Pietro De Maria at San Miniato al Monte

The ceiling of the chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal

Another free concert will be offered at San Miniato al Monte to continue the celebration of its 1,000th anniversary of its founding in 1018. Pianist Pietro De Maria will perform in the basilica Saturday, Nov. 10 at 9 pm.

De Maria is an internationally renowned musician who has received numerous accolades for his work, including the Critics’ Prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1990. He interprets music ranging from Bach to Ligeti and was the first Italian pianist to have played the complete works of Chopin. His most recent project is dedicated to Bach.

San Miniato is the hilltop landmark on the outskirts of the city center. Its Romanesque structure is complemented with a geometrically patterned marble façade. The interior has been through minimal changes since it was first decorated and contains the magnificent Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal (Cappella del Cardinale del Portogallo). The chapel was designed by Brunelleschi’s associate, Antonio Manetti, and finished by Antonio Rossellino in 1473.  The five glazed ceramic round plaques (tondi) on the ceiling were created by Luca della Robbia and depict the four cardinal virtues with the Holy Spirit in the center.

The recital at San Miniato is sure to be a treat. Although the church is marvelous at all times, hearing De Maria interpret Beethoven, Schubert, and Chopin is sure to enhance the beauty of the basilica.  (beatrice paoletti)