The Magnificat in tour with the AMM

September 22nd - 25th 2017

Playing music in Italy and Switzerland

The images of the disorders and the echoes of the sounds of the guns firing last summer in Jerusalem are still with us, impressed in our memories and souls. But the Magnificat continues its mission, without faltering and together with it, the Association Amici del Magnificat. The violent events, the manifestation of the tensions in the country, amplified by those crossing the entire Middle East, push us to double our efforts in favor of the school. We would like to contaminate everyone with our determination. The Magnificat represents what, in the current circumstances, is more at risk in the Holy Land and the region: the peaceful cohabitation, high-level education, the intellectual and human growth, the encounter and the dialogue. 

And so, also this year, the AMM has organized a short but intense tour of concerts for the winners of the Piano and String Competition, which are sponsored by the AMM. Students from the institute performed in concerts for piano and cello both at Villa Cagnola in Gazzade (Varese), on Saturday 23, and at the Conservatory of Lugano, on Sunday 24. Patil, Maddalena and Yasmeen were accompanied by Fr. Alberto J. Pari, the teacher Marina Balandin and two mothers in tow.

Like it was done in the past, in the days when no concerts were scheduled, visits to the city and its monuments and outings in nature were scheduled. This year, the group visited the Lake Maggiore and the Borromeo Islands.

The challenging tour de force was sweetened by a lunch on the Maggior Island, known also as Fishermen's Island, with its small and ancient hamlet embellished by typical houses and made of narrow streets, unusual and unexpected views over the lake, terraces, and balconies wrapped in a wisteria or a vineyard. Both the students and their companions were literally enchanted by the magic of these islands, where botanical gardens and well-kept parks frame the courtyards of the baroque palaces, such as the Palace of the Mother Island that unveiled a series of enriched rooms with beautiful theaters, puppet collections, dolls, amazing toys, precious interiors with furniture, tapestries and an outstanding collection of paintings. In the gardens, partridges, pheasants, and peacocks roaming in total freedom surprised and enjoyed the guests.

Also this year Villa Cagnola opened her heart to the young students from Jerusalem. The structure, surrounded by a rich and generous nature in a park full of centuries-old plants, welcomed the community with its customary generosity. Its director, Mons. Eros Monti warmly welcomed the Magnificat delegation.

The day of Saturday, September 23, was dedicated to the rehearsals and the concert at Villa Cagnola, where at 9 pm a huge audience gathered to listen to what - we are always told - has now become a much-anticipated event of the concert season “Music in the Villa”. The audience followed the concert with great participation and emotion. The applause was felt and profuse and people showed great sensitivity towards the young musicians. The concerts were introduced by speeches given by the director of the Magnificat Institute, Fr. Alberto Pari ofm and Véronique Nebel, the president of the Magnificat Friends Association. At the end of the performance, the Proloco of Gazzada Schianna offered a sweet buffet to all the participants. People stayed to exchange some words with the young artists, and even if sometimes the language was a barrier, the heart made everything very understandable. The warm availability shown by all the team of Villa Cagnola and the President of the Pro Loco, Dr. Angelo Carabelli, also resolved in record time this year’s logistic problem due to a piano piece, performed with 6 hands!

The tour ended on Sunday, September 24 in Lugano with the concert at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, which made available the main hall for the performance. Thanks to the great sensitivity of the director of the conservatory Luca Medici and the important assistance of Gritt and Alessandra, our association managed to organize several concerts with the CSI in Lugano - the wonderful event of last year in the hall of the LAC still comes to mind. The prestigious and qualified audience enjoyed the talents of the performers and, struck by their young age, they noticed the purity and depth in their gaze. Touching comments of appreciation have come from friends and acquaintances who have never visited the Holy Land and who, thanks to the speeches by Luca Medici, Fr. Alberto Pari and the president Véronique Nebel, have realized the importance of the Magnificat Institute in Jerusalem: a high educational offering, in such a delicate and fragile environment, a school of life that has the ambition to teach and promote principles of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect and dialogue beyond the different traditions and religious confessions. A door wide open to a future of hope.

[Véronique Nebel for Associazione Amici del Magnificat]