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ROME, 6 May 2005—The American violinist Robert McDuffie, founder and artistic director of the Rome Chamber Music Festival, has been named the recipient of Rome's Premio Simpatia. Mayor Walter Veltroni will present the award on 30 May at a ceremony in the historic seat of Roman government, the Campidoglio. The 33-year-old Premio Simpatia is awarded to performing artists, authors, ambassadors and sports figures who exemplify a commitment to Italy, and was conceived in recognition "of individuals who enrich and exalt the essential values of life through their work. Past recipients include Directors Federico Fellini and Franco Zeffirelli, Actor Sofia Loren and Nobel Laureate Dario Fo.

Mr. McDuffie and The Rome Chamber Music Festival will be recognized for bringing together leading musicians to perform in the restored Villa Aurelia atop the Gianiculum Hill, and for their commitment to featuring at least one American composer on each of its programmes. The Villa Aurelia is the site where American composer Samuel Barber wrote Adagio for Strings. During the announcement Mayor Veltroni commended Mr. Mc Duffie for "expressing harmony in an  universal language". Robert McDuffie is the first American artist to receive the prize.

Founded in 2002 by Mr. McDuffie and Italian financier Simone Chiarella, the annual two-week Rome Chamber Music Festival consists of three performances each week with two distinct programmes of chamber music and highlights both American muscians and composers. This year, American bluegrass/classical music double bassist and MacArthur Grant recipient, Edgar Meyers, offers his Trio No. 1 and performs with Festival musicians on the first programme (14 - 16 June 2005). In its second week (21 - 23 June 2005), the Festival gives the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize Winner Paul Moravec's Atmosfera a Villa Aurelia. Classical works include Beethoven's Trio in E-flat Maor, Op. 1, No. 1 and Schubert's "Trout" Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 114 D. 667 on the first week's programme and Brahms' String Sextet in B-flat Major, Op. 18 and Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70 on the second.


The Rome Chamber Music Festival at Villa Aurelia Web Site

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