THE REMARKABLE FOUR SEASONS
A presentation of the genius and artistry of Antonio Vivaldi and a preview – with conversation and videoclips – of “The Remarkable Four Seasons” concert by The National Chamber Ensemble (NCE), with Director Leo Sushansky (scheduled for March 21st and postponed to indefinite date). Art critic, curator and Italian culture expert Renato Miracco presented an introduction to Vivaldi’s masterpiece.
Enjoy the full event on The ICS Youtube channel.
March 28, 2020 Online through Zoom
MAKING TIME IN WESTERN THOUGHT: AN INTRODUCTION TO CALENDAR STUDIES AND LITURGICAL CALCULATIONS
The talk addressed the mathematical / astronomical issues of calculating time (as opposed to merely recording it), as well as the development of particular liturgical pressures in early Christian history which accelerated the work. Special attention was given to the work of the 13th century Genoese archbishop Jacobus de Voragine who composed the Legenda aurea (‘Golden Legend’) and the 16th century Italian scientist Aloysius Lilius who worked out the 1582 calendrical reform known as the Gregorian Calendar.
Sunday January 19 2020 at 3PM at the Italian Cultural Society Headquarters
DAYS OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST “WE HAVE BEEN SEPARATED” WORDS AND MUSIC FROM AUSCHWITZ
The Italian Cultural Society, in collaboration with US-Italy Global Affairs Forum and The Department of Italian of Georgetown University, presents the duo Heartstrings performing words and music from Auschwitz “Ci hanno divisi” (“We have been separated” – In Italian with English surtitles). The theatrical performance is preceded by brief video interviews to DIrector of La Stampa newspaper, Maurizio Molinari and testimonials (Liliana Segre documentary video) presented by journalist Antonella Ciancio.
La Voce Di New York newspaper says… click here
Friday January 17, at 7PM
Georgetown University – Lohrfink Auditorium, Hariri Building West Road, Washington DC 20007
We are honored to have had the opportunity to co-sponsor two magical evenings with Sophia Loren! On November 20th and 21st, the Italian Cultural Society welcomed a large audience to the Montgomery College Performing Arts Center with a glass of Prosecco, to help promote Italian language and culture.
Loren gave an interesting interview about her life and brilliant career. She spoke mainly in English, and at times poked fun at the host by speaking in Italian, generating a laugh among those in the audience who understood her native language. After the interview, we had the pleasure to meet and greet the gracious and warm actress backstage.
November 20th and 21st
Montgomery College, Robert E Parilla Performing Arts Center
DESIGNING FOR LEONARDO: EXHIBITION DESIGN AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART
with Speaker DONNA KIRK, SENIOR ARCHITECT OF THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART
November 17 th at the ICS Headquarters
2019 was a “Year of Leonardo” celebrating the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. The National Gallery offered an exhibition of Verrocchio entitled “Verrocchio: Sculptor and Painter of Renaissance Florence”. It was the first-ever monographic exhibition in the United States on Andrea del Verrocchio (c. 1435–1488), the innovative artist, painter, sculptor, and teacher whose pupils included, in addition to Leonardo, Pietro Perugino and likely Sandro Botticelli as well.
Ms. Kirk showed photos of the appearance of the Leonardo’s Mona Lisa at the National Gallery in one of the few times this masterpiece has ever left the Louvre. She offered insights into the process of designing an exhibition and showed how the design changes in a series of photos of exhibitions ranging from Joan Miro and Mark Rothko to Gauguin and recently Verrochio. She explained that Leonardo may in fact have been the model for the great “David” of Verrocchio and how it was that Leonardo may have helped finish some of Verrocchio’s better known paintings. She finally offered a look at the Verrocchio exhibition.
