Twenty years after the death of Gianandrea Gavazzeni, which took place on the 5th February 1996, the Rossini Opera Festival remembers him as the very first conductor to step onto the Festival podium at that historic Gazza ladra [Thieving magpie] on the 28th August 1980, inaugurating the first Festival.
There is no doubt that his prestige and authority, but above all his enthusiastic adhesion to our daring Rossini project, conferred a guarantee and some credibility upon Pesaro’s new enterprise, not the least of the reasons for the initiative’s being immediately granted both serious attention and credit.
As everybody knows, Gianandrea Gavazzeni was not only a great conductor, but also a refined intellectual, besides being a composer, writer and controversialist. Here in Pesaro we may recall him also as a fascinating conversationalist, an amiable neighbour at table, knowledgeable about food, a ruthless smoker, an enchanting spinner of anecdotes.
And so we have not forgotten the special debt we owe this great friend, whom we want to remember now with serene and affectionately nostalgic memories.
Gianfranco Mariotti – Sovrintendente Rossini Opera Festival