Next year promises to be the rebirth of Culture, Art and Music in Monaco. The official announcement of the 2021 Festival Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo by the voice of its skilled Artistic Director, Marc Monnet within the press conference held at the Grimaldi Forum on Wednesday the 4th November 2020 anticipated the joy of a new Spring. The event, under the presidency of H.R.H. Princess of Hanover, is a true institution in the Monegasque artistic panorama. It was born 37 years ago from the desire of Prince Rainier III to make the Principality a preferred stage for major masters and innovators in the Art of Music. The rendezvous was presided over by H.E. Patrice Cellario, Government Councillor – Minister of the Interior, and H.E. Françoise Gamerdinger, Director of Cultural Affairs.
“The Princess of Hanover strongly wanted the Spring Arts Festival of Monte-Carlo to continue by following the happiness that we have received each year from this concert programme of great artistic quality”, underlined the Home Secretary. “This Festival has always been a reference point for most Monaco’s citizens allowing us to enjoy an incredible variety of cultural opportunities” – “Long life to Printemps des Arts!” – stressed Madame Gamerdinger – “thanks to Mr. Monnet I could discover different musical forms” – she added.
After the temporary stop of the current year as direct consequence of the lockdown imposed by coronavirus pandemic, a topical programme of first-class concerts, master classes, meetings with maestros and composers with the involvement of young talents from Music Academies will be thrilling all audiences for a whole month, from the 11th March until the 11th April 2021. In several prestigious locations Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra and other music ensemble will give the best of themselves focusing on four main axes.
The Second Viennese School that flourished in the first half of the twentieth century will be a cornerstone of the kermesse through a series of key interpretations of their masters, Anton Webern, Alban Berg, Arnold Schönberg performed under the direction of experienced conductors like Daniele Gatti, Matthias Pintscher, François–Xavier Roth and Kazuki Yamada, as well as by the Zemlinsky and Tana Quartets.
An unprecedented retrospective of Franz Liszt intimate and mystic side of this composer through his symphonic poems and pièces for piano and orchestra, played by some leading artists as the pianist Beatrice Berrut, Bertrand Chamayou, Marie Vermeulin and Latvian Radio Choir. The pianist Aline Piboule will bring all poetry and lyricism of the nineteenth French music tradition portrayed by a repertoire of unknown compositions full of melody, light and colours with an unexpected touch of modernity in ‘Clairs de Lune’ by Abel Decaux. Then a set of three emblematic concerts will bring back to the mainstream the harpsichord masterfully played by Pierre Hantaï, Olivier Baumont and Andreas Staier.
Two intriguing musical performances will be included in the artistic choice. Bibilolo, a novel childish show by Marc Monnet, from a screenplay by Arno Fabre, will amuse spectators of all ages playing on the sounds of objects and musical instruments, notably the piano. The Musical Theatre by Sebastian Rivas, on the contrary, will offer a sensual and humorous work of music interpreted by female artists, integrated with video projections and electronic-music-sound objects.
“For all the nineteen years of my artistic direction, I have developed a series of qualified performances with special focus on the public, true driving force of this Festival”, pointed out Marc Monnet (M.M.), artistic director, announcing his retirement after the 2021 edition – “I therefore conceived a set of ideas on how to best present the music, whose composers and music interpreters would be the top concert players. Bringing the young audience to classical music and boosting local music talents were other pivotal targets I had followed with pleasure” he added recalling the great international orchestras that have crossed the Monegasque stages, notably: Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and Radio Symphony Orchestra located in Baden-Baden (Germany).
HelloMonaco: Monsieur Monnet, what have inspired you in your long-lasting career as the Artistic Director of this unique Festival?
M.M.: Creation is of fundamental importance to me: it is essential to propose something new every year. Moreover, communication is crucial. Every edition of the Festival is introduced by pictures, in an unconventional way, to go beyond the classic Spring iconography to make the audience think. This year, for example, I chose ‘The Wanderer’ (2009) by Polixeni Papapetrou, a talented Australian photo-based artist focused on issues of identity. The idea of tolerance has permeated the entire artistic spectrum of this Festival inviting many extra-European masters to perform in order to show different musical forms from the tonal system from Turkey, Mongolia, Japan, Cambodia, India, Morocco, Congo and many more. I do believe in the potentiality of this Festival to make people open their eyes to horizons other than those to which they are accustomed.
“The Festival Printemps des Arts identity is embodied by Marc Monnet via his commitment in bringing modernity to Music”, highlighted the French composer Bruno Mantovani who will become the new artistic director of the Festival starting from 2022 – “what has been done so far by Monsieur Monnet will be fully boosted in the sign of respect and continuity with some novelties to add even more value to contemporary composers; managing this Festival is a composition itself”, he concluded.
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