By Our Editorial Staff


The new, long-awaited edition of the Festival delle Nazioni in Città di Castello is approaching. This year the Umbrian musical event – number 56 – will pay tribute to our country, Italy, with a rich program of artists and projects of international calibre. Nineteen events, from 23 August to 7 September 2023, which will take place as usual in the art venues of Città di Castello and the Upper Tiber Valley. The focus of the shows will be on Italian music of the period from the late nineteenth century until the Second World War, with particular attention to the cultural climate and musical production arising from the crucial historical events of that moment. But there will be no lack of contributions across the border.



Aldo Sisillo, artistic director of the Festival delle Nazioni, explains it accurately: “The fifty-sixth edition of the Festival delle Nazioni is part of the three-year project, started with the last edition, which explores the musical culture of nations that left a cultural and linguistic legacy in the territories conquered in the colonial period – he explains. As far as Italy is concerned, it was a period of musical production partly removed in our collective memory, as it celebrated colonial adventures that for their rawness cast a shadow over the history of the Italian State. Also for this reason the musical production, which involved all the greatest Italian composers – with very few exceptions – who acted between the two wars, has so far remained little explored.

In the decade before the Second World War, numerous events and competitions were organized in which the most important Italian authors participated both as composers and as jurors: Alfano, Cilea, Zandonai, Pedrollo, Malipiero, Pizzetti, Mascagni and others, with music for films, symphonic and chamber pieces with evocative titles echoing images and adventures, in reality not very glorious, which however remain interesting from a historical and linguistic point of view.

There will also be musical and literary testimonies of the Ethiopian resistance of the time, and an original concert of reggae music by Alborosie, Italian interpreter of this musical genre, internationally recognized, that will take us to know the Rastafari culture that is inspired by the hero of the resistance to colonialism, Hailé Selassié.

The second strand on which this year’s programming unfolds concerns young Italian performers who are establishing themselves nationally and internationally, such as Alexander Gadjiev (from Gorizia) winner of the second prize at the famous Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2021 and the violinist Giuseppe Gibboni (from Salerno) winner of the Paganini Prize in 2021. Alongside them we will listen to new talents, promising brilliant careers, who will perform in a romantic and late romantic Italian and European repertoire».

The fifty-sixth Festival delle Nazioni will also have as guests the Ensemble Micrologus with the project ‘Signorelli and Perugino. Gentle art and splendid harmony’; and the UmbriaEnsemble with a concert of music between futurism and ‘pastism’. There will be two young but already acclaimed Italian musicians, who will perform solo: violinist Giuseppe Gibboni and pianist Alexander Gadjiev; as well as that of the piano duo composed by Alberto Miodini and Pierapolo Maurizzi.

There is expectation for two orchestral groups: the Italian Philharmonic Orchestra and the ‘historic’ Tifernate band complex Filarmonica Giacomo Puccini; in addition to the Papillon Vintage Swing Band, interpreter of Italian songs of the thirties, forties and fifties. The original presence of the Atse Tewodros Project in the Maqeda concert stands out, an initiative coordinated by the writer and performer Gabriella Ghermandi who will present some pieces of traditional Ethiopian music for the first time in Italy.

Two original productions will then debut: ‘Inquietudini ruggenti. Il primo colonialismo italiano’ with texts by Caterina Casini and Fabio Mangolini and music by Mattia Novelli in world premiere, realized in collaboration with the Permanent Laboratories of Sansepolcro; and ‘Ciondolino’, an opera in concert form freely inspired by the story by Luigi Bertelli on a libretto by Enrico Paci, with music premiered by Stefano Garau: this production will see the involvement of the musical school system of Città di Castello.


Full program on Tickets on or at the ticket office of Città di Castello in via Marconi 8a. For more information, / 075 8522823 / 349 8092046 /