17 December 2015
“Santa Cecilia al volo” takes off at Fiumicino
During the presentation a mini concert with Maestro Antonio Pappano at the piano and Carlo Maria Parazzoli on the violin

Opening with the sweet notes of “Sonata n. 2 op. 100” by Johannes Brahms, the concert then turns to the romantic and joyous notes of the “Csàrdàs” by Vittorio Monti. At the piano, an exceptional artist, the musical director of the Santa Cecilia National Academy, Antonio Pappano, who had just arrived from London, accompanied by first violinist Carlo Maria Parazzoli.

The event, held at Terminal 1 of the Fiumicino Airport, was an exceptional one. A mini concert to the benefit of the many passengers in transit, which also marked the beginning of the “Santa Cecilia al volo” project, which turns the Capital’s airport into a “new stage for young talents”. And in fact the agreement, passionately sought by the Aeroporti di Roma management company, includes another 19 musical events in the B and D gate areas, every Thursday up until 5 May 2016.

There will be mini concerts to suit all tastes and in various forms. The solo recitals of two of the best students of the Piano Specialisation courses at the Academy are the top events, but there are also classic sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Chopin, the evergreens of light music, and even a Mass in a jazz version and Neapolitan songs interpreted by the Soloists from the Choir.

However, as has already happened, the passengers themselves may also perform improvised piano recitals thanks to the four Fazioli Ciampi grand pianos positioned beyond the safety barriers around Gate B, Dock D and the Satellite, in addition to the arrivals area at Terminal 3. Moreover, thanks to a totem pole equipped with a tablet and video camera, passengers will have the chance to record own performances and authorise to be shared on the ADR social network profiles: passengers will need to insert their details, choose a time for the performance, and start playing.

The interpretation by Maestro Pappano, which lasted 20 minutes and was followed by a much-applauded encore, unleashed the enthusiasm of those who had the good fortune of passing through the airport at the time of the concert. There was a flourish of mobile phones recording the stage, among video cameras and photo cameras.

To present the initiative, the ADR President, Fabrizio Palenzona, the President of the Santa Cecilia National Academy, Michele dall’Ongaro, and the ENAC President, Vito Riggio, all attended.

“It was an absolute “debut”, the first time in any Italian airport and the start of an important agreement with the Santa Cecilia National Academy which - Palenzona commented - will continue until May.”

“This initiative - the President of ADR added - is part of our programme for the ongoing improvement of our services in general, but also to make this airport less of a “limbo” and more of a place where there is culture, where there is life, where people walk through and find even a fragment of the beauty of Italy, of the art or music, or of the food specialities: the best we have to showcase. We will continue, and we will surprise you."

For the passengers, including foreigners, it was a true surprise. Crowds gathered with their mobile phones in hand to record Maestro Pappano at the piano and first violinist Carlo Maria Parazzoli. “I have never seen anything like it - and I travel a lot”, said a French tourist.  “I sincerely hope I have the fortune of seeing another concert next time I come to Rome”, said a frequent flyer.

“Today, great music is playing the leading role in a new experience - said the President of Santa Cecilia, Michele dell’Ongaro - For music there is nothing better than getting out of the Auditorium and into where the people are. Meeting places, that today seem condemned to a sort of quarantine due to recent tragic episodes, can instead become opportunities to meet people. Rome, with its airport and its main symphonic institution, now welcome pilgrim, tourist and traveller passengers with a quality performance.”

The same ideas were expressed by ENAC President, Vito Riggio: “With initiatives like this we intend to react to the threat of terrorism not only by increasing security measures, but also by opening our airports to music, starting with Rome. This tells the whole world that we will not give in, but instead we will make sure our ideals of beauty are represented everywhere.”