10 YEARS OLD THIS YEAR....!
MfB is in the throes of planning its tenth season. We are happy to report that following the successful season of 2013 there is enthusiasm for our Masterclass in 2014, particularly from Moscow and our friends in the Spivakov International Charity Foundation. We believe that they will be willing to support a quartet of young musical talent including the two Dmitrys from last year who made such marvellous contributions to our concerts - Dmitry Shishkin who went on from our Masterclass to the 47th Busoni international piano competition in Bolzano where he shared 3rd prize with another competitor and Dmitry Plusnin's marvellous viola playing. We expect that the Foundation will support a violinist and a cellist in addition. We continue to explore additional possibilities for sponsorship in Moscow as we would very much like to have Yury Wassileusky, talented young violinist, pianist and composer, come to us again. By the summer he will have completed his first full year at the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. We are also talking with Kanako Okubo, from Japan and studying in Perugia, who participated with us last year as part of our first collaboration with AGIMUS Firenze. She was the prize-winner for strings in their international Increscendo competition and made a great contribution not only to our season last year but particularly to our concert in Florence with her participation in a superb performance of Franck's Piano Quintet, a dramatic and challenging piece that was enormously appreciated by the audience and particularly by Luca Provenzani, cellist and artistic director of AGIMUS Firenze. We are happy to be continuing that collaboration with AGIMUS again this year. Luca has invited Elvira to join the jury for the Increscendo competition this year at the end of May and the prize-winner will be joining us for one of our concerts during the planned season from 23rd July until the 7th August.
Italy remains in the grip of financial difficulties as with many other countries in the western world but we are happy to be able to say that despite this the various Comune through whom we work - Citerna, San Giustino and Sansepolcro - are proposing to do what they can to help with our local costs and a good friend in Cortona is exploring the possibility of our repeating there the marvellous celebration of the British Pre-Raphaelite era which we performed in Citerna at the Cafe de Boheme last year. To have the British Empire visit Toscana twice in two years would indeed be fun as well as giving our visitors a second opportunity with the music of Elgar, Walton and Rebecca Clarke. The reason for the this potential collaboration lies in the fact that the British Museum is bringing an exhibition of Etruscan art from its collection to the Palazzo Casali of Cortona from March to July in collaboration with the Director of the Etruscan Museum in Cortona and it has been suggested that we might conduct the same Cafe de Boheme in Cortona for the benefit of the large British community living in Toscana. We are "watching this space" with bated breath for what would be an exciting opportunity.
Meanwhile the discussions and the planning go on.....