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2013-04-17 / KCSO celebrates anniversary of Verdi

KCSO celebrates anniversary of Verdi
Year 2013 is of special significance to the world of music - this year we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Richard Wagner's birth, as well as the 100th birth anniversaries of such prominent figures as Benjamin Britten, René Leibowitz or Witold Lutoslawski. This year we will also commemorate the 200th birth anniversary of the legendary Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi.

The celebration of Verdi's 200th anniversary will begin on April 20th, Saturday, at 7pm at the Philharmonic Hall. The concert dedicated to the great composer is titled Vivat Verdi!

The programme of the concert features extracts from Verdi's major operas Aida, Don Carlos, La forza del destino, Macbeth, Nabucco, Il trovatore, La traviata and Les vêpres, as well as the liturgical composition Stabat Mater.
Verdi's music will be performed by Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra (director Algimantas Treikauskas) under the baton Irmants Resnis and Kaunas State Choir (artistic director and chief conductor Petras Bingelis). The music of the Italian opera genius featured in the choir's repertoire is like the name card of the collective, says conductor Bingelis. In March 2013, the choir has appeared in Denmark at the invitation of Russian conductor Alexander Vedernikov and has presented a programme dedicated to Verdi's anniversary, performing Messa da Requiem to the listeners at Odense.

It would be impossible to find someone in the world of music lovers knowing nothing about Verdi's music. Most people immediately memorise and like this music full of bel canto enchantment. But did you know that according to the biographers, Verdi could be regarded a self-taught composer? His knowledge of music was limited to studies at music school in his teen years. He learned to play the spinet by himself and later took private lessons in composition, counterpoint and harmony, studied the scores of such composers as Corelli, Bach, Haydn or Mozart, played organ at the church in La Roncola and was a frequent visitor of opera and concerts. However, he has never received any professional academic music education. When he tried to take the entrance exams to Milan Conservatory, he was not accepted due to "lack of talent"!

Still, this Italian composer is important to the history of world's music as the creator of thirty operas. Most of his stage works have become established in the repertoires of opera theatres worldwide and are among the most frequently performed operas.

UNESCO has included the composer's anniversary into the list of jubilees to be celebrated in 2013. So, let us celebrate together - Vivat Verd