Labèque Sisters Inaugurate the ‘Amici della Musica’ Concert Series

Connoisseurs of music in Florence can rejoice, as the spectacular inaugural event of the Amici della Musica concerts series  on October 12, will be performed by mind-bogglingly skilled French duo Katia & Marielle Labèque, two pianists that represent the intersection between classicism and modernity.

Though they are classically trained, the sisters have incorporated many other genres into their performances, such as flamenco, baroque, and jazz. The two have their own record label, KML recordings, and foundation, Fondazione Katia & Marielle Labèque, which they use to support younger and more experimental musicians.

The Amici della Musica di Firenze, a foundation that facilitates the implementation of concerts by talented musicians for very low prices, has just scheduled a series of high-end concerts in a historically and culturally important venue, the Teatro della Pergola.

One of the later events, on December 14, will be performed by the King’s Singers, an all-male acapella group from England. The team was initially formed at King’s College, Cambridge in 1968. Although various members have come and gone over the years, the original combination of vocal ranges is unchanged: two countertenors; one tenor; two baritones; and one bass. The King’s Singers’ primary goal, to spread the joy of ensemble singing via performances, workshops, and courses, has similarly remained the same since its founding.

Their mission is one that The Amici della Musica would certainly be on board with. Since 1920, the Florentine foundation has worked to make traditionally elitist concerts both accessible and affordable to everyone (especially young people). For university students under the age of 30, tickets are €10 each, while students attending music schools only pay €5 each. 

The value of this calendar of events is only augmented by the sacred quality of the venue hosting them, the Teatro della Pergola. The beautiful, richly decorated performance space has been representative of Florence’s history of theater, music, and dance since it opened in 1657. Roberto Terzani, a rock musician involved with the foundation and festival, has stated that performing and working at la Pergola has been a magical and special experience for him and his peers. There have been attempts to close the theater, lack of funding among them, but not even World War II managed to shut its doors. For this, we are all grateful. (emma hempstead)