More than 200 Italian and Iranian musicians are coming together for two celebratory concerts on 6 and 8 July. Held in Tehran and Ravenna respectively, the concerts mark 20 years of the ‘Roads of Friendship’ programme and will be led by conductor Riccardo Muti.
Roads of Friendship is a cultural pilgrimage series organised by Italy’s Ravenna Festival. Past pilgrimages have visited Beirut, Jerusalem, Moscow, Istanbul, New York, Cairo, Damascus, El Djem, Meknès, Nairobi and Tokyo.
Musicians involved include members of Tehran Symphony Orchestra, Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra and Piacenza’s Municipal Theatre chorus. The programme is made up of selections from Verdi’s operas, with guest soloists Piero Pretti, Luca Salsi and Riccardo Zanellato.
“Better than economy, better than politics, better than verbal languages, music can provide direct communication, tugging at the heartstrings with no need for mediation,” said Muti. “This leads to the concerts of the ‘Roads of Friendship’ programme, to the heart of their very reason for being.”
The first concert on 6 July will take place at Vahdat Hall, Tehran, and is co-curated by the Roudaki Foundation. The second on 8 July is hosted in Ravenna’s Palazzo Mauro de André concert hall and will be broadcast by RAI TV.