The Franco Buitoni Award was conceived by BBT founder Ilaria Borletti Buitoni as a tribute to her late husband Franco (1934-2016), co-founder of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. The Award of £25,000 is given every other year and recognises Italian musicians who promote and encourage chamber music at home and throughout the world.
Ilaria, and some of Franco’s friends including Mitsuko Uchida, Jonathan Biss and Andrew Starling, reflect on his lifetime of loving chamber music and the bonds he formed with so many musicians, both in his role as Chair of Amici della Musica di Perugia for over three decades and and through forming the Trust. His legacy continues with this special award in his name.
BBT has chosen young Italian pianist Filippo Gorini as the recipient of its biennial Franco Buitoni Award (£25,000) in recognition of his Sonata for 7 Cities project which will be launched in 2025. The Award will be officially presented by Ilaria Borletti Buitoni at a special concert in association with Società del Quartetto in Milan on 22 June.
For some time, Gorini has been seeking a more meaningful and fulfilling way to share his music-making with audiences and communities. Over the course of a year (2025-26) he will spend a month in each of seven far-flung cities around the world as well as his home country. Each residency will have at its core a significant recital and concerto performance with the city’s symphony orchestra at the beginning and end of the period, while the rest of his time will be devoted to creative local partnerships with free educational, mentoring and philanthropic activity as well as performances in more unusual venues beyond the city centre for audiences who are not regular concert-goers for a variety of reasons.
Gorini says of this deliberate slowing down:
The idea is simple: instead of constantly travelling from one concert venue to another, I want to focus on each city for a full month and offer as much as I can to the local community in that time, with the aim of leaving a deeper impression than would be possible with a single performance. I hope to build ongoing relationships and create a new way of developing my career for the long term future in this way with many more cities around the world.
Discussions are already well underway on the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America, with confirmed commitments so far in Milan, Vancouver and Vienna. Gorini will also premiere a specially commissioned piano sonata in each city: Federico Gardella, Stefano Gervasoni, Oscar Jockel and Michelle Agnes Magalhaes have pledged their support so far.
Ilaria Borletti Buitoni remarks:
I very much admire Filippo’s very generous commitment to sharing his great musical talent and insight with a much wider community, especially those who are often unable to attend major concerts through lack of such things as money, confidence, education and ability. This is very much in keeping with our BBT Communities initiative launched in 2019 to support charities around the world that help underprivileged people of all ages and backgrounds through music. I wish Filippo every success with this philanthropic initiative, which I am sure, will be a very rewarding experience for him and for everybody involved.
The next Franco Buitoni Award will be given in March 2025