About the Festival
Chamber Music Campania hosts an annual summer music festival that brings unfamiliar music to new audiences in intimate spaces. By placing music into small, sometimes unusual venues, Chamber Music Campania redefines what the performance of classical music means to audiences today. Without the barrier of a stage, proscenium, or curtain, the performer can more easily engage the listener, who becomes an active participant in the music-making process. Specifically, our concert venues tend to align with food culture in some way: family-operated farms, restaurants, and in one case, a museum dedicated to Italian agriculture.
Each summer, we invite a select group of musicians to perform concerts in southern Italy or a similar region of world. In 2013, 2014 (Varano, Italy), and 2015 (Sarasota, Florida), the Fiati Five wind quintet served as the ensemble-in-residence at Chamber Music Campania. A group of young professionals with a mission to diversify classical-concert audiences, Fiati Five performs three types of music: transcriptions of Italian overtures and arias, standard quintet repertoire, and newly composed works written for the quintet by emerging composers who travel to Italy to workshop their pieces. Fiati Five – joined by two composers – returns to Chamber Music Campania in 2016.
Residents and participants of Chamber Music Campania also engage in roundtable discussions about the future of classical music performance. The specific foci of these conversations change with each season. Our 2013 and 2014 curricula included consideration of the following:
Our program is a short-term incubator for cross-disciplinary discussion. However, Chamber Music Campania also marks the beginning of a long-term conversation about crucial issues facing the modern musician.
About the venue
During the summer, Chamber Music Campania performers and staff reside in Varano—a small, quiet city located just south of Salerno. Varano is a treasure: picturesque houses border its winding streets; groves of olive trees line the horizon; and tree-covered mountains rise in the distance.
Festival co-founder Regina Compton’s grandmother, Lena Scotese, was born and raised in Varano. Lena grew-up in a large farmhouse, host to animals, olive groves, and a vineyard. Surviving years of neglect and the disastrous earthquake of 1980, the house still stands. In 2009 Regina’s cousin Tonino set to work on renovating the property, and, within a year, he successfully launched his beautiful restaurant, antique shop, and bed and breakfast (“C’era una volta: Country House”). C’era una volta offers the perfect venue for a summer music festival. The site provides musicians with a place to eat, sleep, rehearse, and occasionally perform. Just as importantly, C’era una volta is a short distance from some of Campania’s cultural highlights: the Amalfi coast, the Doric temples of Paestum, and two World Wildlife Federation preserves.