Thursday, 28 July 2011


World-famous Italian maestro Riccardo Muti, Conductor and Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, was in Kenya for a grande concert on July 9, 2011 with more than 200 members of the Orchestra Cherubini at Nairobi's Uhuru Park grounds. Kenyan musicians and singers were also be part of the concert that proved to be the biggest-ever classical music extravaganza in East Africa.

The event was part of the Ravenna Festival's Roads of Friendship initiative, born in Sarajevo in 1997. Every year since then, the Ravenna Festival have organized and performed concerts in 14 nations, with Maestro Muti conducting various orchestras, to celebrate peace and to invoke solidarity through music.

The event was sponsored by integrated telecoms provider Safaricom.
Kenya was chosen for the 2011 location of the Roads of Friendship. Maestro Muti and the Ravenna Festival are dedicating this year's concert to funding educational scholarships for young people in Nairobi slums. These scholarships, which will be given to Italian missions, will be coordinated through a special committee based in Italy in the city of Piacenza.

The concert will also be a tribute to two Italian missionaries, Annalena Tonelli and Sister Leonella Sgorbati who worked in Kenya for many years, losing their lives in Somalia as martyrs.