Founded in Catania in 1973, the Associazione Musicale Etnea (AME) belongs to a group of concert promoters that are considered historical in Italy. The artistic director, from 1974, was Salvatore Enrico Failla, followed by the composer Emanuele Casale from 2002 to 2020, and today the AME operates under an Artistic Committee formed by Biagio Guerrera, Nello Nicotra, Luca Recupero and Diego Vespa.
With regular finanancial support from the MIC, the AME is recognized by the Region of Sicily as “an Association of regional interest” and collaborates with important national and international institutions such as the Goethe Institut and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Embassy of France, the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, the Polish Institute in Rome, the Egyptian Academy of Arts, etc.
In its 48th consecutive concert season, the AME has presented over 1500 performances, from early music to contemporary musical languages, from world music to computer music, as well as contemporary dance and art rock. We give great consideration to alternative and under-represented repertoires.
Additionally, we continue to share and promote musical experiences with younger generations through dedicated concert seasons and courses designed and offered in collaboration with a number of educational organizations, from schools to universities.
As early as its second year, the AME started organizing a series of educational concerts – to date numbering about 500 matinées in all – conceived specifically for primary school students as an effective educational support.
More recently we have started offering activities to promote creativity in younger generations through workshops and artist residencies. This is how Jacarànda, Piccola Orchestra giovanile dell’Etna (The small youth orchestra of Etna), came about. Jacarànda is about to record its first album that has also been shaped by a creative writing workshop held at a juvenile detention centre in Acireale.
The AME has expanded its activities to sectors dealing with special needs – children’s hospitals and juvenile detention centres – offering its support in contexts where there is a risk of social exclusion.
The AME adheres to Polo Catanese di Educazione interculturale (the intercultural education group in Catania), consisting of a network of schools and associations set up within the Fontanarossa Secondary School, with activity centres in the peripheral district of Librino in Catania.
In January 2020 in Librino, the AME inaugurated the Centre for Arts in the facilities of the Nuova Masseria Moncada c/o l’IC Fontanarossa.
The Cente for Arts was established under the “Scuole aperte partecipate in rete” (open schools network) project, presented for the “Un Passo Avanti” (A step forward) tender following the recently approved bid by the social enterprise “Con I Bambini”(With the kids). The aim of the project is to activate/reinforce an independent, responsible support network capable of contrasting juvenile educational poverty in the district of Librino.
Since 2015 the AME organizes the Marranzano World Fest, its 14th edition being in 2023. The Fest is the most concrete example of our coherent and unfaltering quest to rediscover and preserve the patrimony of Sicilian traditional music, enhanced innovatively by an intercultural approach, and accompanying concerts with workshops and scientific talks.
Over the years, the average number of performances by the AME has risen from 10 in the early seasons to about 50 in the most recent.
Performers include artists of undisputed stature, internationally renowned orchestras, soloists and ensembles revered as among the best in the world; here we mention some of them:
Composers: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Franco Donatoni, Luciano Berio, Sylvano Bussotti, Aldo Clementi, Francesco Pennisi, Ennio Morricone, Steve Reich, Terry Riley.
Pianisti: Grigory Sokoloff, Nikita Magalof, Antonio Ballista, Bruno Canino, Maria Tipo, Louis Lortie, Krystian Zimerman, Ivo Pogorelich, Andrei Gavrilov, Joaquin Achucarro, András Schiff, Barry Douglas, Alexander Lonquich, Pascal Rogé, Boris Petrushansky, Gerhard Oppitz, Olli Mustonen, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Duo Labèque, Duo Pekinel.
Violinists: Salvatore Accardo, Pavel Kogan, Vladimir Spivakov, Pierre Amoyal, Augustin Dumay, Kyung Wha Chung, Viktoria Mullova, Vera Beths, Saschko Gavrilov, Enrico Onofri.
Cellists: Rocco Filippini, Natalia Gutman, Mario Brunello, Anner Bylsma, Rohan de Saram, Paul Tortelier, Mischa Maisky, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Giovanni Sollima.
Guitarists: Julian Bream, Oscar Ghiglia, Narciso Yepes, Pepe Romero.
Singers: Cathy Berberian, Gisela May, Maria Carta, Moni Ovadia, Vera Oelschlegel, Martha Senn, Edda Moser, Victoria Schneider, Luisa Castellani, Dagmar Krause, Fatima Miranda.
Orchestras and Directors: Orchestra Sinfonica del Gewandhaus di Lipsia diretta da Kurt Masur, Orchestra del Settecento di Amsterdam e Orchestra della Radio Olandese dirette da Frans Brüggen, Orchestra Sinfonica di Berlino diretta da Günther Herbig, Orchestra da Camera di Praga, Orchestra della Radio di Mosca, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Orchestra Regionale Toscana diretta da Luciano Berio, Orchestra da Camera Italiana diretta da Salvatore Accardo.
Chamber complexes: Quartetto Italiano, Arditti String Quartet, Jacques Loussier Trio, Kronos Quartet, Balanescu Quartet, Divertimento Ensemble, Bang On A Can, Alter Ego, Brodsky Quartet, Keller Quartet, Beaux Arts Trio.
Contemporary dance companies: Teatro Danza La Fenice di Carolyn Carlson, Momix, I.S.O., Philobolus, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, The Parsons Dance
Company, Compagnie Philippe Genty, Ballet Theatre Ensemble di Micha van Hoecke, Desrosiers Dance Theatre, Movers, The Doug Elkins Dance Company, Monte/Brown Dance, Compagnie de Dance Blanca Li, Compagnia Zappalà Danza.
Ethnic and World music groups: Los Indianos Tonagual, American Indian Dance Theatre, Suryo Kencono – Danze di Corte di Yogyakarta, Troupe Nazionale di Danza della Thailandia, Kerala Kathakali Sangam – Classical Theatre India, Peking Opera, Ondekoza – Japanese Demon Drummers, Tangueros, I Musicisti del Nilo, Radio Tarifa, Barrio Chino, Shaala Aalam Ensemble, Etta Scollo, Amélia Muge Ensemble, I Tamburi della Corea, Fratelli Mancuso, Fatoumata Diawara, Alfio Antico, Sainkho Namtchylak, Divana Rajasthan, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, Wang Li, Oumou Sangare.
Choirs and Vocal groups: Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Ensemble Organum, Coro “Lege Artis” di San Pietroburgo, Tenores de Bitti, Actores Alidos, Tempvs Fvgit, Teatr Zar, Orlando Consort.