UPDATE // July 19, 2020  Today, I'm announcing the cancellation of Mozart in Italia 250 due to COVID-19. The pandemic is a fo...

Mozart in Italia Project Celebrates 250th Anniversary of Mozart's Journey

UPDATE // July 19, 2020 

Today, I'm announcing the cancellation of Mozart in Italia 250 due to COVID-19. The pandemic is a formidable enemy. Current circumstances have reduced many of us to prioritize daily survival (financial, medical, etc.) over everything else in our lives and this new reality has impacted the trajectory of this project in terms of its anticipated scope and participation. 

Please note that the cancellation of this project does not effect the ongoing programming of the Associazione Mozart Italia and European Mozart Ways which is expected to continue. I hope that, one day soon, we'll be able to celebrate Mozart together again in a manner we all deserve. Thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time. 



I'm honored to announce a new initiative, Mozart in Italia 250, in partnership with Associazione Mozart Italia (AMI) and European Mozart Ways (EMW). Since 1770 is such a significant year in the Mozart biography as it pertains to his travels to Italy, I wanted to create a way to bring recognition to this history through a shared experience while inspiring morale amidst the pandemic. Mozart in Italia 250 celebrates this anniversary and more broadly recognizes the composer's relationship with Italy that began 250 years ago and continues today.

The call of fandom is an approach I've used successfully in past projects, including those exhibited at the Mozarthaus Vienna. And this time, I'm asking Italian fans to share a celebratory photo or video from their home, garden, balcony, or any other location convenient for social distancing. And whether or not they live in a particular location Mozart visited in 1770, or during his three tours (1769-1773), this collective effort to capture the here and now will result in a "living map" or "living history" that's symbolic of his journey.

Last month, I presented the idea to my friend Greta Di Raimondo, Interim President of AMI Parma. She embraced the project with enthusiasm and immediately contacted AMI Founder Arnaldo Volani, whose support I also received that same day. Following their approval, I contacted my Salzburg colleague Gerhard Spitz, EMW Secretary General, who was keen to promote it through his organization's network representing all of the countries Mozart ever traversed.

While Mozart in Italia 250 focuses on Mozart and Italy, this project is intended for everyone because it is our shared heritage. Now through the August 1st deadline (and beyond!), we can join our Italian friends by following Mozart's 1770 travels through an interactive map, travel letters and other resources on European Mozart Ways. We can listen to the music Mozart composed during this time period. We can utilize and stay attuned to the #MozartInItalia250 hashtag across social media. And we can party like it's carnival season in Venice on the Facebook event page where we can share, interact and celebrate the journey together!

Greta studies at the Universit√† Iuav di Venezia and is a gifted filmmaker, so I asked if she'd be willing to weave a tapestry of the project's media submissions into a video. She has committed to the task, so we have much to look forward to in the culmination of this material through her work! To get an idea of Greta's passion and ability, watch her documentary from Mozartwoche 2017 (Mozart Week 2017) in collaboration with AMI and the Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg.

This video will be a compliment to the other objectives previously mentioned. Mozart in Italia 250 aspires to reimagine Mozart's travels through crowdsourced media from Italian fans, build recognition for this history and heritage and elevate esprit de corps among audiences internationally. And all of this will be achieved through our ongoing web-based campaign powered by activity on the event page and respective partner pages (see the Facebook pages for AMI and EMW).

My December article, The Mozart Verona Portrait and the Question of Cultural Heritageabout the January auctioning of the 1770 Mozart portrait, in many ways prefaces this newly realized effort, but it was the pandemic's brutal toll on Italy that ultimately influenced the creation of Mozart in Italia 250 and its people-centric approach to acknowledging the anniversary and its milestone events, including:

January 1770 - The 13-year old Mozart is painted from life in what is now known as the Verona portrait, one of few authenticated portraits of the composer. 
July 1770 - Mozart is awarded the Order of the Golden Spur by Pope Clement XIV for transcribing Allegri's Miserere from memory upon hearing its performance in the Sistine Chapel in April.
October 1770 - After studying with Padre Martini, Mozart takes the entrance exam and is admitted into the prestigious Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna.
December 1770 -  The premiere of Mitridate, re di Ponto (Mithridates, King of Pontus) represents Mozart's debut in Milan and initiation into the world of Italian opera. It is a critical and popular success with 22 performances, the first three conducted by Mozart at the harpsichord. He receives two additional commissions.
Mozart in Italia 250 is a campaign that, during an extraordinary moment in our own history, pauses to celebrate that of another: the enduring artist who continues to bring us together in harmony, all around the world.



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