Free ‘Firenze Suona Contemporanea’ Music Festival

Erwin Wurm
Erwin Wurm

The 9th edition of Firenze Suona Contemporanea, from September 14-30, celebrates 20th century music and contemporary visual art in four venues throughout Florence under this year’s theme, “Il suono nel gesto” (The sound of the gesture).

Under the direction of Andrea Cavallari, the festival will be held in Museo Novecento (Musuem of 20th Century Art), Le Murate, Sala d’Arme at Palazzo Vecchio, and the Greenhouse of the Art Garden located on Via Vittorio Emanuele. All concerts and events are free and open to the public, thanks to the Florence Art Music Ensemble (FLAME), the company through which guests can reserve tickets.

Erwin Wurm will begin the event on September 14 at 9 pm with the premier of his video-concert “Fallen Falls,” which is to be paired with music composed by Andrea Cavallari and performed by the Austrian ensemble Klangforum Wien and soprano Giulia Peri. The second half of this concert features Gerard Grisey and Beat Furrer’s group Vortex Temporum and Klarinettenquintett, a German clarinet quintet.

At Le Murate on September 17, guests are invited to hear Morton Feldman’s opera for piano, celesta, flute and percussion entitled “For Phillip Guston” at 9 pm. Performed by FLAME Ensemble, this production will last 4.5 hours and audience members will be seated in front of a painting, an idea suggested by the American composer. Before the concert begins, guests can meet Morton at 6 pm at the same venue.

The Museo del Novecento will host an homage to Luigi Nono, an Italian 20th century avant-garde composer, at 6 pm on the 18th with Roberto Fabbriciani and Giuliano Scabia, who will recount their experiences and memories with the composer before a 9 pm concert featuring Nono’s music.

The next event will take place on September 20 inthe Sala d’Arme di Palazzo Vecchio: a performance of War Work: 8 Songs with Film (2014) by Michael Nyman, a series of videos based on archived material from WWI to which Nyman composed a contemporary soundtrack to play alongside the footage. The video will also be available to the public from September 21-30.

Electronics & Flutes will explore the dialogue between the acoustic and electronic dimensions in Museo Novecento at 9 pm on September 21. Michele Morasco, first chair flutist of Orchestra della Toscana, accompanied by flutists Rebecca Asso and Francesco Gatti and electronic musician Michele Greco will perform Density 21.5 by Varèse, Organum II by Antonioni, Sistema by Gatti, and Musica su due dimensioni by Maderna.

Soprano vocalist Karina Oganjan and pianist and composer Luisa Valeria Carpignano will perform a concert on September 23 at 9 pm in Museo Novecento. This unique concert feature Karina, who will sing works in six different languages including Russian and Armenian, several of which were reinterpreted by Bartòk and Komitas.

Running from the 24-28 at 6 pm at Semiottagono delle Murate, the festival will be showing the instillation Inspector Sorrow, a video by the Iranian video artist. Negin Sharifzadeh. The event closes on September 29 with two performances at 7 and 9:30 pm. The second is the world premier of an experimental piece entitled La Pazza della porta accanto (The crazy woman next door) dedicated to the Italian electronic contemporary composer Alda Merini.

The work symbolizes the experience of Alda’s descent into madness, as well as her experiences with love and friendships, and will be performed as musical theatre featuring Alwynne Pritchard with music by Andrea Cavallari (director of the festival) and Michele Greco (electronics).

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit (francesca billington)