To celebrate the opening of the Auditorium on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, the Giorgio Cini Foundation has organized the performance of five of Beethoven’s string quartets between April and November 2016. Thus an old, mid-19th-century “squero” transforms into a wonderful concert hall, resonating with music composed between 1825 and 1826 by one of the world’s most famous artists ever.
The concerts are indeed a celebration of contemporaneity in Venice – a city where modern architecture has often been hindered.
Renovating the old slipway – where rowing boats were once repaired – and turning it into a beautiful concert hall was a means to both conserve and innovate, in a relationship of positive harmony.
Credit is due to architecture firm Cattaruzza Millosevich as well as to public and private funders (namely Fondazione Virginio Bruni Tedeschi, Fondazione Enzo Hruby, Provveditorato per le opere pubbliche del Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia).
Igor Stravinsky once wrote about one of Beethoven’s quartets that it was
the most perfect miracle in music. […] the most absolutely contemporary piece of music I know, and contemporary forever […] Hardly birthmarked by its age, the Great Fugue is, in rhythm alone, more subtle than any music of my own century […] I love it beyond everything.
And so we love Venice.