Verdi's Music from Milan's La Scala to Enchant the MIT Campus

N. L. (September 07, 2013)
In the year of the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, the Cameristi della Scala will offer an exclusive program featuring “Fantasie” from Verdi’s operas. The tour will open on October 7th at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), a place not really known for classical music but known for its special relationship with an important Italian multinational oil and gas company: ENI ((National Hydrocarbons Authority). President Barack Obama in a historic visit to the campus, October 23, 2009, went the Eni-MIT Solar Frontiers Research Center and left his signature for MIT students on a piece of equipment in the Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory.

In the year of the celebrations for the 200th  anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, the Cameristi della Scala, the Chamber Orchestra founded in 1982 and formed by musicians from the Orchestra of La Scala and the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra  will offer an exclusive program, absolutely unique in the international music’s world. It contains “Fantasie” from Verdi’s operas, composed in the 19th century by important Italian composers, among them Verdi’s friends and his coworkers. These pieces, gifts and celebrations to the greatness of the composer from Busseto, were lying forgotten and unedited in world libraries. Now found, transcribed and revisited,  they will now be played for the first time in our modern times.

These “Fantasie” from Verdi’s operas, represented a very important way to spread Verdi’s music, in a time where there was no possibility of reproducing music except from a live concert. These are re-elaborated versions, that we could easily call covers, which is a sign of how incredibly popular the original themes to which they refer were. It will be possible to hear and experience the most famous melodies from Verdi with the virtuosity of the orchestra and its soloists. The dates of the tour are:

October 7 – Boston: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kresge Auditorium/ October 8 –Providence: Brown University; October 9 – Washington: Library of Congress,  Coolidge Auditorium; October 10 – New York: Carnegie Hall and October 11 – Miami.

The tour starts at MIT, a place not really known for classical music but known for its special relationship  with an important Italian company: ENI. ENI is a multinational oil and gas company, present in 79 countries, and currently Italy's largest industrial company.

The strategic Eni-MIT partnership agreement was signed in February 2008 in Cambridge (MA) by CEO Paolo Scaroni and MIT President Susan Hockfield (Rafael Reif is now President). The partnership has seen the start of two important research programs worth $5m a year each: the Mitei Founding Member and the Solar Frontier Program. The latter has led to creation of the Eni-MIT Solar Frontiers Center (SFC), opened in May 2010, representing an appreciable, visible acknowledgment of Eni’s commitment to solar research in the USA.  

President Barack Obama in a historic visit to the campus, October 23, 2009, visited the Eni-MIT Solar Frontiers Research Center. During a tour of MIT research labs, President Obama left his signature for MIT students on a piece of equipment in the Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory.

The Eni-MIT partnership enjoys great international prestige  due to the quantity and level of the talent involved, and has contributed to boosting Eni’s reputation in the United States. Eni has also become MIT’s first industrial sponsor. The international network revolving around MIT is also a key factor promoting access to difficult and/or critical information, such as information on China’s economic and energy development, thanks to work with Tshingua University, a center of technological excellence near Beijing which works with MIT.

Eni is a Founding Member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), in which numerous multinational companies participate through specific research programs, including, in the oil&gas sector: BP, Shell, Chevron, Saudi Aramco, Schlumberger and Weatherford. The MITEI program has a fixed quota for governance and embryonic research (Seed Fund). Eni’s projects are oriented toward meeting the needs of the division: study of unconventional fossil fuel resources, environmental sustainability, and fine-tuning of ways of improving the performance of fuels, particularly diesel fuel. 

The Solar Frontiers Center is a real laboratory with the Eni logo on the MIT campus in Cambridge. The  laboratory hosts tests, experiments and research into materials and structures for sustainable use of solar energy. It stands out for the results it has achieved in the field of organic solar cells on paper (paper pv cells), for Renewal of the Eni – MIT partnership Cambridge - 11 February 2013 which it has come up with a productive process, in addition to the new architecture of thermodynamic plants for  satisfying new markets and improving operating conditions.

The principal governance structure in the Eni-MIT partnership is the Joint Steering Committee, with the participation of Eni, MITEI and SFC representatives; the organization plays a role of guidance and control, meeting twice a year to discuss the implementation and evolution of programs and operative and administrative aspects of projects and strategic nodes.  In addition to this committee, MIT figures coordinate the programs in a structure mirroring Eni’s: one for Mitei, the supervisor of which (Dr. Bob Armstrong) coordinates the portfolio of division and corporate projects; one for the Solar Frontiers Center, the scientific directors of which (Dr. Vladimir Bulovic and Dr. Moungi Bawendi) coordinate R&D work and resources/know-how for development of solar energy. Numerous technical meetings have been held for the projects underway, and Eni researchers and experts go to Boston at various times during the year for seminars, project meetings and collaborative work. 

Since the partnership began, it has produced around one hundred scientific publications and 25 patent applications. These figures make the partnership with MIT the most important of Eni’s partnerships in terms of production of original ideas and publications. There has been a particular focus on these aspects right from the start, in view of Eni’s strong vocation for publication, to make the most of the results by patenting them without giving up the opportunity for scientific publication. The system has been proven effective and represents an innovative form of partnership between the academic world and industry, even in MIT’s experience.