Although L’Aquila isn’t one of the major cities, it boasts quite a respectable scene for classical music. Not unusually does it attract top musicians to perform. Over the two years we’ve been here, this city has seen András Schiff, Angela Hewitt, and Rainer Honeck, just to name a few. I can guess how established musicians would feel a certain affinity toward smaller cities. These places are much less visited, and so the audience is more gracious, and the musicians feel more at ease. Grigory Sokolov’s 2014 performance here ended with 8 encores. Or more, I lost count.
Contributos: Philip [USA]
Tickets are incredibly cheap for students, some starting at 3 euros (I hope the musicians are paid decently). Seats aren’t stratified per usual, and there are no boxes. You won’t get a concert hall like La Scala, but that’s okay. Less the division, it is more cozy, and gives large scale works the intimate setting of chamber music. Most important, the audience is more sensible, and people who go do show great interest and respect silence better than the norm. No dude coughing through the whole andante.
Where to see classical music in L’Aquila?
So, on one of those fine and rare evenings where no obligation awaits you at home, the L’Aquila center is worth the trouble to get to. Here are some major organizers in the city.
Istituzione Sinfonica Abruzzese
Sinfonica Abruzzese is the orchestra for L’Aquila (and the whole Abruzzo?). They’re very competent at what they do, and while the repertoire isn’t the most adventurous, they never disappoint. If you’re a Hayden/Beethoven/Mozart fan, they’ll have something for you. These days they seem to be putting on a series on Spanish guitar music.
The venue is likely to be in the city center, at Ridotto del Teatro Comunale. It’s a small, recently restored theater tucked in the ruins. From Fontana Luminosa, facing south, make a left on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, the main street where the bars are. If you’re taking ARPA from Pizzoli, get off at Questura. With AMA, simply get off at Fontana Luminosa or Questura.
Societa Aquilana Dei Concerti “B. Barattelli”
Baratelli usually snatches the big names and put them in a big auditorium. The location varies, but in case it is some extremely confusing name that doesn’t look right on googlemap, such as Auditorium “Gen. S. Florio” Scuola Guardia di Finanza L’Aquila, it is this.
As the name surmises, the Auditorium is embedded in a complex of Guardia di Finanza. Why are there civilian events inside a military base? Good question.
From Pizzoli you’d need to call a taxi; they’ll know knows this place. From Coppito it’s a 20 minute walk under favorable condition. There might be special AMA bus connection to/from L’Aquila, but they are never well advertised, and the event would need to be fairly big to warrant that. Fair warning: this complex is in the middle of nowhere, so don’t freak out if the driver drops you off of what looks like a prison with militias guarding the entrance.
You can call Baratelli to reserve tickets or visit the office personally to buy/reserve them in advance. Line 6S/D (AMA) in the direction of Terminale drops you at their door. Else, buy it at the event, we never had trouble even for the major ones. Bring student ID.
Conservatorio Alfredo Casella
Like any conservatories in the world, Conservatorio Alfredo Casella gives recitals, concerts, and masterclasses usually free of charge. If you ask nicely, better yet email the director for approval beforehand, they’ll gladly let you use the practice rooms on the weekends. Bring student ID and google translate app.
From Pizzoli, get off at the Cimitero (cemetery) just one stop before Terminale, and walk up the hill toward Carrefour. At the T-junction on the top, make a right. It’s the maroon modernist building here. The same for AMA users, many lines reach Cimitero. In particular, line 3 takes the high route and have a stop on top of the hill by the Carrefour, saving you the climb. You can take line 3 in the direction of Terminale from Coppito on the side of the uni. ~ 25 minutes ride.
These are just a few. I haven’t noticed organizers for ballet and opera, but opera is definitely around. If you are near the center, there are always posters advertising upcoming events. Musical is also an active genre here, though I haven’t investigated much. From time to time there’re Jazz festivals and other musical events. There’s no lack of culture in L’Aquila if you look around, and I hope this post has given you some idea for a nice evening in the hectic semester. Happy listening