THE ICAMus EXPERIENCE
In its numerous years of activity, ICAMus has engaged in a diversity of projects and events. This section provides a Resume of the center outlining the progress of its scope and achievements. Please see also the Directory of ICAMus Events 2003-2010 featured on this Web site, inclusive of detailed Chronology and complete Indices.
The International Center for American Music is a Non-Profit Organization, founded in Florence, Italy by American-music scholar Aloma Bardi in 2003, after the incorporation of the Organization in the United States (Ann Arbor, MI) in 2002. Aloma Bardi has produced publications on Ives, the Gershwins and other American music topics, and taught “History of music in the United States of America” at the University of Florence in the years 2007-2001.
ICAMus is led by an international Board of Directors and an Advisory Board of specialists. Among the Directors: Evan Rothstein, Deputy Head of Strings at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, and Ives scholar; Dorothea Gail, executive editor of “MUSA - Music of the United States of America”; Roberta Prada, president of Vocal Images, Inc., and Vox Mentor, LLC. Among the Advisors, H. Wiley Hitchcock (1923-2007), Barbara Heyman, Richard Crawford, Gianfranco Vinay. Aloma Bardi has directed the Center since its foundation; she serves as President, projects coordinator, and editor of the Web site.
The Center has an experience of numerous productions over the years. Among the concerts:
• Events devoted to Charles E. Ives with pianist Gregorio Nardi: world première of the critical edition of the Songs, with projected texts, images, and light design (2003); performance of unpublished mss. of the Concord Sonata and its first version, 1920 (4 concerts, 2004).
• Recitals of American Songs: Emily Dickinson Songs, a rare selection of composers—some of them never before performed in Europe (Copland, Arthur Farwell, Ernst Bacon, Leo Smit, Lee Hoiby, Lori Laitman; 2004); Walt Whitman Songs, with première of Blitzstein’s Nine Walt Whitman Songs and the cantata a word out of the sea (2006).
• Première of the complete George Gershwin Song-Book of 1932, according to the entire printed version of 1932 (piano & voices) and with integration of the composer’s unpublished recorded sources (4 concerts, 2005).
The Organization is expanding its educational scope, and has carried out affiliations with universities and schools. In 2006, a course of “History of music in the United States of America”—a very rare subject at a European university—was established at the University of Florence; it continued until 2011.
Among the performances with schools, presenting novelty in repertoire and premières: Scuola di Musica di Fiesole (Gershwin, Song-Book, 2005, and Songs in new orchestrations, 2010-11; Marc Blitzstein Whitman settings, 2006; Gottschalk Songs for voice and piano, and Foster Songs arranged with guitar accompaniment, 2008), Scuola Comunale di Musica “Giuseppe Verdi” di Prato (historically informed program of Foster Songs; 2 concerts, 2011) and The University of Michigan School of Music (Gershwin Song-Book, 2005).
Other activities include conferences, radio programs, publications. Landmarks in conferences have been a conference on Gershwin and Porgy and Bess (2005), the seminar La musica americana e le sue Storie (2006) and the doctoral seminar Com’era nuovo il Nuovo Mondo (2010). Series of radio programs have been produced on Ives, Gershwin, American Art Song, and the American sources of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West.
The Organization has collaborated with numerous institutions, such as Syracuse University and New York University in Florence, École Normale Supérieure and Paris 8, and the United States Consulate in Florence. The Center has offered events at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, Teatro Metastasio in Prato, Salle des Actes, ENS, in Paris, as well as in churches and concert halls.
In the years 2008-2012 several initiatives have taken place with Barbara Boganini on the American inspiration and original sources of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West, with discovery and publication of previously unpublished holograph manuscripts of correspondence by the composer.
The ongoing ICAMus research on Earlier American Music (composed before the Civil War 1861-1865) focuses on the continuity and consistency of American musical traditions.