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Showing posts from February, 2013

SIENA BY NIGHT: AN EVENING WITH ACADEMY AWARD WINNER LUIS BACALOV

Luis Bacalov  Luis Bacalov was born in Argentina in 1933 and started to play the piano as a five-year old in Buenos Aires, where he was taught by Enrique Barenboim (father of pianist and director Daniel Barenboim).  Starting his concert career as a young man in Argentina, Bacalov has always shown a big interest in South America's folk music. In the 60s the pianist started to compose film music for Italian and French directors like Pasolini, Wertmüller,  Lefèbvre, Borowczyk and Fellini.  His collaboration with Michael Radford for the soundtrack of Il Postino  (starring Massimo Troisi and Philippe Noiret) brought the composer world-wide acclaim and an Oscar for the best original score at the Academy Awards in 1996.  A selection of Bacalov's composition also feature in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill and Django Unchained. 

stARTers - ARTIST TALKS AT SIENA'S ART INSTITUTE: CHOREOGRAPHER SHARON FRIEDLER

As always participation at the stARTers artist talks is for free , and this Tuesday the audience is invited to discuss the work of choreographer and dancer Sharon Friedler, guest at the Siena art institute and  professor of Performing Arts and Director of the Dance Program at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania.  After the results of the weekend's election, and hours spent listening to Italian Alpha males - whether politicians, journalists or TV presenters -  we can't but thank the Siena Art Institute for creating some space for female voices. Even more so as Sharon Friedler is going to talk about  the artist as a medium for social change. This approach definitely seems to work in Italy where a comedian just managed to take the parliament  by storm.  Part of the talk will be spent presenting and discussing the socio-cultural approach to theater of  Teya Sepinuck, the founder and director of TOVA, the Theater of Witness.  Siena Art Institute,  Tuesday 26th

DRIVING IN ITALY AND ROAD FINES IN SIENA

Thought if the Italians do it, you can do it too? These were the good old times. Speeding, bad parking and drink-driving are no longer part of the Italian way of life. Okay, the rules of the road still aren't as strictly followed as in Northern Europe, but things have definitely changed during the past decade.  With driving being more strict now, it's only right that paying your fine should become easier too. Siena and many other of Italy's tourist destinations have finally installed online payment. Click through to the website of Siena's town council  to get done with it right away.

TASTE SIENA'S CHIANTI CLASSICO AT THE PREVIEW IN... FLORENCE (of all places!)

The province of Siena is a treasure trove for prestigious DOCG wines: from Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano to San Gimignano's white Vernaccia. Best known to the bigger audience and closest to the town center of Siena lay the hills of Chianti Classico. A wine not to be confused with the simpler Chianti (which can be produced in a much wider area of Tuscany). The black rooster (Gallo Nero) logo of the Chianti Classico links back to a much cited medieval legend involving the towns of Siena and Florence and their conquest of the hills dividing the territory between them.  The Chianti Classico vintner's association has overworked the design of the famous logo and will present it to the world on the 19th of February during the 2013 preview of the Chianti Classico collection (from the February 18-20 the Stazione Leopoldina in Florence).  A great logo for a great wine: Chianti Classico Collection in Florence

SIENA BY NIGHT: THE JERUSALEM QUARTET IN CONCERT AT PALAZZO CHIGI SARACINI, FEB. 15 2013

Back in town after less than a year - the Jerusalem Quartet performed the closing concert of the 2011/12 edition of Micat in Vertice - the four musicians of the string quartet will perform works by Wolf, Mozart and Smetana on Friday night at Palazzo Chigi Saracini. The  BBC music magazine award and the German ECHO classical music award are some of the most r ecent recognition received by the Jerusalem Quartet for its superb recordings for  the  Harmonia Mundi  music label. MICAT IN VERTICE, ACCADEMIA CHIGIANA, 2012/2013 Palazzo Chigi Saracini, 9pm F riday 15th of February, 2013 JERUSALEM STRING QUARTET Alexander Pavlovsky, firts violin Sergei Bresler, second violin Ori Kam, viola Kyril Zlotnikov, violoncello WOLF Serenata in sol magg. MOZART String quartet in si magg. K. 589 for strings SMETANA String quartet n. 1 in mi min.  De ma vie" TICKETS: 8 to 25 Euro via the internet or from 8pm at the ticket office at Palazzo Chigi Saracini (Via di C

VALENTINE'S DAY IN ITALY - OR RATHER NOT?

Cultural and culinary options abound if you need to spoil somebody for Valentine's Day in Italy.  You're not in love? It may be worth pretending you are, even if you happen to travel in company of your grandma or a gay friend.  This year, Italy's state museums will open their doors for love birds interested in Renaissance art and archaeological finds by offering one free entree for every two visitors . The two tickets for one initiative is valid on the 13th and 14th of February for the national museums all through Italy . Should you want to take advantage of the deal in Siena, visit the biggest collection of Sienese art at the PINACOTECA NAZIONALE . In case you're not in the city of the Palio on Valentine's day, check the Beni Culturali   (the ministry of culture website) for a complete list of museums adhering to the initiative in Tuscany and the rest of Italy.  Waiting for the love birds: Restaurant Mille Vini in Siena's Medici fortress

PATTI SMITH ON PIAZZA DEL CAMPO

People have the Power -  Patti Smith Piazza del Campo, summer 2012 I know Siena can get a little frustrating at times. If you're after night life that is. Un Tubo , the new music club called into life by Siena's famous restaurant Le Logge has already closed down. The amazing space - just recently finely restored by Montalcino architect Marco Pignattai - didn't last long. A few concerts, art events and jam sessions by Siena's Jazz school and six months after opening the manager of Un Tubo had to give in. Too much trouble with the town council, too little support from everybody else. (Positive update: Un Tubo is open again! Check for events and concerts  here ). Last summer just when Un Tubo was opening up, we had an aperitif there before Patti Smith's fantastic concert in Piazza del Campo. We were all excited that Siena's town center was starting to get its night life back. If only!  For the time being all we can do is to reminisce. Patti Smith'

SIENA BY NIGHT: STEFANO BOLLANI WITH THE ORCHESTRA DELLA TOSCANA, FEBRUARY 8 2013

If you are no lover of classical music, this could be the night that may change your mind. It is enough to have a look at Stefano Bollani's extensive discography to understand that he's a unique personality in Italy's contemporary music scene. Studio and live registrations for labels like Verve and ECM have the Italian pianist partnering up with the grand masters of jazz (Chick Chorea, Enrico Rava and Paul Motion to name a few), whilst his originally classical training shines through in two recent recordings in collaboration with Riccardo Chailly and Germany's famous Gewandhaus orchestra.  But obviously, being a true son of that 'let's just do it all' - Renaissance spirit, Bollani doesn't dedicate himself solely to the more serious fractions of contemporary music, but just registered a CD with Florence born pop/rock singer Irene Grandi. In fact, Bollani started off his career playing along with Grandi, Laura Pausini and many another star of the