About Festival Musica in Laguna

By Dr. Sylvia Henry


Music festivals abound in Europe during the summer months bringing people from all parts of the world together who perform, teach, study, and listen to music.  Music students flock to summer music festivals to continue their study when their schools and primary teachers are on break. Many festivals take on a life of their own, offering distinctive and even rare opportunities for young musicians.  For the aspiring piano student who would like to have the experience of working with an orchestra while studying a concerto, the Corsi Musicali Internazionali Estivi, Musica In Laguna in Chioggia (VE) Italy is the place to go.  Pianists who are accepted into the concerto program have instructional rehearsals with orchestra on selected concertos.  There are also 3 solo competitions for various ages.  For this information please check our Festival Program Link.

Few festivals offer such opportunities as Musica In Laguna.  The local government of the City of Chioggia (VE) sponsors a first-rate orchestra to be on hand daily during the festival to play and replay concertos with a dozen or so students.  All students rehearse with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Chioggia under the direction of Pietro Perini.  All students, from age 6 to mature musicians, have the luxury of rehearsing twice with orchestra during the course of study and if selected by faculty and the conductor, they have one more rehearsal plus the performance.  There is a specific list of selected concertos each year varying widely in difficulty from easy Haydn concertos to the great concertos of Tchaikovsky and Brahms.  Please check our Festival Program Link for this information.

Tucked away in the resort city of Chioggia, the Musica In Laguna owes its success to visionary local musicians who create, coordinate, and participate in the activities.  For two weeks every July during the past ten years the co-founders and artistic directors, double bassist Gabriele Vianelli and conductor, pianist, composer, Pietro Perini have overseen its operation.  The festival has expanded each year in size and scope and now includes a solo and concerto section for piano and sections for voice, clarinet, violin, viola, and chamber music.  There is a junior division for students under age 16, and a senior division for students age 16 and older. In addition to the orchestra rehearsals and public concerto performances, the program for students offers daily lessons, master classes, and other courses.  Public student and faculty concerts are held nightly in St. Nicolò Auditorium, originally a church from the 13th century and a superb acoustical facility.

The opportunities for enhanced study, working with other teachers, and meeting other students from different cultures in a new and attractive setting add a significant dimension to a student’s musical experience.  Students from Asia, Scandinavia, Europe, and the United States come to study with a distinguished slate of musicians.  Piano instructors include Konstantin Bogino from France, Svetlana Bogino and Vladimir Ogarkov from Russia, Yelena Ivanov and Lana Ivanov from the United States.  Soprano Luciana Serra heads the voice division.  Clarinetist Nicola Bulfone from Italy, violinists Dejan Bogdanovich from Yugoslavia and Raisa Mussakhodjayeva from Kazakhstan, and violist Pierre Henri Xuereb from France complete the faculty roster.

The attractive setting of the Musica In Laguna is another plus for students.  They experience a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in the historic canal city of Chioggia, situated south of Venice in the Venetian lagoon.  Chioggia is a favorite resort area for Italians and the area swells to a population of about 200,000 each summer.  It boasts one of the finest beaches on the Adriatic Sea.  The older part of the area lures natives and visitors to its weekly bazaars and its arcaded passageways that separate the small shops and restaurants from the outdoor eating areas.  The decorative art on buildings, churches, and in the plazas is characteristic of all Italian cities.  The relaxed sight of gently rocking boats in the lagoon as one strolls along the canal streets in the evening is a welcome respite from the intense study of the day and strikes a perfect balance to a musician’s two- week experience in Chioggia.  For more information please contact us at MusicainLaguna@gmail.com.