This year ERF is looking to the East, the mysterious and fascinating Orient, and an evocative, boundless land of the imagination.

We’ll walk the Silk Road tracing the footsteps of ancient travelers, we’ll listen to the old stories from the different cultures we meet on the path, and we’ll almost smell the fragrance of exotic spices. And then, almost by magic, we’ll return home crossing through Columbus’ Indies, touching central America to land on the Iberian peninsula, the juncture between worlds.

This is a circular voyage, and the farther it takes you, the closer you return to your roots. ERF has been undertaking this journey with its usual passion and dedication, a sacrosanct commitment to art and culture. Unfortunately, today, in a world that is slave to appearances and bedazzled by surprise announcements, more inclined to gratification than to inner reflection and deep thought, such love is considered old-fashioned. But it is indeed true love, and as such it deserves to be experienced to the fullest.

We are journeying then, to the Orient searching for different sounds, exotic musical instruments and unusual rhythms. We are looking for a sea of stormy, unsettling harmonies. To face this journey, we need a faithful friend, a sort of Virgil, and an experienced helmsman who can guide us. Who better suited to this task than our beloved Johann Sebastian Bach, the father and mother of music, the foundation of everything, a man outside time, without boundaries, the most modern composer among the living and the dead, who better than he can lead us on this long, thrilling journey?

Together with other dreamy artistic directors (a rare species…) we have thought of a project that has as its point of departure the deep musical roots of the greatest of composers. Starting from his intense love for Italy, especially for Vivaldi, we have sketched an itinerary we call “Back to Italy “, which joins with a thin thread the different cultures, the hidden influences, the dormant emotions.

Our journey promoting contemporary music continues next to Bach’s most glorious pages. After the unforgettable experience with Sofija Gubajdulina, another important female composer, Silvia Colasanti, will offer the world premiere of her work at the opening night of ERF. And then, there’ll be premieres of the work of Krszysztof Penderecki, Michael Nyman, Ennio Morricone.

Gorgeous music, perfect, immortal harmonies honoring the beauty that surrounds us, the marvels we live next to without even realizing it. And may it augur well, may all this magnificent beauty resist the injury of these light and foolish times.