Florence, Italy: For the Love of Strings
Stunning interior of Santo Stefano al Ponte
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Plato said it best:
"Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything."
You will find this great quote on Vera Stefanovic's website.
Vera was born in Belgrade and moved to Chicago at the age of two. By age seven she was already taking violin lessons and she progressed rapidly into an active performer. She has traveled all over Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa participating in international music festivals, competitions, master classes, teaching, and several major concert halls around the world.
Florence, Italy is the place where she calls home, and where she works as a musician and private instructor.
I was impressed by Vera's skill and talent when I first heard her playing the violin at the 2016 opening of the Medici Dynasty Show.
She is the founder of Veramusica, which is "an organization of top tier musicians that provides music of all genres and styles to the community."
According to their website, Veramusica is dedicated to teaching people of all ages and levels, from beginner to advanced. Their goal is to promote "positive social change, inspiring progressive creative development, and bringing people together from all walks of life who have the power to communicate through this universal language."
Vera and I remained in touch, and a couple of months later she invited me to one of the concerts of the Toscana Classica concert series. Santo Stefano church provided a lovely, historical backdrop to this vibrant and moving performance.
Originally constructed between the 11th and 12th centuries, this Romanesque church underwent many "face lifts" throughout the years and boasts a classic Renaissance interior. In the 17th century it was renovated to accommodate three aisles.
Edoardo Vella is the brilliant composer who created one of the modern pieces in the concerto. Brimming with dark elegance, I found his music both unique and compelling.
If you come to visit Florence, I highly recommend that you take advantage of this worthwhile cultural opportunity. As always, thank you for reading.
C. De Melo
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