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Festival of Italian music, culture focuses on music, movies & more

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POSTED September 25, 2009 1:41 a.m.
STOCKTON – During the week of Oct. 18, the Stockton community will be treated to four concerts, an art show, two short film festivals and a symposium. And they all will have one thing in common – they all will be Italian.

University of the Pacific will host the Festival of Italian Music and Culture from Oct. 18 through Oct. 24. Featured artists include the Prometeo String Quartet, composer/performer Matteo Pennese, cellist Walter Prati and visual artist Antonella Bersani.  Pennese, Prati and Bersani will jointly present a multi-media performance. There also will be a concert featuring the music of Verdi and Mascagni, an Italian Cabaret, and two presentations of Italian short films by emerging filmmakers.

“During the past several years, we have hosted a number of similar festivals to highlight the community’s diversity and artistic richness,” said Robert Coburn, a music professor and one of the organizers of the festival. “By choosing the art and culture of Italy this year, we have an extraordinary selection of creative experiences to offer to the public, from recent Italian films to the breathtaking operas of Verdi to new string quartets by Sciarrino and music/video performances by Pennese/Prati/Bersani. In addition the Reynold’s Gallery will be featuring a display of new visual art by a variety of Italian artists.”

Over the past two years, Pacific has hosted the Japanese Cultural Festival. Other art and music festivals include the “Celebration of Music from Across the Pacific Region” in 1998, “Drums and Voice” in 2000 and the “SoundImageSound Series” of new works for sound and image from 2003 through 2008. All featured music, performance and art from other cultures.
This year’s festival includes new music by composers Salvatore Sciarrino and Giacinto Scelsi, and multi-media works by Matteo Pennese and Walter Prati, with performances by the Prometeo String Quartet from Rome, the Intermedia Trio from Milan, and vocalists Jessica Siena, and Ben Bongers. The Pacific Opera production features guest artist Richard Gordon. Additionally, The Pacific Theatre on Pacific’s Stockton campus will show a series of new short Italian films on two of the six nights of the festival. The Reynold’s Gallery also will have an exhibit on campus featuring the works of multiple Italian artists. The gallery will host a reception for the artists on the first night of the festival, Oct. 18. A full schedule of events can be downloaded online at  

The week-long celebration of Italian Art and Culture is co-sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco with additional assistance from the Stockton Opera Association. The appearance of the Prometeo String Quartet and the Trio Matteo Pennese is sponsored in part by the Concerts of Contemporary Music promoted by Federazione CEMAT and supported by Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry for Cultural Affairs - Department for Performing Arts.

Ticket price for all four concerts is $10 each for general admission or $30 for the series of 4 concerts, $7 for seniors, students, IIC members, and Pacific Faculty and Staff, and free for Pacific students with ID and children under 12. The lecture, symposium, film festival and art show are all free to the public. All the events are on the Stockton campus of University of the Pacific. Tickets for the concerts can be purchased by calling the Pacific Box Office on campus, at 209.946.2474.

For more information, visit the Italian Festival website at,, or call the Conservatory of Music at 209.946.2417.

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