Press Release – 16 July 2021


A 25th Season with Great Soloists, Young Talents and homage to Napoleon and Dante

From 26 August to 12 September 2021

The 2021 season will be remembered because of the many recurrences, that we will celebrate with numerous Italian and foreign artists: from 26 August to 12 September, we will hold the 25th edition of “Elba Isola Musicale d’Europa”, a festival that since its foundation has never forgotten its international vocation, while maintaining firm roots in the Island of Elba, which has in turn become increasingly musical thanks to the Festival.
“It will be an edition of important anniversaries: in addition to the Festival’s 25 years, we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death, and the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death”, says Artistic Director George Edelman, creator and co-founder of Elba Isola Musicale d’Europa. “The Festival was designed from the outset to fit harmoniously into the environmental and historical context of the Island and, today more than ever, our is engaged on issues such as promoting sustainability and consolidating its links with the territory. Our concerts will take place in the late afternoon in extremely fascinating venues, will focus on the mutual enhancement of music, nature and history, and will embrace the entire Elban territory. “In the past years, a beautiful relationship has been created between the public and the artists: musicians from different parts of the world come to Elba for the Festival and stay on the Island for several days, thus getting in tune with the environment and with the public. This allows the same audience to experience music in a particularly engaging, unique way”.
For the first time the Festival will be hosted in all the municipalities of the island. With the significant return to the island of Pianosa and a special event near the Porto Azzurro prison, “Elba Musical Island of Europe” confirms once again this year its wide artistic vision, exploring repertoires that are temporally and stylistically very distant from each other, and by also proposing events dedicated to jazz. Overall, 20 events will be distributed over 18 days of intense, multifaceted musical programming, framed in an extraordinary natural and historical context: a festival that makes Elba the most musical island in Europe.

Great returns, confirmations and debuts

18 days of music with the very welcome returns of world-famous artists, musicians who have maintained a solid relation with the Festival over time, and talents who are preparing to tread its prestigious stage for the first time. The Festival begins on Thursday 26 August in Portoferraio (at the Villa Romana della Linguella, main venue of the Festival) with Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica: the Latvian violinist will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Astor Piazzolla’s birth on the special occasion, paying homage to the artist whose visionary ingenuity has revolutionized the tango. A few days later, Wednesday 1 September, Elba will also greet the return of another great artist: Martha Argerich. The Argentine pianist will perform the Quintet for piano and strings op. 44 by Schumann together with David Grimal, Aki Saulière, Pablo Hérnan Benedí and Raphael Bell. Mozart’s Quintet for strings k 406 will be performed at the opening of the concert.
Yuri Bashmet, co-founder of “Elba Musical Island of Europe” with George Edelman and Massimo Scelza, will return with The Moscow Soloists on the evening of 7 September (Hotel Hermitage in Portoferraio) and the following day for one of the projects dedicated to Dante’s memory. Cellist Giovanni Gnocchi will be the protagonist of two concerts: Thursday 9 September in Marciana (Fortezza Pisana) and Friday 10 at Forte Longone, Porto Azzurro prison, with his colleagues Mario Brunello and Jing Zhao (music by Bach, Silvestrov and Sollima for two and three cellos). Mario Brunello, who has always been a loyal guest of Elba Isola Musicale d’Europa, will also play on Saturday 11 September on the Island of Pianosa with the Friuli Venezia Giulia Choir, which will debut at the Festival and, on Sunday 12 September, will play the final concert at the Villa Romana della Linguella di Portoferraio while sharing the stage with Elena Garlitsky, Boris Garlitsky, Sào Soulez-Larivière, Jing Zhao, Mattia Riva and the soprano Mara Corazza, most of which are making their debut in Elba. Still on the subject of debuts, pianist Filippo Gorini, one of the new names on the international piano scene, will perform on Saturday 28 August in a duo with Aki Soulière and on Monday 30 August with the Lyskamm Quartet, another significant Elban debut. Now a loyal guest of the Festival, the American cellist Raphael Bell is the musician who will act as a trait d’union between the three concerts on 31 August (music by Beethoven and Bruckner), 3 September (Purcell, Kodaly, Ravel and Richard Strauss) and of 5 September (Schulhoff); on the same day the pianist Alessandra Ammara, another new entry, will play Beethoven with Michael Guttman and Jing Zhao.



