to what they’d like to get out of the experience. The orchestras are given the opportunity to play in beautiful Italian cities, while enabling cultural exchange with the inhabitants of that area, all thanks to a shared appreciation and passion for music. The Swiss group Orchestre Quipasseparla completed a tour with the FOG and stated “As we came back to Switzerland the smiles on the musicians faces were just amazing!  Playing in Florence will haunt our dreams for quite a long time!”

The program, founded in 1999, exists to promote three principles: “Passion, Music, and Youth.” In the words of Mario Ruffini, artistic director, and Veronica del Signore, president, the other values that this festival embodies are culture, education, beauty, and collaboration. The combination of the appreciation for these standards, creative expression, and the blatant prestige of the venues results in a very powerful synergy, tangible for both the musicians and the audience. (emma hempstead)

F.O.G. Concerts in Piazza della Signoria, at the Loggia dei Lanzi:

June 23, 9:15 pm — Sandnes Ung Symfoni

July 6, 8:30 pm — Perth Youth Orchestra

July 7, 8:30 pm — Jugend Sinfonieorchester Dornbirn

July 9, 8:30 pm — Chœur & Orchestre Sorbonne Université 

July 10, 8:30 pm — Symfonia Jong Twente

July 12, 8:30 pm — Haryu County String Orchestra

July 17, 8:30 pm — Jugendsinfonieorchester Mittleres Rheintal

July 18, 8:30 pm — North Stars Chamber Orchestra

July 25, 9 pm — Chamber Music Center of New York & Apulian Youth Symphony Orchestra

July 26, 8:30 pm — Academy String Orchestra Maasmechelen

July 30, 5:30 pm — Magic Strings Ensemble*

August 20, 9:15 pm — Junge Bläserphilharmonie NRW

*this concert is at the Sala della Maddalena della Basilica di Santa Croce instead of the Loggia dei Lanzi