Fisher to conduct young musicians

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Accademia Teatro Alla Scala Orchestra to perform at Symphony Space


  • Iván Fischer conducting La Scala Academy Orchestra. Photo: Courtesy of La Scala Academy Orchestra

Milan is coming to New York. On Thursday, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m., the Italian city’s Accademia Teatro Alla Scala Orchestra will be giving the final concert of its three-city tour at Symphony Space, presenting a program of classics by Rossini, Mendelsohn and Tchaikovsky.

This concert is sure to be a significant event in the musicians’ careers: the youthful orchestra is comprised of “more than seventy” musicians under the age of 30, many of whom have probably never played in a famous New York venue. And although the student orchestra works closely with professional musicians from Milan’s famed opera house La Scala, the musicians’ anxiety about playing in New York is understandable.

“The level of playing in America is very, very high,” notes Luisa Vinci, the orchestra’s general director. “They are excited [to do] their very best, so there is a personal challenge.”

Funded by the Italian Embassy and The Italian Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C., Milan per la Scala and the UBI Banca, the concert tour came about as an opportunity for the orchestra’s students “to meet and exchange with major universities and musical institutes of the East Coast.” The tour’s aim is to present great music at institutions like Princeton University, the University of Maryland and Symphony Space, and also is a chance for Italian students to establish “a fruitful dialogue in the name of shared passion for music and for culture,” according the orchestra’s press release.

But when it comes to the music, American audiences will not be disappointed. At the helm of this concert tour is conductor Iván Fischer, the venerable founder and music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra who frequently performs with the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Aside from its youthful vigor and expert conductor, Vinci believes the orchestra will bring a special something to the repertoire. “We are an orchestra of important Italian theaters, [which] means of course the people that come here ... they have a very high level of excellence in how to play the Italian opera repertoire,” Vinci says.

This concert is a rare opportunity for American audiences to hear Italian musicians play Italian repertoire. It’s like a New Yorker going to Nathan’s for a hot dog, or to Junior’s for cheesecake. But instead of flying all the way to Milan, music lovers will only have to take the 1 train to 96th Street.

Get your tickets. Presto!

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