The International Music Festival (founded in 1983 by Paolo Pellarin and Pavel Vernikov) is going on every year from August to September. It is a well-structured and heterogeneous event which managed to obtain through the years an important distinction and notoriety. It is thanks to its renown that the Festival brings in Portogruaro a substantial number of musicians, teachers, students and music lovers, establishing itself as a focal point in the Italian Festivals overview.
The event is divided into two different parts: the first is educational and regards masterclass, the second concerns concerts and consequently the Music Festival itself. The education experience is very important and at the same time complementary to the Festival’s planning. Several 8 days’ courses start within the masterclasses .All of them are held by famous teachers coming from all over the world and from different music realities.
The most deserving students, who have been selected by ad hoc committees, can benefit from scholarships and the possibility to take part to chamber music concerts, workshops with teachers, recitalists and orchestra’s performers. They will be conducted by important musicians. Moreover, winners are used to play as solo performers in concerts dedicated to them.
The main purpose is to groom young musicians for both a solo or an orchestra’s career. Some of the musical events of the Festival get together teachers and the best students in order to give young musicians the possibility to “live music” even outside classrooms and put themselves to the test with their own teachers. In 2013, 13 courses have been organized such as: instrument’s courses, singing, chamber music and music education, for a total amount of 21 teachers coming from 6 nations and 259 students coming from 18 different countries. Thanks to the fervour of the Festival and masterclass it has been possible the establishment of a similar event for young musicians who are all solo or ensemble performers who took instrument’s courses. The core of the Festival is a rich plan of concerts. Beside this, others collateral initiatives are organized. All the events take place in the town of Portogruaro and in the neighbourhood, captivating a more extended and various audience.
The aim of Enrico Bronzi, artistic director of the International Music Festival since 2008, is the fulfilment of a production Festival, and the achievement of artistical choises taken on a specific theme that should unify and strengthen the concerts’ events. The purpose is to give a logic plan to connect every single event so that people can enjoy music not only from an emotional point of view. This should reduce the distance between musician and listener, giving the public a stronger awareness and contextualization of the art of music, which is abstract by nature. There are many international and popular musicians that had a part in giving distinction to the Festival: Pavel Vernikov and the trio Tchaikovsky (co-founders of the festival), Sviatoslav Richter, Grigory Sokolov, Natalia Gutman, the Borodin Quartet, Yuri Bashmet, Uto Ughi, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Massimo Quarta, Kolja Blacher, Aldo Ciccolini, Bruno Canino, Mario Brunello and many others. In the last editions featured Isabelle Faust, Gert Mortensen, Maxim Vengerov, Janine Jansen, Misha Maisky, Moni Ovadia, Alessandro Carbonare, l’Hagen Quartet, Sergej Krylov, Alexander Lonquich, the Symphony Orchestra of the Valle d’Aosta, the Academia of the Mozart Orchestra of Bologna, The Orchestra of Padova and Veneto, the FVG MItteleuropa Orchestra, the Camerata Salzburg, and many others.
All the events take place in the most striking places of the town: square, ancient mills, churches, palaces, villas (just outsides Portogruaro), the river Lemene that more that once has been the setting of great artists’ performances as the violoncellist Giovanni Sollima and the baroque ensemble «Il Suonar Parlante» conducted by Vittorio Ghielmi, who celebrated the 30th edition of the Festival. One of the most significant places is the municipality’s theatre Luigi Russolo in Portogruaro that can receive 438 people. This is multi-purpose building, where , during some performances, the audience have been moved over the stage in order to get a singular involvement effect during the show. Moreover, several meeting- conferences are organized and held by important Italian musicologists as: Quirino Principe, Sandro Cappelletto, Sergio Cimarosti, Elio Matassi, Nicola Scaldaferri, Massimo Donà, Alexander Lonquich, Romano Gasparotti, Giampaolo Minardi, Marco Maria Tosolini, Enzo Restagno, Vittorio Ghielmi, Luca Fontana, Luca Segalla and some important presenters of Radio3 Suite: Guido Zaccagnini, Guido Barbieri, Oreste Bossini. During these events – called “Penombre” and proposed before the concerts in order to explain the audience the artistic subject of the performance – people can taste selected wines and meet winemakers that explain their own products. The festival is well-promoted by the local, national and music press, by radio, tv and web sites. The audience is very significant and during the 2013 edition, 7700 spectators attended the festival.