If you haven’t yet attended a concert in The British Institute’s glorious heritage library, it’s high time you did! The acoustics are terrific, the music is sublime and the wine afterwards is delicious: a perfect way to start the evening with old friends and share a beautiful moment with some new people.
On September 28, the new Music al British season starts with the return of Jonathan Ferrucci, a brilliant Florentine-Australian virtuoso who thrilled the audience in the library with his performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations a couple of years ago. Ferrucci is mentored by world-famous Bach exponent Angela Hewitt, another friend of The British Institute, and this time he will play the Complete Bach Toccatas.
We asked him about this project: “The Toccatas are some of Bach’s earlier works. After working on the Goldberg Variations for a couple of years, it was really interesting to switch to something so different. In the Toccatas you can almost hear Bach’s language develop as the music unfolds. It’s like an ongoing research. The Toccatas are a playground of ideas: youthful, full of energy, sharp contrasts and bright flavours. I also love them because they offer such wide scope for interpretation. Bach makes you feel as though you were almost composing alongside him as you play. Lots of fun… and bloody difficult! When I asked Angela for advice on playing the Complete Toccatas in a recital, she told me to pray and said ‘good luck’. So here goes!”
Music al British is just one of the many cultural and social programmes that the Institute runs in its beautiful library rooms on the piano nobile of 16th-century Palazzo Lanfredini, with its fabulous view across the river to Palazzo Corsini. It’s the place where the resident international community meet for literary evenings, discussions on contemporary Florence, art history lectures and Italian lessons. There are also regular life drawing sessions, social bridge and afternoon tea: something for everyone. It’s like an exclusive club where everyone is welcome: the perfect place to get the inside track on the history, art and life of Florence.
See you there!