After premiering at Carnegie Hall in 1933, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s second violin concerto, The Prophets, was supposed to have had its first Italian performance in early 1938. However, the Italian premiere of this work, inspired by the composer’s Jewish origins, was cancelled for mysterious reasons. A few months later, the arrival of Italy’s anti-semitic laws made the situation painfully clear and prompted Castelnuovo-Tedesco to seek exile in the United States.
On March 5, 2019 the concerto finally arrived in Florence, in a magnificent performance by Orchestra della Toscana, conducted by Daniele Rustioni and featuring the violinist Francesca Dego as soloist.
Twelve members of the composer’s family, including his four grandchildren, traveled to Florence to attend the concert together with Florentine relatives. An Italian TV segment about the concert is available to watch here.
The Orchestra and the soloist will perform the concerto again during an upcoming tour of Austria: on Monday, March 18 in Linz and on Wednesday, March 20.