La Musica dei Cieli 2021: Summer of Spirituality

10.06.2021, by Luca Testoni

For the first time ever, spiritual music festival La Musica dei Cieli will be held in the summer, in a special edition aiming to fulfill its audience’s deep need for togetherness.

La Musica dei Cieli has been a strikingly original format from its very beginning, 25 years ago. The festival’s guiding principles were unique: to promote dialogue and knowledge between different cultures through live performances of popular folk music, with a special regard for spiritual themes, and to use as venues for its Advent concerts the most beautiful churches of Milan and surrounding municipality.

Having been put on hold last winter as Italy suffered through its second Covid-19 wave, the festival is now staging a surprising comeback with a special summer edition, which will attempt to satisfy a deep need for togetherness, the inevitable reaction to many months of social distancing and lockdowns. The summer festival’s performances will be held at the two abbeys of Chiaravalle and Morimondo, as well as the Santuario della Beata Vergine di Montevecchia, the Triennale gardens in Milan’s Parco Sempione, and the parks of Villa Arconati in Castellazzo di Bollate and of Villa Olmo in Como.

The festival, originally conceived by the BeatMi Association, will run from June 16th (with U.S. ensemble The Gospel Times performing in the church of Sant’Ambrogio della Vittoria in Parabiago) through August 3d (when Villa Olmo will host a recital called “Alfabeto delle emozioni” – “An Alphabet of Emotions” by Tuscan writer and storyteller Stefano Massini).

In between these two dates, the festival will include 16 more concerts of its characteristically “borderless” music. Radiodervish will perform on July 3d in the church of San Lorenzo Martire in Trezzano, and again on July 25th at the Santuario della Beata Vergine in Montevecchia; a duo formed by Justin Adams, Robert Plant’s right-hand man and lead guitarist, and Mauro Durante, violinist and frontman of the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, will play on July 16th at Milan’s Protestant Church and the following day at the church of Sant’Ambrogio in Trezzano sul Naviglio; and the Orchestra di Via Padova will perform on July 18th in the Triennale gardens. Other artists will also engage with the spiritual and the sacred. On July 4th, Antonella Ruggiero will perform her “Sacramonia” show at the Abbazia Santa Maria in Morimondo, reprising it on July 25th at the Cascina Butto in Montevecchia. On July 13th, Moni Ovadia will share his personal interpretation of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Sì” in the park of Villa Olmo in Como. In their own way, with their highly introspective music, so will pianist Remo Anzovino (slated to perform a sunrise concert at Villa Arconati on July 6th and at the Abbazia di Chiaravalle on July 18th) Albanian cellist Redi Hasa (July 3d, Gardens of the Triennale) and violinist Federico Mecozzi (July 4th at the Abbazia Santa Maria in Morimondo and July 18th at the Abbazia di Chiaravalle).

As a final treat, two highly acclaimed names will take part in this year’s festival: Avion Travel, celebrating their 40th anniversary a year late on June 28th at Villa Arconati, and Malian Kora champion Ballaké Sissoko, who will perform a double concert on July 4th, at the Triennale gardens and the Abbazia Santa Maria in Morimondo.


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