The beauty of “A song will save the world”

Organized by: “Feltrinelli editore”, “Istituto Polacco – Roma” and “Fondazione Istituto di Letteratura Musicale Concentrazionaria”

Francesco Lotoro, pianist, composer, conductor, piano teacher at the Niccolò Piccinni Music Conservatory of Bari, founder of the Foundation Institute of Concentrationary Music Literature, will talks about his book with Massimo Bray, Former Minister of Culture of the Italian Republic, general director of the Italian Encyclopedia Institute (Treccani ), professor of publishing history at the Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples and with Marco Di Porto, journalist and writer.

Dostoevskij famouse quote “The Beauty will save the World” gives the title to the book of master Lotoro “A Song will save the World”. For more than thirty years Francesco Lotoro, pianist and composer, has been recovering the music written in the concentration camps and in the places of civil and military captivity between 1933, the year of the opening of the Dachau Lager, and 1953, the year of the death of Stalin and gradual release of the last prisoners of war held in the gulags. With This book tells of his research, which with a tireless work of recovery, study, revision, execution and recording has led to the construction of an archive of eight thousand works of concentrationary music, ten thousand documents of musical production in the fields (microfilms, diaries, notebooks, phonographic recordings, interviews with survivors) and three thousand university publications, essays on concentrationary music and musical treatises produced in the concentration camps.

It is the epic undertaking of building an extraordinary and unique archive in the world. A journey into music and history that reveals a new way of telling the darkest chapters of the twentieth century: investigating the strategies of the creative genius and emotion through which a human event can enter a score and from here go beyond the meshes of its time to access eternity.

“Music produced in captivity,” Lotoro writes, “had thaumaturgical powers, literally reversed the humanitarian coordinates of the sites of imprisonment and deportation, pulverized the ideologies at the basis of the creation of Lager. Maybe it didn’t save your life, but surely this music will save us.