200 years since the death of Napoleon Bonaparte

The 200th anniversary of the death of Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the main themes of the 25th edition of Elba Isola Musicale d’Europa. As is well known, Napoleon was a great admirer of Haydn and the first complete edition of the string quartets by the great Austrian composer, known as “Édition Bonaparte”and published in France in 1801 with the dedication “au Premier Consul Bonaparte”, is dedicated to Napoleon.
The Haydn Quartets will therefore be at the center of the concerts with which the Festival will celebrate the bicentenary, with different performers in three Napoleonic venues. First, on Sunday 29 August in the Garden of the Palazzina dei Mulini in Portoferraio, the Quartetto op. 20 n. 5 and the Quartet op. 77 n. 2 in the performance of the Lyskamm Quartet. Second, Saturday 4 September at Villa San Martino, also in Portoferraio, the Quartet op. 20 n. 2 and the Quartet op. 76 n. 4, in the interpretation of Aki Soulière, Liana Gurdjia, Georgy Kovalev, Sào Soulez-Larivière, Konstantin Pfiz and Raphael Bell. Third, Friday 10 September, at the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte in Marciana, the Quartet op. 74 n. 3 and the Quartet op. 50 n. 4, performed by Boris Garlitsky, Jaha Lee, Béatrice Muthelet and Simon Tetzlaff.



700 years after the death of Dante Alighieri

The Dante anniversary also represents another of the important themes of this year’s Festival, with two special projects, the first of which, on Thursday 2 September, will be based on the text “Separarsi con Dante” written by Cesare Mazzonis, which includes extracts from Vita Nova and from the Divine Comedy. It will be recited by the actor Massimo Popolizio, whose voice will frame four compositions (“Serenata Italiana” by Wolf, Intermezzo for strings op. 8 by Schreker, Sonata op. 1 by Berg and the Adagietto from the Symphony n. 5 by Mahler ), performed by the Archi of the Leonore Orchestra directed by Daniele Giorgi. Wednesday 8 September it will be the turn of the world premiere of “Rime”, a composition by Colombian Arturo Cuellar for narrator (Saba Beatrice Lucidi) and strings. The event will end with the performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto K 414 by The Moscow Soloists conducted by Yuri Bashmet, with 14-year-old Justus Eichhorn at the piano, who will be awarded the Elba Festival Prize 2021.



Jazz concerts

Jazz has always found its own place in the Elba Isola Musicale d’Europa Festival. The 25th edition could not be any different, with three different concerts. Friday 25 August the duo formed by the clarinettist Gabriele Mirabassi and the accordionist Simone Zanchini, both imaginative improvisers, is scheduled in Marciana Marina (Piazza della Vittoria), while on the evening of Sunday 29 August, at the La Vantina Amphitheater in Capoliveri, it will be the trio of the Manouche multi-instrumentalist and singer Tcha Limberger, who will bring the audience back to the festive atmosphere of the 1930s. The trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso will close the triptych on Monday 6 September at the Amphitheater of the Mining Park in Rio, who with his Spiritual Trio (with organist Alberto Marsico and percussionist Alessandro Minetto) will pay homage to its Gospel and Spiritual black music. All concerts will take place at 6.30 pm except for the three jazz concerts (9.15 pm), the concerts on 10 September at the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte (11.30 am) and at Forte Longone in Porto Azzurro (6.00 pm) and on 11 September. in Pianosa (6 pm). Many of the concerts will be streamed on the Festival’s social network pages. Isola Musicale d’Europa is organised with the contribution of the Municipality of Portoferraio, the support of MIC – Ministry of Culture and Tuscany Region and the collaboration of the Municipality of Marciana, the Municipality of Marciana Marina, the Municipality of Rio, the Municipality of Porto Azzurro, the Municipality of Campo dell’Elba, the Municipality of Capoliveri, the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the GAT (Associated Management of Tourism on the Island of Elba), the Hotels’ Association of the Island of Elba. The Consorzio Multienergia will sponsor the concerts on Friday 27 August and Wednesday 8 September.




Info and Ticket Sales

From 2 August from Monday to Saturday 9.30 – 12.30
Info Point Portoferraio
Via Vittorio Emanuele, 1
Tel. +39 353 4121974

Online Ticket Sales on
starting from 2 August





Ticket Prices

Concerts Villa Romana della Linguella: from 20 to 25 Euros; reduced (up to 18 years) 15 Euros.

Subscription to 9 concerts (I and II sector only) at the Villa Romana della Linguella: Euro 190.

All other paid concerts: 20 Euros; reduced (up to 18 years) 10 Euros.

For the concert in Forte Longone / Porto Azzurro, reservations are required at the ticket office.

For all free concerts in Marciana Marina, Capoliveri and Madonna del Monte, admission will be subject to availability and security measures.