TURIN: The Harmony of Fraternity

“The Concerts of 24”: spiritual and human elevation

We are making a dream come true! A dream now close to the year of activity and already open to the future. This dream has a name: “The concerts of 24,” a musical festival that has been held every month in Turin since 24 March 2022, in the Chapel of the San Salvario Community of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent.

The “Concerts” are organized and offered to the public by the Vincentian Association “La Carità di Santa Luisa ODV” which, in via Nizza 24, welcomes homeless people every morning for breakfast, listening, self-care, and accompaniment in order to rediscover dignity of life, recognize rights and fulfill the duties of citizenship.

This initiative is in support of this Service. Funds are raised and what is beautiful and in harmony is offered, in particular to the guests of honour: our homeless friends and the Daughters of Charity (San Salvario Community is one of the Italian Communities with an Infirmary equipped for Sisters with serious health problems).

I Concerti del 24 promotes good music of different kinds, played and sung by persons of all ages, from the established professional to the passionate amateur. A special space is dedicated to the youth to promote making music from an early age. Because music, like the Charity of Christ, reaches all hearts and opens them to others… and elevates them to the Other.

We have already listened to youth chamber orchestras, international soloists, trios and duets of musicians who are math teachers, magistrates and entrepreneurs by profession, specialized choirs and parish choirs, students from the Turin Conservatory… Often the protagonist of the I Concerti del 24 is the Ronisch grand piano, an instrument from the early 1900s, donated at the end of 2021 to the Daughters of Charity…but there is no shortage of unique offerings such as the Celtic harp of the virtuoso Enrico Euron on Christmas eve, or the trombone quartet on the morning of 24 September. This last concert was held as an event of the prestigious “September Music Festival” now called “MiTo”, since it takes place simultaneously in Milan and Turin. And, exceptionally, the young musicians performed in the Breakfast Room of our Service for people who are homeless!

We begin with the musical meditation on Mercy offered by the pianist and theologian Chiara Bertoglio. The well-known concert performer played and commented on the piano version of the “Last seven words of Christ” by J. Haydn. Like other times, the house was connected to the chapel via amplification. All the Sisters, even those bedridden in the infirmary, were able to participate.

On the occasion of the Days of Remembrance, a lesson-concert was held by the Trio Iride from Milan on music defined as “degenerate” by the Nazi-fascist regime only because it was composed by Jewish or Jewish-inspired musicians, or because it was characterized by dissonant or markedly “ethnic” musical choices. Some school classes were also present at the concert.

I Concerti del 24 also welcomed two editions of the Turin initiative “Mozart Nacht und Tag,” also known as the Mozart Marathon, three days and two nights dedicated to the performance of pieces by one of the greatest composers in the history of music.

Music is a universal language; playing together, listening together is an exercise of welcome, a training ground for fraternity.

May this music of charity reach everyone, especially the poorest and most lonely. Blessed be God for the gift of music!

Sr. Cristina Conti DC

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