The Festival

Elba Musical Island of Europe Festival was founded in 1997 by George Edelman and Yuri Bashmet, with the aim to create an important musical event in the panorama of international classical and jazz music festivals.

The peculiar feature of Elba Festival is to represent a moment of encounter of great musicians, who come from different countries and gather in Portoferraio to create new programs. Many concerts of the Festival are, in fact, original productions rehearsed and performed here for the first time. The programs created during Elba Festival are often performed in the most important concert halls in Europe.

Throughout the years, many outstanding artists alternated and collaborated on stage, among them: Mario Brunello, Martha Argerich, Thomas Quasthoff, Natalia Gutman, Gidon Kremer, François Leleux, Uto Ughi, Sayaka Shoji, Hervé Joulain, Victor Tretiakov, Janne Thomsen, Vadim Repin, Pascal Moragues, Michaël Guttman, Michel Portal and many others.

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The musical soul of the Festival is the extraordinary personality of M° Yuri Bashmet, who performs as soloist, chamber music performer and conductor of the famous Moscow Soloists’ chamber orchestra as well as of his Novaja Rossija Symphony Orchestra.

The programs, elaborated by the Artistic Director, George Edelman, are extremely varied and range from Classical and Romantic, to 20th century repertoire. Great attention is dedicated to contemporary music and every year, at least one evening is dedicated to the music of our times. In the last few years, the national or world premieres of works by Giya Kanceli, Carlo Boccadoro, Alexander Raskatov, George Crumb, Giovanni Sollima, have been performed, often under the guidance of the composers themselves invited for the occasion.

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The majority of concerts will take place in “Teatro dei Vigilanti”, in Portoferraio, while two of them will be set in the Cathedral in Rio nell’Elba and inside Madonna del Monte Sanctuary in Marciana. Another much awaited event is the concert, followed by dinner, at Hotel Hermitage. This exclusive five-star hotel is very much appreciated by international guests for its excellency, hospitality and exceptional situation on one of the most beautiful beaches of the Island of Elba. The new locations for this year will be Villa Romana delle Grotte in Portoferraio and Pianosa Island, part of the Tuscan Arcipelago National Park.

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Elba Musical Island of Europe Festival is supported by Regione Toscana, Provincia di Livorno, Comune di Portoferraio, Associazione Albergatori, Comune di Rio nell’Elba, Comune di Marciana.