Established on 27th May 1845 with the at the time resolution of Sestri Ponente Commune, the "Filarmonica Sestrese" started mainly as a music school with "the praiseworthy aim of taking the youth of Sestri Ponente away from the street and idleness", carrying out its social and cultural function and a half non-stop activity for more than a century and becoming one of the most important association working in culture and social solidarity fields in Genoa.
As long ago as on the 12th December 1847 in Oregina, the band played for the very first time the anthem composed by Mameli. Owing to that performance, the nobleman Faraggiana gave a tricolour flag (not yet a national symbol) as a present, which the Filarmonica Sestrese took as its social flag. On 29th September 1848 the Filarmonica accepted the invitation of Giuseppe Verdi, who was passing through Sestri Ponente, to "donate the country a million of rifles", organizing a huge dancing evening and gathering considerable takings.
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Casimiro Corradi and the Risorgimento
In 1850 the band conduction was entrusted to a very young Casimiro Corradi (he was born in Garessio in 1834) who took his violin diploma and took so much care of the band that it became one of the greatest and most important in Italy. Corradi conducted some operas at "Carlo Felice Theatre" and at some other theatres in Genoa and he wrote several pieces including a "military march" released by G. Ricordi. He also works as a conductor in Paris and under his guide the association achieved praises and won many bands contests. Some Garibaldians, who were about to leave from Quarto to reach Sicily, gave a second tricolour flag as a present to the Filarmonica Sestrese in May 1860. They were very grateful for the concerts played to buy the rifles.
On the 17th March 1872, the band of Sestri Ponente went with Giuseppe Mazzini's corpse as far as the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno. The band also took part in the Memorial first stone placing (which the city of Genoa dedicated to her great Son) on the 5th September 1880 in Piazza Corvetto. On that occasion, Giuseppe Garibaldi sent a signed memorial parchment to the Filarmonica Sestrese. The band attended the memorial unveiling on the 22th June 1882.
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The First 50 Years of Activity
The association social intervention soon came up alongside the cultural activity: the Filarmonica Sestrese organized several concerts to found-raise in favour of charitable institutes, of Sestri Ponente nursery school and of charity companies; on the 23rd March 1881 the principle of mutual aid was introduced in the Articles of the Association.
In 1887, during a warship launch, at Sestri dockyards the band played "Movimento di valzer" composed by Giacomo Puccini, which was later turned into the famous "Bohème's Musetta waltz". After a few months, Puccini was in charge of playing the piece "Avanti! Urania!" written by himself on the occasion of the namesake warship launch.
When Giuseppe Verdi arrived to Genoa in November 1888, the Filarmonica Sestrese welcomed him playing "Il Brindisi dell'Otello" which was played by the band for the very first time. Verdi was very touched and congratulated the conductor Casimiro Corradi and his musicians.
During the Columbus Celebrations in 1892, the Filarmonica Sestrese was awarded with an artistic gonfalon, 500 lira and some gold medals. In 1898 the music club "Lorenzo Corradi" disbanded and its members made a considerable donation to the "Umberto e Margherita" nursery school on the 14th October 1899. To celebrate the first 50 years of the association activity, in 1899 it was printed a pamphlet edited by F.G. Orelli and S.O. Pizzorno, which collected the story of the association from the origins to the end of the 19th century.
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The First Century of Life
The Filarmonica Sestrese, conducted by Carlo Corradi (Casimiro's nephew), won the "International Bands Contest of Milan" in 1906 playing the symphony "La battaglia di Legnano" written by Verdi.
In the following decades the association made several charity, solidarity and co-operation works all over the country. In 1925 the band took part in the celebrations of Vittorio Emanuele III Jubilee playing in front of the Quirinale presidential palace. The band was also invited to several big ship launch ceremonies at Sestri dockyards: Giulio Cesare, Augustus, Rex, Roma, etc.
On the 4th November 1934, the band, invited by the Sailor's Union, unveiled the Sailor Memorial in Brindisi. In 1926 the municipal band was one of Sestri's heritages which the city of Genoa acquired with the unification of Sestri in the "Great Genoa"; sure enough, among the prerogatives which the Commune of Sestri imposed there was the one which allowed the band conductor to be a public employee permanently. It lasted until 1959 when the conductor Giustino Di Marino retired.
In 1945 the association celebrated its 1st century of activity playing a magnificent concert at "Rome Theatre"of Sestri Ponente, conducted by Giustino Di Marino.
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From the 50's to 1990
In honour of Francesco Cilea, on the 2nd July 1950 the band played in Varazze. It was praised by the conductor and received a signed photo.
