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Muti to conduct Schuman's 'Ardeatine Caves' on March 24

Muti to conduct Schuman's 'Ardeatine Caves' on March 24

For 80th anniversary of WWII massacre outside Rome

ROME, 09 March 2024, 18:37

ANSA English Desk



Riccardo Muti will conduct the Italian première of American composer William Schuman's Symphony No. 9 'The Ardeatine Caves' at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome for the 80th anniversary of the WWII massacre on March 24.
    ''Whatever future my symphony may have, every time it is performed, the audience will remember,'' said Schuman of the piece composed following a 1967 visit to the site on Rome's southern outskirts where on March 24, 1944, 335 Italians were executed by Nazi officers in a reprisal for a partisan attack that killed 33 German soldiers in central Rome on a street near the Trevi Fountain.
    In retaliation, for every one German killed, the army seized 10 Italians including civilians as well as numerous political prisoners and Jews who were in custody, plus five more who were also executed.
    Both men and boys were executed and their bodies dumped in the caves where the memorial is now located.
    "In none of my previous symphonies have I used an extrinsic or non-musical element," said the composer born into a Jewish family in Manhattan in 1910 and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1943 of his decision to link his Ninth Symphony to the memory of the massacre.
    "Frankly, there is no valid musical reason for this addition to the title of the composition. The work does not attempt to portray the event in a realistic manner and its effect on the emotional climate of the work could have remained a private matter," he continued.
    "My reasons are therefore not musical, but philosophical. One has to come to terms with the past to build the future, but in this work I am an enemy of oblivion," said Schuman.
    Sponsored by the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra Foundation with the patronage of the Ministry of Culture, the Municipality of Rome and the Jewish Community of Rome, the free event will be performed by the Cherubini Orchestra with instrumentalists from the band of the Carabinieri military police corps.


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