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Expo: Musicians crossing borders

Jun 04, 2015
On Sunday, 7 June 2015, the curtain will rise on 123 talented singers and musicians from Italy, France and Slovenia, some of them with special needs! Two orchestras and a women's choir from three Alpine countries will perform together for the very first time at the Expo 2015 in Milan. Their music will conquer language barriers, unite different experiences and reveal the diversity and creativity of the Alpine space.
(c) Robert Zabucovec
Image caption:
(c) Robert Zabucovec

“Giving the Alps a global voice” is the motto of the "Mountain Week", an Alpine-themed week at the Expo 2015 in Milan. "Mountain Week" events are scheduled to take place between 4 and 11 June 2015. On Sunday, 7 June, two orchestras and a women's choir from three Alpine countries will enchant audiences with melodies from Italy, France and Slovenia. The event is both a première and an exciting challenge for the performers. The musicians and singers, who will be coming together on stage for the very first time, live up to 800 kilometers apart, speak different languages, and have vastly different individual backgrounds. The Italian singer, Fabio Cancellara Gómez, and the multi-instrumentalist, Fabio Perversi will be featuring as special guests.

The Alps make music at the Expo

The Alpine Convention, the Province of Sondrio, the Region of Valposchiavo, the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE), and CIPRA International have invited the Miners' Brass Band from Idrija, the Orchestra Tétras Lyre from Chambery and the Italian women's choir Armonie in Voce to perform together at Expo 2015. The concert entitled "Alps. Borderless" is scheduled to take place at 5:30 p.m on Sunday, 7 June 2015 at the "Cascina Triulza" civil society pavilion. On Saturday, 6 June 2015, the two orchestras and the women's choir will meet for the first time to share the fruits of months of practice and preparation. After an initial practice there will be an interactive public rehearsal in Church of Madonna del Piano in Bianzone at 18.00. The audience will hear pieces from the respective repertoires of the performing orchestras, including songs from the musical Cats and the Marcia Trionfale from Giuseppe Verdi's Aida.

Music conquers disability

The French orchestra, Tétras Lyre, is comprised of 32 musicians with special needs. Many of them have Downs syndrome. Some of them are not able to read music. Performing and socializing with peers as part of the orchestra is essential for their integration. Tétras Lyre has received many awards for its contribution towards the inclusion of people with special needs, as well as numerous accolades for extraordinary musical achievements. A professional approach to music is also a distinguishing trait of the Miner's Brass Band. This orchestra from Idrija, Slovenia, celebrates its 350th anniversary this year and ranks among the oldest brass orchestras in Europe, and the average age of the members of Idrija's acclaimed brass band is under 30. Its beginnings date back to a time when the second largest mercury mine in the world dominated the town’s daily life. Today the mine is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tétras Lyre and the Miner's Brass Band have been performing together since 2012. The collaboration between these two orchestras is a result of the cooperation between the towns of Chambéry/F in Idrija/SI, both of which are members of the international association "Alpine Town of the Year". The day-to-day activities of this association are managed by CIPRA International. 

United in diversity

The purpose of the "Alps. Borderless" concert is to highlight the diversity of the Alps and the common challenges of the Alpine space, such as youth participation. The musicians from Idrija and Chambéry will also be joined by members of the Italian women's choir, Armonie in Voce. The 41 members of the Armonie in Voce women's choir from the Italian-Swiss border area of Veltlina/I represent the choir’s core. They preserve the vocal tradition of the valley of Valmalenco and pass it on to future generations. Fabio Cancellara Gómez, a famous Italian singer and Fabio Perversi, a well-known instrumentalist, will perform as special guests together with the orchestras, demonstrating the capacity of the Alpine states to cooperate and transforming their diversity into added value for all.

For additional information, please contact:

Daria CHIECCHI, conductor of the Armonie in Voce women's choir; +39 339 456 1882 [email protected]

Isabelle HERLIN, conductor of the Tétras Lyre orchestra; +33 613 289 664; [email protected]

Cassiano LUMINATI, Chairman of the Region of Valposchiavo, +41 786 731 253; [email protected]

Domen PREZELJ, conductor of the Idrija Miner's Brass band; +386 41 551 015; [email protected]

Madeleine ROHRER, CIPRA International - project manager; [email protected]; +42 323 753 03

"Alps. Borderless"

Image caption:

The "Alps. Borderless" project unites young musicians from Italy and Slovenia, choir singers from Italy, and musicians with special needs from France. The musicians and choir singers from three Alpine countries will perform together on Saturday, 6 June 2015 in Valtellina and on Sunday, 7 June 2015 in Milan as part of the Alpine-themed "Mountain Week" at the Expo 2015 universal exhibition in Milan.

Various ministries, municipalities, cultural institutions, cultural societies, and non-governmental organizations are involved in the project, made possible thanks to the financial support of the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE), the Region of Valposchiavo, the Province of Sondrio, the Municipality of Idrija, the Corporations Hidria and Ferropem . The project is co-ordinated by CIPRA International. – – – – -

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EXPO concert - press release EXPO concert - press release