Beginning 3 May until the end of October (except during the month of August) the Vatican Museums will host 21 evenings of music. Every Friday the Museums will have special hours from 7:30pm until 11:00pm. During these special openings, the music of Brahms, Debussy, Beethoven, Respighi, Piazzolla, Mendelssohn, and others will be offered in the Rooms of Raphael, the Gregorian Museum, the terraces of the Pinacoteca, or the Courtyard of the Pinecone in concerts beginning at 8:30pm and lasting around an hour.
The musical series, entitled “Beauty to be Heard” is the result of a collaboration between the Vatican Museums, the Venaria Real (the Royal Palace of Turin, Italy, a Baroque masterpiece declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the Giuseppe Verdi National Conservatory of Turin. The initiative was born of the conviction that the Museums and the Venaria Real are not simply collections, architecture, history, or culture from the past, but the ideal meeting place for all those who want to transform art into a passion to be shared. In the "Room of the Signatura" of Raphael's Stanze, two winged cupids in the lunette above the Parnassus Wall—where Apollo, the god of Beauty and Poetry, surrounded by the Muses representing all the Arts, plays a lyre—bear signs reading “Numine afflatur”, inviting us to contemplate that Art, in all its manifestations, is inspired by divinity.
The beauty of music and the beauty of the figurative arts go hand in hand, Raphael says, portraying Apollo at the centre of his celestial court. This unity is what the youth of the Giuseppe Verdi National Conservatory wish to demonstrate in their Friday concerts at the Vatican Museums. The initiative also includes Saturday performances at the Venaria Reale during the summer months.
The Vatican Museums administration has also provided for a series of thematic guided visits on the musical iconography within the Museums. The complete schedule of “Il Bello da Sentire” (Beauty to be Heard) with the information regarding the places where the concerts will take place and details of the guided “musical” visits is available, in Italian, on the Vatican Museum website: www.museivaticani.va.