SONATAS, PRELUDES AND VARIATIONS TROUGH THE CENTURIES BETWEEN ITALY AND BRAZIL
Friday Oct 25, at 6:30PM
The Italian Cultural Society Headquarters
Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) “Two Sonatas in A Major (K. 208, K. 322) Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) “Variations on a Theme by Handel, Op 107” Bruno Battisti D’Amario (1937) “Prelude in A Minor”
Heitor Villa Lobos (1887-1959) “Five Preludes”:
Prelude Nr.1 in E minor: Homenagem ao sertanejo brasileiro (Homage to the Brazilian country dweller)
Prélude Nr.2 in E major: Homenagem ao Malandro Carioca – Melodia Capadócía Melodia Capoeira (Homage to the Rascal of Rio – Melodia Capadócia – Melodia Capoeira)
Prélude Nr.3 in A minor: Homenagem à Bach (Homage to Bach)
Prélude Nr.4 in E minor: Homenagem ao Indio Brasileiro (Homage to the Brazilian Indios)
Prélude n.5: Homenagem à Vida Social – “Aos rapazinhos e mocinhas fresquinhos que frequentam os concertos os teatros no Rio” (Homage to social life: ‘to the fresh-faced young boys and girls who go to concerts and the theatre in Rio’)
ABOUT MAESTRO LUIGI PICARDI
Born in Rome in 1970, Luigi began guitar studies at the age of 15 and earned his diploma ‘summa cum laude’ at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Rome under the tutelage of Maestro Carlo Carfagna. Soon afterwards he enrolled in numerous seminars and master classes in Italy and Spain conducted by internationally famous musicians, winning various national and international competitions. At the end of 1999 he began his collaboration with the staff of Vatican Radio, and is the producer of various Vatican broadcasts.
As a musical assistant he takes part in many musical events for the Holy See at the Paul VI Audience Hall, Castel Gandolfo and Saint Paul’s Basilica.
Over the years he has performed at various concerts both as a soloist and within various camera ensembles.
In 2006 he received a degree ‘magna cum laude’ in Music History from the University “La Sapienza” of Rome.
In 2017, together with M°Felicia Toscano, he founded the Contemporary Guitar Duo.
LANGUAGES OF THE ITALIAN THEATER, FROM VENICE TO NAPLES
Sunday, October 20th from 2:30-5PM at Chevy Chase Village Hall, Chevy Chase, MD
In occasion of the 19th edition of the Week of the Italian Language in the World –La settimana della lingua Italiana nel mondo, 21 – 27 October 2019 The Italian Cultural Society hosted a talk on this year’s theme “L’italiano sul palcoscenico” (Italian and the stage), by Prof. Gianni Cicali, Georgetown University, and, at the same time, in the adjacent room, a workshop for the youngest on the Mimic Method. Children attended this unique experience with Tiziana Risolo, actress and theater teacher, that held the workshop in Italian.
Reception was kindly offered by Mamma Lena – Cannoli siciliani e spiedini di mozzarella e pomodori, pizza for children.
This event was organized with the patronage of The Italian Cultural Institute, Washington DC.
WELCOME BACK! – LEARN HOW TO MAKE A PIZZA RUSTICA WITH SFIZI CAFE
Sunday, September 22nd, at a private home in McLean
From 12:00 to 3:00 pm
FINALMENTE FUORI DALL’OMBRA!
SUNDAY, MARCH 31ST, AT 3 PM at The ICS HEADQUARTERS
This month PARLIAMO in ITALIANO!
In occasione del mese di marzo e della tradizione italiana della Festa della Donna (8 marzo) l’ICS, in collaborazione con con l’associazione Le D.I.V.E. (Donne Italiane che Vivono all’Estero) ha il piacere di invitarvi all’evento: “Finalmente fuori dall’ombra”
Una conversazione sulla donna nella storia italiana da punti di vista diversi. Partecipano la Dott.essa Simonetta Ronco, direttrice della nuova collana Mnemosine e del progetto Donne nell’ombra in collegamento da Genova; la Prof.ssa Rossana Fenu Barbera, studiosa di letteratura italiana e autrice di La donna che cammina. Incanto e mito della seduzione del passo femminile nella letteratura italiana del primo Novecento; e la Dott.ssa Lucia Wolf, bibliotecaria specializzata nelle collezioni italiane alla Library of Congress, curatrice di collezioni dedicate alla donna italiana e autrice di un blog sulla storia delle scrittrici italiane nelle collezioni della Library of Congress.
Alla conversazione seguirà rinfresco con Prosecco, vino, snack salati e dolci.
FRIDAY BOOK PRESENTATION – IN ITALIANO!
