Italy Music Tour 2016
In September, 26 boys, a coterie of music staff and an assortment of giant percussion instruments embarked on a 24-hour drive to Venice. They arrived at their hotel, via winding Venetian canals, by vaparetto. A concert on the first evening in the impressively grand surroundings of the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista set the standard for the rest of the tour.
After a session of busking in the square in front of the Accademia, the final Venice concert took place at the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello, where Fifth Form cellist, Alex Ciulin, mesmerised the audience with his interpretation of the slow movement of Marcello’s Concerto in D minor.
Students and staff gave a more relaxed concert for Lower First Form students and other hotel guests on the terrace of Hotel Poiano, Lake Garda, before the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform at the awe-inspiring Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Palladio’s final architectural masterpiece, and a UNESCO world heritage site. This spectacular concert combined music by English composers, from William Byrd to Edward Elgar, with dramatic readings from the works of Shakespeare (in both English and an Italian translation), in honour of the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s death.
The final concert of the tour featured a rousing rendition of Vivaldi’s Gloria with a local Italian choir, alongside other music by the Whitgift Symphony Orchestra and soloists, including Sixth Form student, Ion Moşneaga’s, captivating unaccompanied performance of Zigeunerweisen. A beautiful church venue, set in the scenic hilltop village of San Briccio, and a vast and appreciative audience, made a perfect end to a memorable tour.