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The Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, which was founded in 1908, was the first Italian orchestra to dedicate itself exclusively to the symphonic repertoire. From the start, prominent composers sought to work with it, including Gustav Mahler, Claude Debussy, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, and Ottorino Respighi, whose tone poems The Fountains of Rome and The Pines of Rome were premiered by the Orchestra. No less illustrious were the conductors who soon began to appear at the podium: Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Vittorio de Sabata, and Herbert von Karajan in particular. Between 1983 and 1990 Leonard Bernstein served as Honorary President, while such maestros as Giuseppe Sinopoli, Daniele Gatti, and Myung-Whun Chung have been Principal Conductors in the recent past. Antonio Pappano has headed the Orchestra since October 2005 and brings a wide range of works to life, from the 18th century to the present. Since 2002, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia has made its home in the Parco della Musica, which was built by Renzo Piano. Along with its concert season in Rome, year after year it undertakes extensive tours, with regular performances at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, the BBC Proms, and the Settembre Musica in Turin. The Orchestra has also performed at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Dresden Semperoper, the Vienna Musikverein, and the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, as well as in Japan, Turkey, Romania, and Russia. In 2003 it was involved with the reopening of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and in the 2006-07 season it was invited back to La Scala in Milan for the first time in fifty years. The Orchestra’s recordings have received numerous honors; it recently released a new recording of Madama Butterfly, with Pappano conducting.
This concert marks the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia’s debut at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL.