Between June 23 and September 1, there will be sixty concerts, shows, exhibitions and conversations in the 2012 Ravello Festival. The opening takes place tomorrow evening at the Villa Rufolo Belvedere in Ravello, one of the most atmospheric spots along the Amalfi coastline. In the presence of the Speaker of the Italian Senate, Renato Schifani, the cultural review will open on a stage suspended between the sea and the sky, with the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra conducted by German Gernot Schmalfuss: this Taiwanese orchestra will offer a rare glimpse into the musical production of this country that remains to be discovered by many. Discoveries will continue throughout the summer in Ravello as this year's chosen theme ''Memories'' unfolds. This is indeed the title of one of the two exhibitions that open tomorrow morning at Villa Rufolo. Artist Igor Mitoraj will bring eight of his paintings and one mosaic from his ''Memoriae'' exhibition, which has been running in Ravello since March. Villa Rufolo will also be hosting an exclusive installation by Fabrizio Ferri, considered to be one of our greatest contemporary photographers.
The installation is centred on one single, very evocative image.
The bill drawn up by artistic director Stefano Valanzuolo is a very full one and it meanders between the venues of Villa Rufolo, a traditional festival centre and the Niemeyer Auditorium, built after a design by the Brazilian architect.Starting from Taiwan, it moves on to the Shenzen Symphony Orchestra (July 20), which will continue our exploration of the Far East, which was begun a year ago.''The Kinshasa Symphony'' (August 31) will mark the Italian debut for the extraordinary Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra, born and raised in one of the poorest parts of Africa thanks to the courage and enthusiasm of a group of music lovers who have followed their passion for the works of Beethoven and Mozart. Another new feature is the presence of the Palestine Youth Orchestra (August 2),which arose within the ''Edward Said'' Conservatory. Italian music making will be represented by the Rossini Orchestra of Pesaro, who come from the Rossini Opera Festival.They star in a Concert at Dawn, (August 10 - 11).There is also the Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo (July 7),under the much loved and eclectic direction of Wayne Marshall. The San Carlo concert will explore the borders between classical and jazz, with Ravel's la Valse and Bernstein's West Side Story, as well as the very rare Duke Ellington reworking of Nutcracker. The idea of crossover is also explored by Fabrizio Bosso, who will be accompanied by the Nuova Orchestra Scarlatti (June 30) in a symphonic homage to Nino Rota. Staying with orchestras, the 2012 bill features another top event on the evening of July 28. "The Artist", the Oscar-winning film will be screened with live music by the Orchestra Italiana del Cinema under the baton of Ernst van Tiel and Oscar-winning composer Ludovic Bource at the piano. Further big names, but this time from World Music, are Martha Argerich (July 6), guest star alongside violinist Geza Hosszu-Legochy in an evening of music that might even be a little informal, between Tzigane energy and Romantic pathos. Then there is Ramin Bahrami (July 13), who will be playing Bach along with the European Union Chamber Orchestra. Jazz comes with Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek:his quartett features on July 21 along with percussionist superstar Trilok Gurtu. Italian artists include bill-toppers Paolo Fresu and Ludovico Einaudi (August 3) and the duet of Gino Paoli and Danilo Rea (August 17) with their homage to the Neapolitan tradition. Another homage comes with Peppe Servillo, to Adriano Celentano: the show called ''Memorie di Adriano'' is on August 9 and involves a band of great jazz artists. International dance stars Eleonora Abbagnato on August 4 with music by Vasco Rossi and Mozart; classic and contemporary choreography. August 18 will see the legendary New York City Ballet pay a tribute to George Balanchine, one of the founding influences of the US company. The Israeli company under Dafi Altabeb (June 29) concentrates on the world of melodramma and the voice of the great Callas.