The Italian Cultural Institute (Istituto Italiano de Cultura, IIC) in San Francisco was founded in 1978 as an official branch of the Italian government, dedicated to the promotion of the Italian language and culture in the United States through the organization of cultural events. About a year ago IIC moved from its historic red-brick building on Montgomery Street near Jackson Square to the more central location of the Civic Center. It now occupies Suite F of the Opera Plaza complex at 601 Van Ness Avenue between Golden Gate Avenue and Turk Street.
Next month one of the cultural events it has organized will be a free piano recital by Luciano Bellini, who is a composer and conductor as well as pianist. His program will include selections from his Mediterrando album, based on a volume of short pieces he composed for young piano students. His program will also include works by composers better known for their operas, including Giuseppe Verdi (a “song without words” and a waltz), Ruggero Leoncavallo (a canzonetta), and Giacomo Puccini (a short waltz). He will also play “Un rêve” (a dream) from the eighth volume of Gioachino Rossini’s Péchés de vieillesse (sins of old age). Other Italian composers will be included in the form of two one-movement sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, K. 380 in E major and K. 64 in D minor, a nocturne by Ottorino Respighi, “All’Italia!,” the second of Ferruccio Busoni’s six elegies, two ricercars by Alfred Casella based on the letters of the name “Bach,” and three encores composed by Luciano Berio. Finally, the program will present one non-Italian composer with the Opus 1 piano sonata by Alban Berg.
IIC organized this concert in collaboration with the Leonardo da Vinci Society. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 13, and is expected to last for two hours. Again, IIC is located in the Civic Center at 601 Van Ness Avenue. Admission is free, but registration is required to assure having a place. IIC has created a registration page specific for this event. Anyone who registers may also add the names of a maximum of four guests. Those wishing further information may call IIC at 415-788-7142.