In 1952 the band, conducted by Armando La Rosa Parodi took part in the 50th death anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi celebrations playing a huge concert in Piazza della Vittoria. To celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Giuseppe Mazzini, the band played a concert at Tursi Palace on the 12th June 1955. The band always attended several famous and big ships launches at Sestri: Andrea Doria, Cristoforo Colombo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and others.
In December 1997 the Filarmonica Sestrese cultural bulletin "Musica in Piazza" was founded. At Christmas in 1978 the band played at "Verdi Theatre" to commemorate Franz Schubert. In the same year on the 7th February the band played an unforgettable concert conducted by Giuseppe Ratto in honour of Giuseppe Verdi.
The band played in front of the Quirinale Presidential Palace on the 21th February 1984 and a band's delegation was welcomed by the Italian President of the Republic at the Cuirassiers Hall.
The band played four times in the presence of Pope John Paul II. The first time on the 22th February 1984 inside St. Peter's Basilica. The second time the band greeted the Pope at the Old Harbour during his pastoral tour on the 21st September 1985, the third time on the 14th October 1990 on the occasion of San Giorgio Palace's salute to the city of Genoa and, finally on the 20th November 2003 in Saint Peter's Square, during Saint Cecilia's celebrations.
In July 1985 the youth branch of Filarmonica Sestrese, conducted by Gianluca Silvano took part in the "World Music Bands" called by ONU in Geneva, placing 6th. On the occasion of the 140th year of establishment, in the same year the book "Storia della Filarmonica Sestrese" written by the historian Tito Tuvo was printed. In December 1986 The Filarmonica Sestrese took part at "Concorso di Cori Polifonici Giovanili" called by UNICEF in Madrid, placing 2nd. In Spain, the band attended the "Valencia Certamen Internacional" contest in 1989 and in 2002.
Among the several cultural initiatives, in 1990 the association founded the 1st "Woodwind and brass and percussion Festival" of Genoa. Several music bands coming from all over the country has attended the 15 editions which have been carried out until now.
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The Last Decade of the 20th Century
In January 1992 the band, conducted by Gianluca Silvano, got the "International woodwind and brass orchestras contest" 1st prize, called by " Music National Society of Brno" (Czech Republic).
In 1992 the band took part in "Ulysses and the white whale" (a drama written and performed by Vittorio Gassman, music by Nicola Piovani), making the opening of Genoa's Old Harbour in Piazza delle Feste.
From the 8th to the 23th October 1992, the band flew to USA and took part in the 500th Anniversary of Columbus' Discovery of America celebrations called by the Italo-American Association "Knights of Columbus", playing several concerts in Florida, at Disney World and in Washington.
In 1994 the Filarmonica Sestrese was given credit as a "cultural heritage to be safeguarded" from the district of Liguria and registered in the District registry (L.R. 13/94). On the 8th December 1995 the band was welcomed at Quirinale Presidential Palace by the Italian President of the Republic Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, who granted his high Patronage to the celebration of the 150th establishment anniversary. During the ceremony, the band played a concert at "Studio della Loggia" conducted by Cesare Marchini.
The band took part in the "Celebration of the European Cooperation" several times in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2004 and in "Bad Orb" 2006 called by the German Federal Republic Chancellery.
In 1996 the Filarmonica Sestrese founded and organized the "City of Genoa Bands Festival", with a yearly recurrence, featuring bands coming from several Italian regions and from Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Moldavia, Portugal, Czech Republic, Russia, Scotland, USA, Switzerland and Hungary.
The band made the opening of "Gustavo Modena Theatre" in Sampierdarena in 1997, playing the show "Snaporaz" with pieces composed by Nino Rota. It also worked on setting up some plays with "Teatro della Tosse" in Turin and in Genoa in 1999 and 2000; among them, "Pantagruele" must be mentioned which was staged in Maj 2000 at the liberty gymnasium in Piazza Tommaseo, Genoa.
The association made its first audio experience in 1998 recording a 12 pieces CD with tracks from opera, classical music to jazz and soundtracks.
Thanks to the care of the District of Liguria and "Cassa di Risparmio di Genova e Imperia Foundation", in March 1999 the association opened its HISTORICAL MUSEUM which collects several and precious historical testimonies: papers signed by Garibaldi, Mascagni, Cilea, Morricone, Piovani and other important musicians; original scores, band music instruments, photos-era and the several prizes won during the 160 years of activity. The museum is open to the public and it's constantly toured by students and citizens.
On the 9th July 1999 the Major of Genoa gave a GOLD MEDAL to the Filarmonica Sestrese expressing gratitude for its lengthy and continued cultural activity carried out for more than a century and a half.
The band was invited to the "FON TRADE and ZENIT ‘99" contest in August 1999 - an European Young Musicians meeting, called by the Department of Culture and Magyar Music society of Békéscsaba (Hungary), winning the 5th prize.
