The court of St Petersburg was, for a long time, forge and crucible of the most disparate trends of eighteenth-century European and pan-Russian music.
Of Cossack origin and birth, Ivan Khandoshkin (1747-1804) trained with Italian musicians active in St Petersburg – including Tito Porta, Domenico dall’Oglio and Pietro Peri – transforming Ukrainian and Cossack folk melodies into stunning sonatas and variations of the Italian gallant style.
Khandoshkin’s immediate predecessors at the Russian court had been the Venetian Luigi Madonis (ca. 1690-ca. 1770) and the Neapolitan Francesco Araia (1709-1762/70). The former wrote twelve sonatas for violin and bass, printed in St Petersburg in 1738 and dedicated to Tsarina Anna I, the rapid tempos of which are often based on popular Russian and Ukrainian folk dances or melodies. The latter not only introduced Italian opera to Russia, but also composed the first Russian-language opera in history, Cephalus and Procris, on a libretto by Aleksandr Petrovič Sumarokov.
Between 31 May and 4 June 2021, an Early Music Seminar of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, in collaboration with the Foundations Concordance, Irma Merk and L. + Th. La Roche, will be dedicated to the works of Khandoshkin, Madonis and Araia, and will reflect on the phenomena of stylistic migration and hybridization (and registers belonging to different social strata) of these musicians of the Age of Enlightenment.
The main teacher will be the Russian violinist and conductor Andrey Reshetin, the greatest expert of the proposed repertoires. Applications for participation must be submitted by 7 March 2021.