Musical May at the British Institute

Musical May at the British Institute

Four evenings of fine music in the riverside heritage library

Tue 30 Apr 2024 11:16 AM

The Maggio Musicale is a grand old Florentine tradition. Starting out 87 years ago as a music festival each May, it now runs all year round in its own state-of-the-art opera house and concert hall at the edge of the Cascine park. This May, The British Institute is paying homage to this fine tradition by staging its very own special season of great music in the beautiful heritage library: Musical May al British.

The British Institute Library at Palazzo Lanfredini, on the south bank of the river by Ponte Santa Trinita, is a gorgeous intimate venue for fine music, featuring excellent acoustics thanks to the books. The musicians perform in front of huge windows that offer a wonderful view across the river. So, as you listen to sublime music, you watch the evening light bring a seductive golden glow to the fabulous baroque Palazzo Corsini on the other bank in a sensual feast for the senses. Afterwards you get to celebrate the shared experience over a glass of good wine and maybe even chat to the performers.  

The Music al British concert series

The Music al British concert series has built a burgeoning reputation in recent years thanks to this special combination of stellar music in a delightful setting. It is greatly appreciated by audience and performers alike. World-class cellist and Florence resident Roger Lowe says, “The experience of playing in the heritage library of The British Institute is very special because it represents the ideal ambience for this intimate form of music-making, and naturally we always find here a warm and knowledgeable public.” It’s not surprising that Roger loves to perform in the library because the cello sounds particularly good there, and he is scheduled to play in the space again on Thursday May 23, with a lovely programme of Beethoven and Bach.

Alongside Roger Lowe’s performance, the Musical May al British season will feature a trio of talented international pianists. First up, on Tuesday May 2, exciting young Italian Andrea Molteni will play Beethoven and Brahms. On Thursday May 16, Australian Jayson Gillham, well known to audiences in Florence, will delight with a virtuoso performance of Chopin and Rachmaninoff. Finally, to round off the season in style, the prodigious Ukrainian talent Sasha Grynyuk will perform a wonderful programme of Mozart, Brahms and Schubert on Friday May 31.

A veritable banquet for all music lovers: don’t miss these concerts!

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