By Ethan Sadoian

Italian violinist Luca Rinaldi will join the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra for two concerts on December 9th and 10th, featuring Italian masterworks by Arcangelo Corelli and Ottorino Respighi.

Luca Rinaldi’s acclaimed career has seen him perform as a soloist and violinist throughout Europe, and win international competitions and receive awards as a violinist and chamber musician. His association with the CT Virtuosi Orchestra and its artistic director Adrian Sylveen goes back over two years. “I met Maestro Adrian Sylveen in 2014 when he came to Greve-in-Chianti to create an opera music festival with the Connecticut Lyric Opera, and I worked with him on this project,” he explains.

Rinaldi, who has since served as a faculty member of the Greve Opera Academy and Music Festival he helped create, has also previously performed as a guest artist with the CT Virtuosi Orchestra. “Last September, I was invited to play with the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and with Adrian Sylveen. We performed the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola. An artistic collaboration was cemented, creating a beautiful friendship.”

Rinaldi will perform as soloist for the CT Virtuosi’s performance of selections from Concerti Grossi, Op. 6, by the Italian Baroque composer Arcangelo Corelli. “Corelli is an undisputed master of the Italian musical art, and a model for most European composers [after him]. The collection of Op. 6 concerti is among the most important and popular compositions by Corelli, for the brilliance and lyricism entrusted to the violin part” Rinaldi says.

One of the concerti Rinaldi will be performing is the very season-appropriate ‘Christmas Concerto,’ the Concerto Grosso No. 8 in G Minor, which bears the inscription ‘done for the night of Christmas.’ “It concludes with a Pastorale that conveys a sense of peace and sweetness, with a melody inspired by the singing of shepherds who gather around the cave of Bethlehem” Rinaldi describes.

The concert program will also feature ‘Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 3’ by the 20th century Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. Composed in 1932, the third suite features string orchestra transcriptions of Renaissance and Baroque-era lute pieces.

As the CT Virtuosi Orchestra commemorates its 20th Anniversary Season, it is also a time to celebrate the impact the organization has had on student musicians. The organization is well known in CT for its Summer Music Institute and its Music Academy, which are both hosted in state. But Rinaldi is a witness to the international reach the organization has, providing wonderful and enriching musical opportunities and experiences for student musicians from all over the world: “In Italy, the Greve Opera Academy and Music Festival which [the CT Virtuosi and CLO] operates has become very important, and is very appreciated and expected every year. We plan to develop and expand this successful artistic collaboration more and more, for many years to come.”