Lorenza Pieri in conversazione con Carola Mamberto – Isole Minori – Edizioni e/o 2016
FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019 at ICS Headquarters
“Più che la presentazione del mio libro, in realtà è stata una festa a sorpresa, un’ imboscata al mio cuore” ha commentato la scrittrice, commossa. La nostra giornalista, regista, amica e Board Member, Carola Mamberto, ha infatti regalato a Lorenza un’intervista che includeva un video di testimonianze di colleghi e amici storici della scrittrice, mostrato i fatti di cronaca che aprono e concludono il libro; ci siamo collegati con la sorella Simona (anche quella era una sorpresa)… Una serata emozionante all’ICS, in occasione della presentazione del romanzo “Isole minori” di Lorenza Pieri, scrittrice di grandissimo talento, una persona di un’ironia, di una sensibilità umana e letteraria e di una curiosità intellettuale fuori del comune. Con il suo primo romanzo ha già conquistato il pubblico… E a luglio esce il secondo! “stay tuned”, come si dice qui!
THE GRAND TOUR AND THE BIRTH OF THE MYTH OF ITALY, by Gianni Cicali
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20, 2019
Through the lens of travel and the Grand Tour, we explored the interesting case of touristic dramaturgy that contributed to the birth of the Italian myth in the past centuries. European aristocrats, and intellectuals visited Italy as an essential part for their education. The Grand Tour to Italy also represented a necessary status symbol. By following the words of an English lady of the Grand Tour who witnessed shows, court rituals, and who visited museums and churches, we learned of the dawn of a new phenomenon that saw the light of day in 18th-century and that involved Italian theater: theater for tourism. In the 18th-century a new public and a new way of producing and exporting theatre also led to an increasing migration of Italian theater and opera professionals (including architects and music composers) that exported and disseminated the Italian tradition in Europe. The patterns of representation of Italy travelled to a new form of art, cinema, and represented a bridge between the era of the Grand tour, and 20th- and 21st-century Italian cinema, with movies such as La Dolce Vita that can be defined as a Grand Tour for contemporary times, modern Italy and the jet society of the Sixties.
BOCCACCIO’S WORKS AND INFLUENCE, by Prof. Christina Olson
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2018 at ICS headquarters
Professor Olson provided an introduction to the medieval author, Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), with a focus on his most popular work in the Italian vernacular, the Decameron. The Decameron is composed of one-hundred tales told by a group of young Florentines who have escaped their plague-ridden city. It is a work that is meant to entertain, but also to educate and rebuild a society that has been devastated by the Black Death. Her presentation reviewed the structure, themes, and motifs of Boccaccio’s magnum opus by asking such questions as: What is one’s role as a narrator in society and for society? How do we defend literature? By considering the reception of the Decameron up to the present today, including its history of censorship, we can consider these questions broadly and the value of literature in times of ethical crisis.
Dr. Kristina Olson is an Associate Professor of Italian at George Mason University. She is the author of Courtesy Lost: Dante, Boccaccio and the Literature of History (University of Toronto Press, 2014) and several articles on Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch. Her current book project investigates clothing, gender, and governance in Italy from the late Duecento through the Trecento. She is also the co-editor of Boccaccio 1313-2013 (Longo Editore, 2015), and, together with Chris Kleinhenz, of the second edition of Approaches to Teaching Dante’s Comedy, which is forthcoming with the Modern Language Association. She served as the Vice President for the Dante Society of America from 2016 to 2018 and currently serves as the Vice President of the American Boccaccio Association.
MAGIC MOMENTS IN ITALIAN CINEMA, by Prof. Anna Lawton
SATURDAY, MAY 19TH, 2018 at the ICS Headquarter
To celebrate the Year of Cinema, Anna Lawton will lead us on a visual excursion through three significant moments of Italian cinema which gained international acclaim: the Silent Movies, Neorealism, Masters of the 1960s-1970s. A slide show will illustrate the presentation with captivating stills from the silent “colossals,” Rossellini’s and DeSica’s post-war dramas, the “commedia all’italiana,” “spaghetti westerns,” and the auteur films by Fellini, Visconti, Pasolini, Bertolucci, Bellocchio, and…many others.
Dr. Anna Lawton is a professor of literature and cinema. She taught film studies and visual culture at Georgetown University and served on the Advisory Film Committee of the National Gallery of Art. She published three scholarly books and numerous scholarly essays and articles, as well as two novels. She has received several awards, including the CHOICE Award as Outstanding Academic Title for her book, Imaging Russia 2000: Film and Facts. She is also the founder of the publishing house New Academia Publishing, which she has run successfully for 15 years.
