It is the composer Giorgio Battistelli, one of the most recognized names in Italy and abroad, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the Biennale Musica “for his work in experimental musical theater and his intense opera production, made by the most important European institutions “. The Ars Ludi ensemble, made up of three exceptional percussionists – Antonio Caggiano, Rodolfo Rossi and Gianluca Ruggeri, is awarded the Silver Lion of Music “for executive virtuosity and the ability to transform the percussive world into a compelling Machina Mundi “.
This was decided by the Board of Directors of the Venice Biennale, accepting the proposal of Lucia Ronchetti, director of the Music sector, who entitled the 66th International Festival of Contemporary Music, staged in Venice from 14 to 25 September 2022, “Out of Stage “, dedicated to new forms of experimental musical theater.
“Giorgio Battistelli’s long and celebrated career began in the seventies with experimental theater projects that have become emblematic and founding elements of musical research in the context of the theatricalization of sound and the theatricality of the executive gesture – underlines Ronchetti in the motivation – Come Experimentum Mundi 1981, a work of imaginative music for an actor, eight natural voices of women, sixteen artisans and a percussionist, which to date has reached 400 performances in Europe, Asia, Oceania and North America and is considered a cornerstone of instrumental musical theater; Jules Verne from 1987, chamber fantasy in the form of a show for trio of percussion, three voices, trumpet and piano and Orazi and Curiazi from 1996 for two percussionists “.
The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Award to Giorgio Battistelli is intertwined with the Silver Lion attributed to Antonio Caggiano, Rodolfo Rossi and Gianluca Ruggeri, founders of Ars Ludi in 1987, as “ideal interpreters of the new repertoire of instrumental theater, histrionic and charismatic musicians who transform every percussive plot into an event full of theatricality, helping to create a new vision of contemporary music production where the most complex scores are presented with an enthralling and communicative performative attitude “, as the motivation states.
Lucia Ronchetti explains: “The contemporary percussionist is a special musician, his arsenal of instruments has expanded with the evolution of writing and the dedicated repertoire, including objects of everyday life, electric mechanisms, mechanical instruments and digital percussion, but also instruments percussionists from other musical traditions. The percussionist must learn different techniques and move easily in his set, which sometimes occupies an entire stage and represents an imaginary theater put into action by the percussionist himself, as a deus ex-machina, vocal operator, interpreter and demiurge”.
It will be a new version of “Jules Verne”, with the author Giorgio Battistelli for the first time in the unreleased role of director, and the interpretation of Ars Ludi to inaugurate the 66th International Festival of Contemporary Music of the Venice Biennale on 14 September 2022 on the stage of the Teatro La Fenice. Ars Ludi will also be an actor in various concerts, as well as participating in the activities of the Biennale College Musica. A new version of Giorgio Battistelli’s cult work, the great scenic and musical fresco Experimentum Mundi, will finally conclude – on 25 September 2022 – the Festival at the Teatro alle Tese.
The award ceremony for the Golden Lion for Giorgio Battistelli will be held in the Sala delle Colonne of Ca ‘Giustinian, headquarters of the Biennale, on September 15, 2022; a conversation between the German musicologist Helga De La Motte and the composer will follow.
The Ars Ludi ensemble will receive the Silver Lion on 17 September 2022, again in the Sala delle Colonne of Ca ‘Giustinian. A conversation will follow between the music historian and playwright Guido Barbieri and the Ars Ludi percussionists: Gianluca Ruggeri, Antonio Caggiano and Rodolfo Rossi.
In the past, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for Music was attributed to Goffredo Petrassi (1994), Luciano Berio (1995), Friedrich Cerha (2006), Giacomo Manzoni (2007), Helmut Lachenmann (2008), György Kurtág (2009) ), Wolfgang Rihm (2010), Peter Eötvös (2011), Pierre Boulez (2012), Sofija Gubajdulina (2013), Steve Reich (2014), Georges Aperghis (2015), Salvatore Sciarrino (2016), Tan Dun (2017), Keith Jarrett (2018), George Benjamin (2019), Luis De Pablo (2020), Kaija Saariaho (2021). The Silver Lion, dedicated to the promises of music or to institutions that have distinguished themselves in nurturing new talents, has in the past been attributed to Vittorio Montalti and Francesca Verunelli (2010), RepertorioZero (2011), Quartetto Prometeo (2012), Fondazione Spinola Banna for Art (2013), Ryo Murakami (2016), Dai Fujikura (2017), Sebastian Rivas (2018), Matteo Franceschini (2019), Raphaël Cendo (2020), Neue Vocalsolisten (2021).