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Press release date: March 2021

BBT Communities 2021

Kenya, America, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK are the base camps of charitable organisations on a mission to bring the healing power of music to troubled lives in disadvantaged communities far and wide.  They have been selected by BBT Communities to receive grants of between £20,000 and £40,000 to assist special projects and ongoing endeavours.

They have all have gone the extra mile during the pandemic to continue their work by every possible means and have also adapted their programmes to be flexible in the future.

The beneficiaries are:

Ghetto Classics (pictured, photo Rich Allela) operates in one of the biggest slums in Kenya, bringing fundamental life-skills to young people through the discipline and joy of studying and performing music together; Project 440 in Philadelphia, a city with one of the highest poverty rates in the US, helps young people use their interest in music to forge new pathways for themselves and ignite change in their communities; Sistema Musica Arnesano in southern Italy brings music programmes built on the principles of inclusion, participation and integration to socially and educationally deprived primary school children; Sounds of Change in Amsterdam trains ‘Community Builders’ who use the power of music to transform lives in refugee camps, marginalised communities and areas of conflict and devastation in five countries across the Middle East.

In the UK, Music Action International creates life-changing programmes with survivors of war, torture and persecution to reduce trauma, bring asylum seekers in new communities out of isolation and to train and employ refugees; Musical Keys provides maximum access to music activities for people of all ages with disabilities in and around Norfolk; Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Creative Learning Programme is taking up a five-year residency in another region of  Edinburgh to deliver long term community work to a huge cross-section of residents with diverse languages and cultures; Wigmore Hall Learning’s Music for Life programme engages people living with dementia in creative activity together with their families and carers to strengthen relationships and understanding.

BBT Founder Ilaria Borletti Buitoni commented: “Now, more than ever, it is important to reach out to people who, as well as poverty, trauma and poor health, are experiencing increasing isolation because of the pandemic and global lockdowns.  We need to help these organisations to keep finding even more ways to assist troubled communities that can benefit from the friendship, interaction and inclusion that result from making music together.”

Explore all 2021 BBT Communities here

Press release date: March 2021

Franco Buitoni Award 2021

Italian composer Silvia Colasanti is the latest recipient of the biennial Franco Buitoni Award (£25,000) and has composed a special work, Love Song, dedicated to BBT co-founders, Franco and Ilaria Borletti Buitoni. Written for piano, percussion and string orchestra, it will be premiered by pianist Beatrice Rana (BBT Fellowship 2016) on 9 October 2021 in Perugia when Colasanti  will also be presented with a handmade glass vase specially commissioned from Micheluzzi Glass in Venice, given by Giovanni and Benedetta Buitoni in memory of their uncle.

The Award was created by Ilaria Borletti Buitoni as a tribute to her late husband Franco (1934-2016), and is for Italian musicians who promote and encourage chamber music at home and throughout the world. Franco especially loved chamber music and was for 30 years the chairman of Amici della Musica di Perugia (founded by his mother), the association that will present the premiere of Love Song.

Silvia Colasanti, who has received two of Italy’s highest honours for services to music, comments: “I did not know Franco personally, only through Ilaria and other people dear to him. Love Song is full of powerful and emotive music to express the strong bond between Ilaria and Franco, described to me by so many people.  I am deeply honoured to receive this Award.”

Ilaria Borletti Buitoni remarks:  “I first met Silvia Colasanti in 2016 and I have a very high regard for her talent and commitment as well as her warm personality. She has developed a wonderful career and her work is now commissioned and performed by so many important institutions and leading international musicians.  I am also very pleased that this work will be performed by Beatrice Rana, another Italian musician that I greatly admire.”

Franco Buitoni Award page

Silvia Colasanti website

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