DINNER AND BOOK SIGNING IN A PRIVATE HOME, to benefit our Cesarina Horing Award (Scholarship Program)
THURSDAY, APRIL 26th 2018
We are truly thankful for the generosity of our hosts, Nina Gardner and Francesco Olivieri, for the friendly welcome to our members and the delicious Venetian homemade dinner. The highlight of the evening was Marie Ohanesian Nardin‘s semi-autobiographical novel, based on the story of how an American girl from Los Angeles visits Venice and falls in love with a gondolier and raises a family there. The author presented her book, “Beneath the Lion’s Wings,” in conversation with Nina Luzzatto Gardner, and accompanied by fun videos. Proceeds went towards our scholarship program, in particular to the funding of the Cesarina Horing Awards fund. Our sincere thanks to Marie Ohanesian Nardin and Nina Gardner for making this event possible.
Learn more about the ICS Scholarship visit http://archive.italianculturalsociety.org/get-involved/awards-
“HOW DID A TWELVE- FOOT BRONZE STATUE OF DANTE ALIGHIERI END UP IN WASHINGTON’S MERIDIAN HILL PARK?” By Charles Russell, Emeritus Professor, Department of French and Italian, University of Maryland
SUNDAY MARCH 11th 2018, at the ICS Headquarter
The statue was brought here in 1921 by Carlo Barsotti, founder in New York City of the extremely successful Italian language newspaper Il Progresso Italo-Americano. It was welcomed to the Park by none other than the President of the United States, Warren G. Harding, by ambassadors from many European countries, and by members of our own local Italian Catholic church, Holy Rosary. How the statue, sculpted by Ettore Ximenes, reached this city is a complicated story …
The unveilings were an expression of pride in being Italian and an assertion of national worthiness. In addition, the Washington ceremony played a significant role in the first international peace conference ever held in this city. The unveiling was a stunning success: an apotheosis of Dante, of italianità, and of international friendship. “A love feast,” headlined the Washington Star the following day. Two thousand spectators were on hand to welcome Italy’s world-renowned poet, but since that day Dante has been left pretty much alone in Meridian Hill Park and it would seem perhaps somewhat forgotten.
“A MIDSUMMER NIGHT DREAM: GRAVITATIONAL WAVES AND LIGHT STRIKE COSMIC GOLD, by Eleonora Troja.
Sunday, January 21 2018, at the ICS Headquarters
It is our very good fortune to have Dr. Eleonora Troja, our 2017 ICS Young Scientist awardee, to tell us about her work at our Sunday, January 21st Social meeting. The remarkable observation of gravitational waves by LIGO and VIRGO is at the very edge of important topics in physics, indeed, of our ancient human quest to understand the universe, and is the subject of the Nobel prize in physics awarded this year to Caltech’s Profs. Barish and Thorne, and MIT’s Prof. Weiss. Dr. Troja’s work, using different methods, is related to this quest.
Eleonora Troja, educated in Sicily, is currently an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Maryland, and works primarily at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in the Astrophysics Science Division.
THE TRADITIONS OF PASTA, PASTA-LAB AND TASTING
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22nd 2017, 2:00-4:00 pm at Aperto Restaurant. 2013 I Street, NW. Washington, DC 20006
Pasta making traditions are an important part of the Italian culinary patrimony. In honor of National Italian-American heritage month and National Pasta Month, Basilicata’s Culinary Ambassador, Chef Luigi Diotaiuti will reveal the secrets behind treasured recipes and pasta rituals on the verge of being forgotten. Ristorante Aperto provided “pasta tasting” and a special price on wine by the glass.
Award winning Chef/Restaurateur Luigi Diotaiuti, owner of Washington, DC’s Al Tiramisu and Aperto, is a world -renowned authority on Italian cooking and living. Born, raised, and educated in Basilicata, Italy, Chef Luigi trained at some of the world’s most prestigious locations before opening Washington DC’s “most authentic” Italian restaurant more then twenty-one years ago. His current culinary pursuits and consistent media presence in the United States and Italy enable him to enjoy notability and distinction in both countries. In 2017, he was named “Ambassador of Basilicata’s Cuisine in the World” by The Federation of Italian Cooks. Holding dual citizenship, Chef Luigi is passionate about giving back to both communities which he considers home. He recently founded Basilicata: A Way of Living to maintain the local traditions of the region while creating jobs and tourism. A few years ago, he also founded Pasta Lab, an event which pairs professional chefs with female home cooks to uphold the artisan pasta making traditions of the past. In DC, Chef Luigi teaches the students in the culinary program at DC Central Kitchen to make the same time-honored recipes – creating a culinary bridge between the two cultures.
