The Ensemble of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala was founded in 2007 as part of the Course for Chamber Ensemble specialized into the repertoire of the twentieth century, thanks to the support of the European Social Fund, the Ministry of Labour and the Region of Lombardy, in collaboration with Giorgio Bernasconi (died in 2010) who wanted to propose a reading of diverse musical literature of the twentieth century, with the aim to promote awareness among young musicians who rarely have the opportunity, in the Conservatory, to deal with this repertoire.
Since 2012, the Board of Education is headed by Marco Angius and the ensemble was renamed after “Giorgio Bernasconi”.
The training, which ranges between Italian and foreign authors from the early twentieth century up to contemporary composers, involves the preparation of music programs under the guidance of well-known directors, specializing in contemporary repertoire, with the help of the Prime Parts of the Teatro alla scale and includes an intense concert at the Teatro alla Scala and in prestigious venues.
Under the guidance of Giorgio Bernasconi, Francesco Angelico, Marco Angius, Francesco Bossaglia, Olivier Cuendet, Georges-Elie Octors, Fabián Panisello, Renato Rivolta, Jonathan Stockhammer and Yoichi Sugiyama, the Ensemble – consisting of fifteen young musicians – has held concerts in significant theaters and festivals, interpreting also some first Italian performances: at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and for the MITO Festival-SettembreMusica in Venice for the Festival of Contemporary Music “the Biennale Music”, in Caserta at the Palace Theatre, into the Teatro Sociale in Como, at the Quirinale Palace in Rome for the concerts broadcasted on Euroradio, at the Teatro Ponchielli in Cremona, in Cortina during the Festival Dino Ciani.
Among the most significant commitments should be noted, in 2012, the execution of Quartett by Luca Francesconi at Wiener Festwochen, conducted by Peter Rundel and directed by Alex Ollé of “La Fura dels Baus” (loosely based on the work Dangerous Liaisons by de Laclos), piece which has enjoyed considerable success in its debut at La Scala in 2010/2011 season, in a co-production with the Vienna Festival and IRCAM. The opera was staged as part of the prestigious Holland Festival in Amsterdam in 2013, under the direction of Susanna Mälkki.
In the 2013/14 season, the Ensemble, directed by Marco Angius, brings to the stage for the first time at Milan’s Piccolo Teatro Studio, as part of the 22nd edition of the Festival Milano Musica, The Embalmer, a playful chamber monodrama by Giorgio Battistelli interpreted by Riccardo Massai.
In 2014-15, the Ensemble takes part into the 23rd edition of the Festival di Milano Musica with an Accademia Filarmonica Romana production: the Japonese Dyptich by Luca Mosca, with the world première of La cortina di gala.
In 2015-16 the Ensemble is back to the Ridotto dei Palchi at Teatro alla Scala (November 12, 2015, January 28, April 22 and May 12, 2016).
The most important engagement for the 2016-17 season is the complete performance of the Counterpoints from The Art of the Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach (orchestral version by Roger Vuataz – 1936), conducted by Marco Angius (January 14), Renato Rivolta (March 2) and Min Chung (May 11). Also Kreuzspiel, Zeitmasse and Kontra-Punkte no. 1 by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ramifications for 12 strings (1968-69) and Kammerkonzert for 13 instruments (1969-70) by György Ligeti compose the repertoire.
In 2017-18 the “Giorgio Bernasconi” Enselmbe performs at Teatro Ariosto di Reggio Emilia (October 14), in a concert conducted by Marco Angius; then, back at the Ridotto dei Palchi at Teatro alla Scala on February 15 with Tito Ceccherini, on March 8 with Michele Gamba and on April 20 again conducted by Marco Angius.
In 2018/2019 the Ensemble will undertake a notable late-twentieth-century masterpiece: Frank Zappa’s last recorded project, The Yellow Shark, conducted by Peter Rundel, who shared the stage with Zappa in 1993 as director of the Ensemble Modern. They take this remarkable work on tour, visiting Milan (Piccolo Teatro Studio, October 6–7), Rome (Auditorium Parco della Musica, October 10, as part of the RomaEuropa Festival), and Reggio Emilia (Teatro Valli, October 12 during the Festival Aperto).
On November 11, the students return to Rome, Palazzo del Quirinale, for a concert in the Radio3 Euroradio Concert Series. On the 21st it will be Arnaud Arbet to lead them at Teatro alla Scala as part of the 27th Milano Musica Festival, dedicated to the genius György Kurtág, in a program that not only pays homage to the Hungarian composer but also proposes pieces by Maurice Ravel, Pierre Boulez, and Igor Stravinsky, featuring the solo voice of Hillary Summers.
Lastly, in addition to the Academy Concert Series at the Ridotto Toscanini of Teatro alla Scala (February 14, March 21, and April 11), the Ensemble will take part alongside the Academy soloist singers and dancers in the Al Bustan International Festival of Music and the Performing Arts in Beirut (March 12).
Download here the repertoire of the Ensemble Accademia Teatro alla Scala (last update: May 2017).