The Italian Almanac

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the New York Philarmonic Orchestra

Italian News - June 8

The New York Philharmonic will tour six Italian cities starting this week, returning to Rome, Florence and Milan after more than 20 years. The United States' oldest professional orchestra will also visit the northern Italian cities of Parma, Ravenna and Trieste for the first time. The Philharmonic will travel as well to Ljubljana, Slovenia. The tour will feature 11 concerts and run through June 20.

During the tour, set to begin in Rome, music director Lorin Maazel will lead works by Berlioz, Brahms, Kodaly, Mahler, Mozart and Verdi, organizers said. "To come back to Italy with the New York Philharmonic has a particular significance for the artistic and personal links I have with this country," Maazel told a news conference in Rome.

"It's a blessed moment for me," he said. "I expect a life experience that I hope will bring joy to me and to those who will be in the concert halls in those cities," Maazel, 76, said in fluent Italian. Riccardo Muti, who has previously conducted the Orchestra, will guest conduct on June 18 in Ravenna. He will lead Schumann's Symphony No. 4 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5.

New York Philharmonic Chairman Paul B. Guenther said the orchestra's history has been deeply influenced by Italy. "It's impossible to come to Italy without thinking about the centuries of sublime art and music that have enriched the world," he said.

The New York Philharmonic, founded in 1842 by a group of local musicians, plays about 180 concerts a year. It first performed in Italy during a 1930 European tour under Arturo Toscanini.