WINE TASTING by Paul’s Wine & Spirits + Slide show: VINE AND WINE, ONCE UPON A TIME, by Prof. Anna Lawton
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th 2017, 3:00-5:00 pm at Ristorante Positano, 4948 Fairmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
We started off the fall season of Sunday afternoon social meetings with a program on wines of Piemonte, featuring a slide presentation by Anna Lawton. Anna grew up in a castle then owned by her family (Castello di Cortanze) in the countryside near Torino. She spoke about wine and grapevine cultivation in the 1930s in the vineyards surrounding the castle, as illustrated by photographs of the operation taken by her grandfather Achille Bologna, a prominent photographer of that era, who was the editor of Il Corriere Fotografico and books on photography as well as organizer of major exhibitions around the world.
Alberto Panella, Italian Wine Importer, taught and entertained us with a tasting of select Piemontese wines offered by Paul’s Wine & Spirits
TO THE VICTOR GO THE SPOLIA: Reuse, Recycling, and Repurposing of Ancient Materials in Later Construction in Rome
April 23, 2017
Rome, the “Eternal City” – an ancient and ever renewing city – has been built and rebuilt over nearly 3000 years. When the Empire ended in the 5th century, the city suffered catastrophic population loss and degradation of its monumental infrastructure. This talk will highlight the thrifty and often artful reuse of surviving ancient architectonic elements in mediaeval, Renaissance, and modern structures in the city. This reuse was often driven by shifting ideological currents, theological or political, which saw the city as a locus of sacred and imperial memories.
John C. McLucas is Professor of Italian and Latin in the Department of Foreign Languages at Towson University. He received his BA in Latin Classics from Wesleyan in 1974, and his PhD in Italian Language and Literature from Yale in 1983. His scholarly work includes numerous conference papers and published articles on the Italian epic tradition, particularly Ariosto’s Orlando furioso, in journals including Italian Culture, The Italianist, and Stanford Italian Studies; his reviews have appeared in Forum Italicum and Speculum. His translations of sixteenth-century Latin documents about the first encounter between Europe and America were published by UCLA in the Repertorium Columbianum series in 2002. He is a frequent contributor to the Italian humanities journal Lyceum, with pieces on topics ranging from national identity to the Italian opera tradition. He edited a volume of Olifant, the journal of the Société Rencesvals; this volume appeared in 2003. He recently completed a translation of Tullia d’Aragona’s epic-romance, Il Meschino, altramente detto il Guerrino (1560), believed to be the first published in Italian by a woman. This translation, edited and annotated by Dr. Julia L. Hairston, is forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press. Several of Dr. McLucas’ recent conference papers and articles have focused on various aspects of the Meschino. His most recent publication is an article on approaches to teaching Ariosto in the journal Italica.
CHARITY DINNERS FOR THE EARTHQUAKE IN THE MARCHE REGION, at the Gerdner-Olivieri’s residence
We raised $5,530 in September and $6,100 in December and donated to the Italian Red Cross.
Anche da Washington D.C. arrivano gesti molto concreti a favore delle popolazioni colpite dal terremoto, in una cena benefica organizzata dall’Italian Cultural Society, SAIS Italian Society, US-Italy GLobal Affair Forum e COMITES D.C.. La serata ha visto la partecipazione di influenti giornalisti americani ed italiani,insieme a docenti universitarii, imprenditori e molti studenti Tutto il ricavato, è stato versato alla Croce Rossa Italiana. Sono stati serviti prdotti di Libera Terra, Slow Food- Terra Madre, Pecorino Romano Dop, Pasta Afeltra di Gragnano e Krumiri Rossi portati da Casale Monferrato. La strepitosa cuoca Maura Guida Maffia ha cucinato la pasta all’Amatriciana, anche in versione kasher. Dato il successo della inizativa si è deciso di ripeterla prima di Natale ,quando le popolazioni colpite avranno bisogno di nuovi gesti di solidarieta’ anche da oltre Oceano.
Celebrate CARNEALE at KID Museum! Activities include Venetian mask-making, and a special presentation and workshop hosted by The ICS/Italian Language Program, in collaboration with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Washington, D.C.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2:30 to 5:00pm, at the KID MUSEUM, at Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd – Bethesda, MD 20817
10:00 – 5:00: Il Carnevale at KID all day
3:10 – 4:30 pastry sampling and creative workshop
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC