Bridging Europe 2019

Focus on: Italy

Last year the diverse programme of Bridging Europe focused on the Baltics and Poland, and this year our attention is shifting to Italy. The event series, organised jointly by the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Müpa Budapest, enters its seventh year of showcasing works from a given country with exciting cultural values – from music through fine arts to literature.

During the event series, we get the chance to become intimately familiar with the pizzica of Southern Italy – where tradition holds that this unbridled dance is the best cure for the bite of the tarantula – as Müpa Budapest is set to host the very best pizzica bands in the world. Tambourinist/singer Rachele Andrioli and accordionist Rocco Nigro are more than at home in a wide range of genres, from Southern Italian dance music to Portuguese fado and Mexican ranchera. Also gracing the stage will be living pizzica legend Mimmo Epifani accompanied by his band, as well as the leading light of the pizzica revival, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino.

One of the most anticipated events is the concert by the Italian Barry White, Mario Biondi, whose sensuously booming baritone is instantly recognisable. The jazz and soul maestro rarely sings in Italian, but this time he will make an exception and deliver several songs in his mother tongue. There can be no event series on Italy without world-famous film scores: the quartet made up of the very best of the Italian jazz scene will be playing a selection of well-known themes by Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota under the name Cinema Italia. Immersion in the Italian experience, of course, would not be complete without literature: the Italian literary evening of Literarium Extra showcases works by well-known Italian authors as interpreted by outstanding actors, with popular author Daniele Benati also in attendance as a special guest for the night.