On 4–5 July 2019, the European Foundation for Support of Culture, Italy’s Più che suono association and the Cassano Magnago city council (the province of Varese, Lombardy) held the Villa Olivia National Piano Competition at the best music venues.
Lombardy is located in the northwest of Italy. It is one of the country’s best-developed regions and the most populous one on the Apennine Peninsula, with Milan as its capital.
The region’s name comes from the word “Longobardia” going back to the times when the area was held by the Lombards. Lombardy has a rich history. These lands were populated by ancient Romans, barbarians, Visigoths and Lombards, and were conquered by Charlemagne, King of the Franks. The 13th century saw the emergence of signorias, i.e., city states ruled by a lord, or signor. For instance, Mantua was ruled by the Gonzaga family, and Milan was ruled first by the Viscontis and then by the Sforzas. In the late 14th century, the Duchy of Milan emerged. The 15th century brought with it new conquerors. The Venetian army was advancing from the east, the French from the west; the Spaniards ruled for a long time. In 1706, the Duchy of Milan came under Austrian rule, later to be joined by the Duchy of Mantua, while the Venetians seized the east of Lombardy, including Bergamo, Crema, Brescia and Salo.
Sabrina Dente, artistic director of Più che Sound culture and music association, winner of many international piano competition, Professor of the Conservatoire “Puccini” Gallarate (Italy), was the competition’s artistic director. The jury included Italy’s leading professors, such as Carlo Balzaretti, Director of the G. Verdi Como Conservatory and Kalaidos University of Music of Milan, Ministerial Councilor and National Assessment Expert for the Afam/Anvur Italian Conservatories; Renata Benvegnu, Visiting Piano Professor at Padua Conservatoire, Adria Conservatoire, and Trinity School in London, Artistic Director of the Saccisica Youth Orchestra; Maria Claudia Biancofiore, winner of many international competitions; Luigi Giachino, Professor at the “Puccini” Gallarate Conservatoire; famous pianist Maurizio Marinelli, and Giuliano Mazzoccante, Professor at the G.Braga Teramo Conservatoire (Italy).
The three winners of the Villa Olivia National Piano Competition were awarded free participation in the “In Musica” International Piano Competition in Rome to be held in 2020 as part of the 14 Ways to Malta series.