|Israeli singer Noa's tribute to Naples' music in Southern Tuscany|
Leave your Wellies at home. Rain and mud are no issues during Tuscany's summer festivals. And all those fabulous medieval or Renaissance locations will make Woodstock seem a teenage hangout.
I've already written about Melodia del Vino, Musica Reale in Montalcino, Amiata Piano Festival and San Galgano's Opera Festival, which are some of the top classical music festivals in Tuscany in July 2012. But there is much more to be had when it comes to classical music down South.
- INTERHARMONY - from July 4 to 28 the InterHarmony festival will take place for the second time in Arcidosso, a lively town at the base of Mount Amiata (Southern Tuscany's highest and most fascinating mountain). Organized by Russian cellist Misha Quint the international summer school for classical musicians follows up its lessons with a series of concerts by students and masters alike.
- CHIGIANA - from July 10 to 16, Siena's famous Accademia Chigiana holds their yearly Settimana Musicale Senese. Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini playing three Beethoven sonatas on the 3rd of August is an extra not to be missed.
- GEORG SOLTI'S ACCADEMIA Every summer one of the world's leading bel canto singing course takes place in Castiglione della Pescaia. Opera stars like Kiri Te Kanawa or Angela Gheorghiu share their knowledge every July with a selection of young singers. If you didn't manage to get an invitation, you can join the free concert on Castiglione's Sir Georg Solti square on the 13th of July.
- MONTISI MUSIC FESTIVAL - July 13 to 27. The world's foremost harpsichordists join forces in picturesque Montisi lying between the Orcia Valley and the Crete Senesi. The concerts are played on original instruments and historic copies of harpsichords from the 16th, 17th and 18th century.
- MASSA MARITTIMA, LIRICA IN PIAZZA - August 3 to 6. Giuseppe Verdi's Traviata and Gioachino Rossini's Barbiere di Siviglia are the two Italian masterpieces that will turn Massa Marittima's magic town square into an open air opera house.
Massa Marittima's Cathedral and main square - what bettter stage for an opera festival?
- Not a festival but a one off concert worth mentioning is the CONCERTO D'ESTATE on Saturday 4th of August at 9pm on the grounds of the beautiful Siloe monastery in Poggi del Sasso (15 min from Paganico). Siloe has been designed by Edoardo Milesi who is also the architect of the impressive cellar of the nearby Collemassari winery. The Trio ChitAria will play a wide variety of music ranging from Bach to Astor Piazzola. This is one of the few FREE CONCERTS this summer. So you better jot down the date. And drop the organizers a note if you plan to come: firstname.lastname@example.org
- JAZZ & WINE MONTALCINO July - find out more about the gigs of the 2012 edition on the Map It Out - Montalcino Blog.
- VOX MUNDI FESTIVAL IN MAGLIANO June 30 - August 3. Folk music, gospel and lot's more. Musicians from every corner of the world will be jammin' it in the southern tip of Southern Tuscany. La Cumbia Chitarra from Columbia sounds like plenty of fun if you want to shake those hips on the 14th of July.
- BOLGHERI MELODY FESTIVAL - July 18 to August 18. Classical music, Italian cabaret (e.g. with hot shot Enrico Brignani), ballet with Italy's star dancer Roberto Bolle and intelligent pop music with I Nomadi.
- The CAVA PARCO DI PIETRE in Roselle near Grosseto will be a great location for the concert of talented and beautiful Israeli singer Noa on the 8th of August. The San Remo winner was the voice of Roberto Begnini's Oscar Winning Film "La Vita è Bella" (one of the Oscars went in fact to the film soundtrack). If you prefer a different beat, check out the concert of Jamaica's Mr. Vegas on the 25th of July. Or just come any summer evening when the festival venue beams with visitors enjoying local live music and a nice open-air restaurant.
- GREY CAT FESTIVAL Jazz concerts in various locations (Grosseto, Gavorrano, Castiglione della Pescaia, etc) from August 2 to 24. Two of Italy's greatest jazz pianist live on the Tuscan coast: Stefano Bollani on the third and Danilo Rea with the Malvisi Quartet on the 4th of August. And many more noteworthy concerts all through August.
- FESTAMBIENTE - August 5 to 15. Some of the most beloved musicians of Italy's pop/rock/rap and jazz music scene (Elisa, Caparezza, Daniele Silvestri and Mario Biondi to name a few) on stage to support the cause of Legambiente, the country's largest environmental organisation. Not just music but open-air organic restaurants, market stalls and events for the whole family during this ecological festival in Rispescia (10 min to the South of Grosseto). Concerts start around 9.30pm, but arrive early (before 7.30pm) if you want to avoid the long queues.
What else is on in Southern Tuscany this summer? Know of any music festival I'm missing out on? Let us know in the comment section below.