Casamaggiore Festival

Italy06061 Casamaggiore



In the 1980s, the Italian government gave certain cities subsidies to renovate older or historical buildings. Casalmaggiore was one of the ‘cities’ to receive a grant. Signor Massimo Araldi was the mayor of Casalmaggiore at the time, set about renovating the concert hall (auditorium), the theatre, (which looks like a small-scale La Scala), and Santa Chiara.
There was, however, nothing specific planned for the use of these spaces once renovated, and it was at this fortuitous juncture that Mr. Araldi contacted Mario delli Ponti, the renowned pianist, to ask whether he would provide his artistic services and advice. At the time, Taras and his late wife, Gaelyne, had in fact already spoken to their friend and musical colleague Mr. dell Ponti about the idea of establishing an international Festival. Mario delli Ponti therefore contacted Mr. Gabora, then in Italy sitting on the jury of the Paganini International Violin Competition, and convinced him to make a trip to Casalmaggiore, which immediately set the wheels in motion for the first international summer school to take place in this well-located, quaint corner of Italy.

Taras Gabora spoke to his Dean at Oberlin Conservatory, Karen Wolff, upon his return to America, and the first Oberlin at Casalmaggiore Festival took place in October 1995 as a lieder/piano course with Gaelyne Gabora and Mario delli Ponti. In 1996 the Festival expanded to include piano, voice, violin and cello. Viola was added a couple of years later. In 2010, Anne Shih took over as Artistic Director with Giacomo Battarino as Associate Director, and the Amici del Casalmaggiore International Festival was established.

Since then the festival has hosted over 1.000 musicians and their tutors from 39 countries. Many students are now amongst the leading musicians in the world.

Music Program

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