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From 2000 to 2004
During 2000, the Jubilee year, the association celebrated its 155th year of establishment under the high patronage of the Italian President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and organized several concerts at "Teatro della Corte", "Teatro Modena" of Genoa and at Palazzo Reale. The band played the mass written by Monsignor Marco Frisina and a jubilian concert at "N.S. Assunta Basilica" in Sestri.
Among the other received acknowledgements, on the 21st Ocotber 2000 the association was given the "Lanterna d'argento" prize by the Centro Sportivo Educativo Nazionale (C.O.N.I.), for the continued activity in favour of the youth admission in the world of music.
On the 1st April 2001 the band greeted the arrival of the world regatta "The Race" at Marseille and on the 7th May played a concert at "Carlo Felice Theatre of Genoa", conducted by Cesare Marchini, Massimo Rapetti and Matteo Bariani, to commemorate the 100th death anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi. The concert was recorded and released as a CD entitled "Concerto Verdiano". The Filarmonica Sestrese celebrated again Giuseppe Verdi organizing the "Verdi International Festival" which took place at "Teatro delle Feste" at the Old harbour in Genoa on the 23th June 2001; on that occasion the CD "Millenium Filarmonica" was unveiled and the band ended the Verdian celebrations playing a concert at "N.S. Assunta Basilica".
Carrying out its over a hundred years old charity work, the Filarmonica Sestrese played concerts for the kids all over the world, organized by UNICEF in 1980, 1986, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. The band took part in the "Bande in concerto" exhibition at "Carlo Felice Theatre" of Genoa on the 22nd March 2002 and on the 27th January 2005; the band was also invited to the Independence Day celebrations at Palazzo Tursi on the 5th July 2002 in the presence of the U.S.A consul general and to the 1st "International Bands Festival of Frankfurt/Oder". The band also played in Slubice (Poland).
The orchestra played two more concerts at "Carlo Felice Theatre" of Genoa, to celebrate his 159th establishment anniversary and the 160th in 2004 and 2005.
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The Filarmonica Sestrese Nowadays
In 2004 the Italian President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi gave a "Silver shield" as a present to the association as sponsorship to the INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL which took place in Genoa and other places in Liguria from the 8th to 11th July 8, with the involvement of 34 bands coming from all over Europe. The Filarmonica Sestrese took part in the 175th anniversary of Belgium on 10th and 11th September 2005 playing concerts and marching parades in Brussels and Gaunt.
On the 24th and 25th September 2005, it was organized the "15th Woodwind and brass and percussion bands Festival", which included the "International Music Festival", the "10th City of Genoa Bands Festival" and the "3rd Woodwind and brass and percussion orchestra's young conductors". The festival took place in the "Palace of Doges" main courtyard.
The association set up an exhibition in Pessagno Palace, Sestri Ponente, from the 19th to 26th November 2005 to celebrate its 160th year of establishment and its first conductor, Casimiro Corradi, on his death centenary. With the decisive aid of "Carige Foundation", in 2005 the Filarmonica Sestrese founded the "A new site for music and charity work" enterprise.
On the 6th July 2006 the band played a gala concert at "Teatro della Corte" in Genoa on the occasion of the 60th Republic anniversary and the 5th centenary of Columbus and also played at the "International Music Festival Young Musicians Meeting" opening ( the festival took was from the 13th to the 16th July). The band took part in "Back to the future show" on the 18th June in Cornigliano and on the 23th June played at "Palace of Doges" for the Rotare clubs of Genoa and Tigullio in favour of Gigi Ghirotti's association. In July the association organized the "International Music Festival-Meeting of Young Musicians" with the involvement of more than 25 bands coming from Italy and all over Europe on the occasion of the 5th Columbus centenary Centenario and the 60th of UNICEF. On the 11th October the association made the re-opening of "Verdi Theatre" after it has been closed down for ten years, playing a big concert in the presence of some District and Commune delegates.
On the occasion of the 80th year of Great Genoa, the association organized the Bands Concerts at Palace of Doges on the 14th October with Assomusica and the Culture Councillorship of Genoa while at Christmas 2006 the band ended the celebrations of its 160th year of establishment playing a magnificent concert at "Verdi Theatre", Sestri Ponente.
The association organized in May 2007 the 3° "G. Ratto National Music Contest" at "Verdi Theatre" and the " Cultural Charity Work Youth Metting".
On the 26th May, during the celebrations of the 162th year of establishment, the band played at "Verdi Theatre". The soirèe was dedicated to the memory of Lele Luzzati.
In July, when the "Tall Ships" arrived at our harbour, the association organized the 12th "City of Genoa Bands Festival" with the involvement of some Italian, Ligurian and foreign bands.
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