A Visit To Perugia During The Summer And An Immersion In Italy’s Rich Musical Culture

Ah, Italy! As far as culture is concerned, the Italian arts have had a long, rich and fascinating history. Music is a part of Italian identity. After all, Guido d’Arezzo is credited for inventing the modern day staff notation system, and by the late 16th century Italy was the center of European classical music.

Opera was born in Italy; the piano was invented in Italy by a harpsichord maker named Bartolomeo Cristofori; Andrea Amati, earliest of the great Cremonese luthiers, is often named as the father of the violin’s elegant form; and the very first centers of violin making were in northern Italy. Motherland of composers such as Vivaldi, Verdi, Puccini, Bellini, Rossini and Salieri, Italy has always been one of the main centers of western culture and has provided many of the very foundations of the classical music tradition.

This 2012 summer, from July 1st to 15th, Great Neck Music Conservatory students, along with New York students and music students from anywhere in the world, had the opportunity to study music in Perugia, Italy. GNMC Directors Pippa Borisy (pianist) and Vadim Lando (clarinetist) were among the faculty of the Corsi Internazionali di Musica in Perugia.

The Music Festival in Perugia followed the great summer music tradition of daily master classes in each featured instrument; chamber music, student and faculty concerts in beautiful venues; and cultural enjoyment of a city filled with art and history. The core of the festival were the daily master classes in which students learned from open lessons, discussions about music, and each other’s performances of some of the great classical repertoire.

Master classes were offered in piano, voice, strings, clarinet, saxophone and even piano pedagogy. The course is ideal for serious music students in high school or college; adult amateurs who wants to be surrounded by music and musical ideas; and music teachers. High school and college students who are not as comfortable with performing but interested in culture, art and music are also encouraged to attend as auditors. They are treated to a stimulating, educational and highly enjoyable adventure in Italy.

A wonderful added bonus of this trip was the famed Umbria Jazz Festival taking place in Perugia from July 6th  to 15th. Corsi Internazionali di Music participants had the opportunity to enjoy many of the free Umbria Jazz concerts as well as a possible collaboration between the two festivals.

Sant’anna of Perugia Institute for Cultural Education

Great Neck Music Conservatory Directors were thrilled to take a group of New York students to Italy this 2012 summer! The course took place at the Sant’anna of Perugia Institute for Cultural Education, which has very old origins!

The complex was in fact founded in the fourteenth century as a female monastery of the Santa Chiara order, and contains portions of frescos still visible today. Students will live in modern, attractive double and triple rooms in hotels with private baths. A very limited amount of single rooms are available for a supplement. There are also options for those who wish to stay in luxurious hotels.

Click to read more about what happened with Great Neck Music Conservatory’s Directors and students when they were in Italy!