THE GREAT MUSIC
Montecatini has always been framed by the inspiration of great personalities of music.
Gioacchino Rossini had spent long periods in Montecatini, staying at the “Locanda Maggiore”, where still today its “room of the music “ is preserved.
Giuseppe Verdi had been a frequent guest since 1882 for nineteen years. During his summer stays in Montecatini he usually met Arrigo Boito und Giulio Ricordi. His stays corresponded with the elaboration and composition of essential pages of his productions such as, the third act of Othello and the orchestration of Falstaff.
His belongings, the piano and items of various kinds (photos, documents with autographs etc.) are preserved in the Academy of Art of Montecatini.
Giacomo Puccini was a regular frequenter of Montecatini. He was working to draft the Girl of the West, written during a long period staying at the 'Hotel “Appennino” at Montecatini Alto (where a small theatre is still preserved, which was the place of the first music rehearsal of the play).
At Montecatini he talked to Gioacchino Forzano, still a young local journalist, about projects on new plays and also to Arturo Toscanini and Enrico Caruso, other frequent guests, about the staging of his plays.
Ruggero Leoncavallo, after being an occasional guest of the city, became so attached to Montecatini that he definitively moved there, and became, for many years one of the most important entertainers of the cultural and musical life of the city until his death in Montecatini in 1919.
And we can also mention, among the guests of the Thermal Baths, Pietro Mascagni, Richard Strauss, Alberto Franchetti (who were frequenters of Montecatini with D'Annunzio) Umberto Giordano, Ildebrando Pizzetti, and Riccardo Zandonai. In the following years the cultural life and the musical events in the city stayed on a very high level. The “Orchestra Stabile” of Florence, which later took the name “Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino”, was realized in Montecatini, inside the Terme Tettuccio, for important summer festivals of concerts, directed by Gui, Zandonai, Scherchen and the other directors of the time.
The festival still takes place today, under the name Estate Regina where important Orchestras are present , among which have been led by the directors Zubin Mehta, Luciano Berio and Giovan Battista Varoli.
This patrimony consists of
historical documents, memorials, bibliographies and a great amount of documents with photos, belongings and manuscripts .