A great project for Giulio Ricordi
Giulio Ricordi (1840-1912), he who made Casa Ricordi even greater: businessman, artist, politician in the noblest sense of the term, he was one of the most prominent figures of Milan’s cultural and social life. With his help, Casa Ricordi – the history of which is closely intertwined with that of Teatro alla Scala – revolutionised many aspects of the Italian music and arts industry. Giulio actively participated to this revolution himself, by discovering talents like Verdi, Puccini and many others.
The first organising committee led by Claudio Ricordi, Giulio’s grandnephew, was formed in 2012, on the centennial of his death. Its goal was to pay tribute to Giulio Ricordi through a well-thought program of events. Amongst them, the statue’s restoration and its positioning in Piazza della Scala is the most ambitious one.
Thanks to a fruitful collaboration with the City of Milan and the Superintendence of Fine Arts, the statue was inaugurated today in Largo Ghiringhelli, under the arcades of Teatro alla Scala. On this occasion, the Orchestra dei Fiati, conducted by Maestro Luca Valenti, played some pieces from the Italian band repertoire of the Nineteenth century.
The organizing committee was created thanks to the synergy between Casa Ricordi, Archivio Storico Ricordi, Micheli Associati, publisher Il Saggiatore, and the descendants Gavazzeni and Ricordi
The white marble statue, carved by Luigi Secchi, was inaugurated in 1922, on the tenth anniversary of Giulio Ricordi’s death. A perfect location was found with the active participation of both the Superintendence of Fine Arts and the City of Milan : the statue will permanently be erected where the first Ricordi store once stood. The statue was donated by Casa Ricordi to the City of Milan. The restoration project was financed by : Casa Ricordi, Archivio Storico Ricordi, Micheli Associati, publisher Il Saggiatore. The following people have contributed : Carlo, Francesco e Giovanni Gavazzeni; Carla Ponti Pini Origoni; Tino Cennamo; Camillo Ricordi; Claudio Ricordi. Technical sponsor : CORES4N owned by Salvatore Napoli, who restored the statue.
Presentation and concert
To celebrate this homecoming event, a concert in memory of the great publisher will take place on November 26th in the small hall Ridotto dei Palchi “Arturo Toscanini” of Teatro alla Scala. After a brief introduction by Claudio Ricordi, Mario Chiodetti and Giovanni Gavazzeni, musical compositions by Jules Burgmein alias Giulio Ricordi will be played by piano duo Gabriella Morelli and Giancarlo Simonacci, and by pianist Roberto Piana. Chamber arias will be interpreted by Sarah Tisba (soprano) and Julien Clément (baritone), accompanied on the piano by Francesco Miotti.
The project also includes restoring Giulio Ricordi's tomb, which is currently at the Monumental Cemetery of Milan, and republishing the biography Giulio Ricordi, published by Il Saggiatore and written by Giuseppe Adami, Ricordi's close associate, and Puccini's biographer and librettist. On May 16th 2017, the Milan Auditorium will present a concert version of La secchia rapita, an opera composed by Jules Burgmein alias Giulio Ricordi. The Verdi Orchestra will play alongside the Choir of music school Civica C. Abbado, conducted by Aldo Salvagno.
Casa Ricordi's letters The Archivio Storico Ricordi is developing a web portal where one can consult the correspondence of the great music publisher. The collection contains more than 600.000 letters. The first to be released to the public, in 2017, will be Giulio's private letter book, essential to the understanding of the company's role at the time.