In one of the most beautiful 15th-century Renaissance castles in Europe, Domus Artium debuted its first event. The concept is to host a series of prestigious cultural events focused on classical music performed by internationally-acclaimed soloists, transpiring in historical patrician homes belonging to noble families in Rome and its surroundings with the participation of excellent chefs and winemakers. The first appointment was on the 16th of November at Castello Odescalchi hosted by Maria Pace Odescalchi and Barrett Wissman in the town of Bracciano, about 50 kilometers from Rome.
Two guest musicians performed for the night in front of a small audience in one of the halls with richly-frescoed ceilings. Jean-Yves Thibaudet is a pianist who has performed worldwide for over three decades, recorded more than 50 albums and built a reputation as one of the finest of his kind. From the beginning of his career he has delighted in music beyond the standard repertoire, from jazz to opera, including works that he has transcribed himself for the piano. Nina Kotova is an internationally-renowned cellist who is celebrated as one of the most outstanding musicians of her time. She has performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras across the world. A child prodigy, she started studying in playing the cello at the age of 6 at the Moscow Conservatory and graduated from Musikhochschule in Cologne. Her first solo performance with an orchestra was at the age of 11 and has since then performed in Moscow for the Imperial family of Japan and Buckingham Palace in London. Together, they performed musical works by Frescobaldi, Shostakovich, Debussy and Schumann.
The guest chef at the event was Antonio Ziantoni, one of the new young referral icons of creative Italian cuisine. Awarded with a Michelin star in 2021, his restaurant in Rome, Zia, focuses on a kitchen with foundations rooted to the territory and influenced with international flavors. Prior to opening his restaurant, he has travelled extensively from North Africa to China, Australia then France in pursuit of perfecting his ideas of cooking.
A cuisine of excellence needs to be paired with wine of the same distinction. The night’s official wine partner was Marchesi Antinori from Tuscany. It is an Italian wine company that has been committed to the art of winemaking for over six centuries, since 1385. The family’s history in wine has been passed down through 26 generations. It is the 10th oldest family-owned companies in the world and it is also one of the biggest wineries in Italy. One of its most notable innovations is playing a fundamental part in the Super Tuscan revolution in the 1970s.
Barrett Wissman, president and owner of IMG Artists, the global leader in performing arts management, has conceptualized a pioneering event that puts the limelight on the excellence of international arts and the prestige of Italian culture. He has been involved in the annual production of the Tuscan Sun Festival held in Cortona, Italy as well as the Singapore Sun Festival and Napa Valley Festival del Sole.
“The challenge, at a time of revival of the arts and a new conviviality, is also to return to live performances and live experiences by bringing people together in contexts that are very iconic for their beauty and emotions, enhancing the moment of sharing. It is no coincidence that the opening concert will be held in one of the most scenic 15th century halls, while in the next room a beautiful stone fireplace will remain lit for the entire evening,” says Barrett Wissman.
All the events of Domus Artium are handled by a team of experts. The food and wine curator is Andrea Petrini, a distinguished food journalist known for his creation Gelinaz!, a series of worldwide pop up events of prominent chefs where food is at play and Cook it Raw. He was also crowned as the “God of Food” by Time Magazine in their annual Time Food Special Issue. Together with the partnering orchestra, Archi di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Luigi Piovano (principal cellist of the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia), Domus Artium unites musicians with artists, dancers, chefs, and curators. The centuries-old tradition of noble families who have always hosted cultural appointments of art and convivial moments will be recreated at the events.
The second appointment will be on 15 January 2022 at Castello Ruspoli of Vignanello, a medieval castle with one of the most important and exclusive Renaissance gardens and a parterre of rare beauty. The artists and the public will be welcomed personally by Claudia Ruspoli. On stage, much-acclaimed violinist Hilary Hahn, who was also a prodigy, and pianist Andreas Haefliger will play together for a program of Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano.
The third appointment is on 5 February 2022 at Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome hosted by Jonathan Doria Pamphilj with Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, who has established himself as one of the most charismatic and versatile singers performing today. The program will be a rare recital of his favorite arias.
Fourthly, on 22 March 2022, Flavio Chigi will open the doors of his family’s almost secret Villa Chigi Sacchetti in the Pineta of Castel Fusano. It is a 17th-century jewel in a beautiful rare landscape a few kilometers from Rome. Spanish classical guitarist Angel Romero will be playing onstage Romero. As a child, he has made professional appearances from the age of six and from then on continued to play as a soloist with orchestras all over the world.
This schedule is also destined to grow with more dates to be proposed. All the events will be open to the public, giving the window of opportunity to admire the magnificence of artistic and historical spaces that are not always accessible. In compliance with anti Covid regulations, only registered guests with GREEN PASS are allowed to enter.