The Emilia Romagna Festival Association is an important cultural promotion throughout the Emilia Romagna region. Emilia Romagna Festival (ERF), the wider Region’s area festival, is the only organization able to coordinate on such a large number of provinces (BO, FC, FE, RA, RN) and municipalities (over 25) . Over the years has created close and lasting contacts and collaborations with countless local organizations.
The Association over the years has been able to build relationships of mutual trust and collaboration with many artists, opera houses and orchestras which is a partner, thus managing to operate outside the circuits agency. Every year ERF has a summer program that encompasses a vast repertoire, from large productions to programs full of cultural, social and humanitarian meanings, the first performances, showcasing the most acclaimed artists such as Philip Glass, Luis Bacalov, Michael Nyman, Ennio Morricone, Krszystof Penderecki, Vladimir Ashkenazy Yuri Bashmet, Shlomo Mintz, Gustav Leonhardt, Vadim Repin, Giovanni Sollima, Massimo Quarta, José Carreras, José Cura, Ivo Pogorelić, Noa, Ute Lemper, Antonella Ruggiero, Renzo Arbore, Gigi Proietti, Catherine Spaak, Philharmonische Camerata Berlin, RAI Symphony Orchestra, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Chorus, Moscow Philharmonic, Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, Korean Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra, MIO – Maribor International Orchestra, Orchestra of Padua and Veneto. In its activity wide space is reserved for young people, the promise of tomorrow, great talents winners of some of the most important international competitions. ERF has established stable cooperation with prestigious music competition including the Concours Internationaux de la Ville de Paris, Concert Artists Guild International Competition New York, the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, the Queen Elisabeth Competition of Belgium, Beethoven Competition for Piano in Bonn.
ERF is a member since 1999 of the prestigious EFA – EUROPEAN FESTIVALS ASSOCIATION. Massimo Mercelli, President and Artistic Director of ERF, a former member of the Board of Directors since 2001, in 2011 is the first Italian to be elected Vice President of EFA. Since 2008 ERF became a member of ERF Italiafestival and ATER.
In 2003 the association led the project “I Suoni dello Spirito” with which it won the Culture 2000 UE Programme. At Ljubljana in January 2008, ERF – the only Italian music festival present – signed the “Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue” promoted by the EFA and on 17 November at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, ERF was officially awarded by the European Commissioner for Culture, Ján Figel, for work done during 2008. In 2009 ERF obtained the Festlab Pass of creativity and promoter of innovation, awarded to the board of EFA by Ján Figel in Prague during the Forum for creative Europe.
The 2008 ERF’s summer program saw the first performance of the work of Ennio Morricone “Vuoto d’anima piena” cantata for flute, orchestra and choir for the Millennium of the Cathedral of Sarsina, conducted by the composer himself. Musical events promoted by ERF in recent years have seen a sharp increase in public: in 2008, for example, were recorded over 50,000 people, and in 2009, the only concert by Philip Glass in Piazza Maggiore was attended by about 8,000 people.
In addition to a large number of audience, the interest of new people is joined for each performance, particularly attracted by the variety of repertoires and the beauty of the locations chosen for the concerts. In fact, relying on the natural charm of the historical sites of the Region and leaving it to them first to enchant the audience, ERF annually brings the Great Music even where music is not yet everydays presences in the collective life, recognizing the high social value of music.
In 2010 ERF took part in the “Bologna Day” of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, organized by Confcooperative-Federcultura and Promo Bologna. The following year ERF obtains the High Patronage of the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, and participates for the first time in the project supported by the European Union MusMA Music Masters on Air – European Broadcasting Festival in collaboration with 10 European Festivals and over 30 radio stations , for the promotion of young composers. The RAI 3 television station dedicated a special 50-minute program to ERF 2011, which was broadcast during the “La Musica di Raitre” program.
Since 2012, the summer festival closes and born simultaneously with the new winter season at the historic Teatro Masini Faenza, reflecting the respect that ERF has earned into the public and private institutions as referent serious, able to propose innovative projects, high social value in the important work carried out as a promoter active in the cultural life of its own territory.
With approximately 40 concerts located in more than 30 concert venues distributed in 5 provinces, for a total of more than 20 cities involved in the region, the latest edition of Emilia Romagna Festival has mustered Italian musicians and artists from Europe and the world to affirm the value of culture as a common good, the priceless wealth of meaning and thought. About 10 thousand people have enthusiastically responded to the wide range of music – from classical to contemporary, from today’s music composers of tomorrow – on the bill from July to September with an unequivocal success.
In addition to the Festival, the Association organizes many other events in Italy and abroad, always with the same philosophy: Music is part of life, is the passion and the everyday. In our view, “make music” is the result of a magical alchemy between past, present and future, the base of which is the balance between the sense of tradition and the propensity for research and innovation, in a word to the challenge.