18-27 Nov 2006. This year marks the centenary of the birth of one of the greatest composers of the 20th century: Dmitri Shostakovich. The Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia is marking the occasion with a project headed by the great conductor Valery Gergiev, one of Shostakovichs greatest interpreters. The festival consists of two symphonic concerts, a piano marathon and two different performances of the opera Boris Godunov: the first in its original form by Mussorgsky; the second in Shostakovichs 1939/40 version. Apart from Gergiev, some big names to look out for are those of violinist Nikokaj Znaider, cellist Enrico Dindo and the Orchestra of the Marinsky Theatre.
At the Parco della Musica in Rome the symphonic seasons of the Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia continues with a small festival dedicated to Dmitri Shostakovich in the centenary of his birth (18-27 Nov). On the programme are symphonies, sonatas for the piano and operas (obviously in concert-form). The first offering is I giocatori (18, 20 and 21 Nov), which Shostakovich began in June 1942 but never finished of the parts set to music there remains only the version for voice and piano and a few orchestrated fragments. The other work is Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky (23 Nov). During the second half of the 19th century his music was considered too modern and daring and it was revised to be made more acceptable by other composers among these Shostakovich, who offered his interpretation of the work while trying to respect Mussorgskys original spirit. Together with this version will be Mussorgskys original (22 Nov), which will offer an opportunity to compare the results of two personalities and two styles on a single theme. Both performances will have a common denominator: the Russian Valery Gergiev, a conductor of great charisma and a great interpreter of the music of his homeland. Paolo Di Nicola