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Georgia offers music to Italy

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, January 23
On January 21 the Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassy) in Georgia held a press conference at the Zakaria Paliashvili Music School at which it presented a series of initiatives called Georgia offers music to Italy, sponsored by the “Fodazione San Zeno” of Verona.

The “tragic war” which broke out in Georgia last August has encouraged the Apostolic Nunciature to show the world this land of great and ancient cultural traditions which can bestow on all the beauty of its talents, stated H. E. Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Apostolic Nuncio, who emphasized his special interest in Georgian culture, saying it is the greatest achievement of the Georgian nation. He also stressed that non-Georgians do understand, appreciate and embrace it. “Everyone should realize it’s possible to make a good investment in art. I had important talks with the Pope in The Vatican and Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II when I was appointed Apostolic Nuncio and they both encouraged me to make cultural investment in the country. This is exactly how The Vatican can help Georgia promote and demonstrate its talent. I won’t use turgid words to characterize Georgia. It’s simply the Diplomacy of Beauty,” Gugerotti said.

Nino Mamradze, the Director of the Zakaria Paliashvili School, explained the main reason for the programme. “Our school has produced many outstanding musicians in different fields who successfully perform at Western conservatories. Our school regularly organizes popular gala concerts in which its talented artists perform with students of the recently reconstituted Choral Department. During the last three years we have managed to reestablish various kinds of music, and thus arouse the interest of foreign countries such as The Vatican in making investments in our cultural life,” she stated.

Giampaolo Pretto, a prominent Italian flautist, teacher and conductor and a close friend of Gugerotti, has been invited to Georgia by the Archbishop to give master classes to young Georgian musicians. He works as a volunteer with the pupils of the music school and has already arranged a much-anticipated concert at Tbilisi State Conservatory on January 30. Thus the maestro emphasized that the outcomes of their work belong first of all to Georgia. “Four further concerts will be held in The Vatican, Verona, Trento and Spoleto - places where music blossoms. This is a great honour for Georgians and a rare event in The Vatican which only hosts special guests,” as the Archbishop explained to the media.

“I happened to choose a specific way of working with the pupils, encouraging them to develop their feelings of the sense of the music. Last July these studies reached their highest level. I’m very pleased to have an opportunity to share my orchestral experience with young Georgian musicians and give them the necessary instructions for further achievement in the field of music. They should feel the music, not just play in an orchestra. I’m very proud to say that the final outcome will be seen here - in Georgia. I needed some important music to inspire the musicians, thus I chose the two best Serenades by Brahms - examples of the nineteenth century’s New Romanticism,” explained Giampaolo Pretto.

“We want to express our respect for the Georgian nation. Somehow we couldn’t manage to establish an absolutely Georgian membership within the orchestra, and thus involved Italian musicians too, but this will also be important to show how people of different nations can understand each other through the language of music - a universe of music for the whole world,” the Archbishop added.

Mariam Magradze and Tatia Gvantsekadze, two violinists Giampaolo Pretto referred to as the ‘Two Shoulders of Pretto’ who will be featured performers at the four concerts, thanked the maestro and Archbishop for putting their trust in them and promised they would do their best to justify their hopes with their performances.