Divertimento Ensemble

The Ensemble

The Divertimento Ensemble was founded in 1977 by a number of internationally-renowned soloists, conducted by Sandro Gorli. The Ensemble quickly attained considerable success both in Italy and abroad, with over 1000 concerts and 17 CDs to its credit to date.

Over 100 composers have dedicated new compositions to the Ensemble: these, and many others, have helped consolidate one of the most representative repertoires of new music, both Italian and international.
In 1978 it was included in the prestigious programmes of Milan’s Società del Quartetto and the same city’s Festival, Musica nel Nostro Tempo. In 1981 it made its debut at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, with the opera Il Sosia by Flavio Testi and a concert dedicated entirely to music by Aldo Clementi. It featured in the Teatro alla Scala programme again, in 1996, 1997 and 1998, with a concert dedicated to Frank Zappa.

The Ensemble has taken part in the most important contemporary music festivals in Europe; it was invited by the Venice Biennale (thirteen times from 1979 to 2016) and it has held concerts in France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, Poland, Latvia, Finland, Hungary, Mexico, Argentina, United States, Japan and Russia, as well as the most important cities of Italy.

Its recordings include: the opera Solo by S. Gorli (CD by Ricordi), three CDs dedicated to B. Maderna: Satyricon (Salabert-Harmonia Mundi), Don Perlimplin (Stradivarius), Venetian Journal, Juilliard Serenade, Vier Briefe, Konzert fur Oboe und Kammerensemble (Stradivarius), an anthology of music by young Italian composers (Fonit Cetra) and ten CDs featuring the work of G. Castagnoli, A. Solbiati, F. Donatoni, M. Franceschini, S. Gervasoni, F. Gardella, M. Momi, S. Bulfon, D. Ghisi and G. Bertelli respectively (Stradivarius).

For a number of years, as well as to its concert performances, the Ensemble has been strongly committed to areas of musical education and promotion of young people’s creativity: commissioning young composers with new pieces; taking an active part in the Orchestra Conducting Courses dedicated specifically to music of 20th and 21st centuries (XIV edition in 2018); organising the “Franco Donatoni” International Meeting for Young Composers, which includes an international composition competition, concerts, premieres and round tables (V edition in 2018/19); organising a Composition Competition for students of the Italian Conservatories (VII edition in 2017); realising the Call for Young Performers (instrumental masterclasses in contemporary music, VIII edition in 2018), the International Workshop for Young Composers (IV edition, Bobbio 2018), Giocare la Musica (musical workshop for children, V edition in 2017).

In 2010 Divertimento Ensemble has been awarded the mention to the “grandesignEtico International Award” for its activity in favour of young musicians.

The Ensemble is a member of two European networks co-funded through the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union:

- the Ulysses network (four-year projects: 2012-16 and 2016-20), which brings together 13 renowned institutions involved in the support and promotion of young artists. These institutions - academies, festivals, ensembles - play a fundamental role in the recognizing, accompanying, professionalizing and developing the carriers of young European composers and performers;

- the DYCE project (two-year project: 2018-20), where Divertimento Ensemble is project-leader. Starting with a Call for Scores addressed to the students and alumni of all European Academies and Music Schools, DYCE’s rich cultural activities involve performances and educational paths and engage both music professionals and audiences, bringing long-term results in the European musical and cultural scene.

In 2015 Divertimento Ensemble has won the XXXIV Italian music critics’ Franco Abbiati Prize as “the 2014 best initiative”.

In 2017 Divertimento Ensemble celebrates its 40th anniversary.

On the occasion of the 40th year of activity, the IDEA – International Divertimento Ensemble Academy was born. IDEA groups and coordinates training activities already in place, specifically courses and competitions.

In the same year Divertimento Ensemble also created the Nuove Voci (New Voices) Choir, a non professional choir open to all those who are willing to perform art contemporary music.

Find out more visiting the official website: www.divertimentoensemble.it

Sandro Gorli, Conductor and Artistic Director

Sandro Gorli studied composition with Franco Donatoni, while also studying at the Faculty of Architecture in Milan and taking a diploma in pianoforte.

He carried out research at the Phonology studio at the RAI studios in Milan, and he attended the orchestra conducting courses held by Hans Swarowsky in Vienna. In 1977 he founded – and still conducts – the Divertimento Ensemble, which runs an intense concert programme with the objective of increasing the diffusion of contemporary music.

He was principal conductor of the Elision Ensemble, Melbourne, from 1990 to 1998. With the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, he led the first Italian performance of Philip Glass’ Low Symphony, and, conducting the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano G. Verdi, he has recorded two CDs entirely dedicated to Bruno Maderna.

His compositions, regularly performed on occasion of the most important Italian and international events, include: Me-Ti, for orchestra, a request by Bruno Maderna for the RAI Orchestra, Milan (1975 SIMC prize), Chimera la luce, for vocal sextet, pianoforte, choir and orchestra, whose premier performance was held at the Royan Festival in 1976, conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli, On a Delphic Reed, for oboe and 17 performers (1980 SIMC prize), Il bambino perduto, for orchestra, Quartetto, for strings, Le due Sorgenti, for chamber orchestra, Super flumina, for oboe, viola and orchestra, written for the 1987 Babilonia Festival (1989 City of Trieste prize), and Requiem, for unaccompanied mixed choir, written for La Chapelle Royale conducted by Philippe Herrewege (CD Harmonia Mundi).

The organizations that have commissioned his scores include: RAI, Milan (1973), I Solisti Veneti (1975), the Gulbenkian Foundation (1976), the French Ministry of Culture (1979, 1983, 1984, 1989 and 1993), the Italian Foreign Ministry (1987), Radio France (1981 and 1988), the Orchestra Regionale Toscana (1990), the Ensemble Elision, Melbourne (1990 and 1994), the Geneva Festival (1991), the Atelier du Rhin (1993), the Japanese Theatre Winter festival (1997), Agon (1997), the Archdiocese of Milan (1999), and the Lisbon Symphonic Orchestra (2000), Milano Musica (2003), Ex Novo Ensemble (2009), Accademia Filarmonica Romana (2010).

In 1985 he won the Europa prize for musical theatre with the opera Solo, and his second opera, Le mal de lune, was staged in March 1994 in Colmar and Strasbourg.