New film: Renzo Piano builds a … piano

The new Auditorium del Parco in L’Aquila, Italy designed by Renzo Piano, was envisaged as a musical instrument that possessed the piano and forte qualities of the finest concert grand.

So who would get to play it first? The soloist on opening night was a rising young talent, Gloria Campaner, playing works by Rihm, Widmann, Illés and Schumann. Watch.

gloria campaner

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  • In Malta, Piano recently build this monstrosity – an ‘open-air theatre’ in the capital Valletta:

    http://292fc373eb1b8428f75b-7f75e5eb51943043279413a54aaa858a.r38.cf3.rackcdn.com/9d931dedb88cc59ff744670ea51909651209850625-1301050741-4d8c7575-620×348.jpg

    It seems quite obvious that Piano had his hands tied due to political interference and a small budget, but he (or, rather, his atelier) is in a good enough position to refuse phoney projects.

    The government in those days allocated 80 million Euros for 3 projects in the capital, which, apart from the open-air theatre, included new houses of parliament – an ‘in the face, Ceaușescian’ sort of ‘hi, look at us’ type of building placed at the entrance of a walled city.

    This ‘theatre of sorts’ – nicknamed ‘the pumping station’ or ‘the tennis court’
    – replaced the old opera house by E.M.Barry (of Covent Garden fame) which was damaged in WWII :

    http://www.victorianweb.org/art/architecture/barryem/3d.html

    Despite a massive outcry and the fact that Valletta is a World Cultural Heritage Site, the UNESCO chose the silent treatment which leads to the question “what is the real purpose of this organisation?”.

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