The Este Music Festival

The 1998-1999 commemorations aimed at celebrating the Este Court of Ferrara’s move to Modena (1598-1998) highlighted many cultural peculiarities. They pointed out the great and unique value of the musical heritage of the past centuries in Modena and in the territories that belonged to the Este family.
A remarkable example is the extremely rich collection of handwritten and printed sheet music placed in the Este Library in Modena, which represent a precise collecting purpose. It is the product of an outstanding artistic production carried on from the 14th to the 18th century, reaching its highest point during the 17th century.
The “Grandezze & Meraviglie” festival aims at celebrating the potential of this rich cultural heritage.  The records, which were extremely successful (winning the 1999 Vivaldi Award granted by the Fondazione Cini), but also the popularity gained in the musical press and among musicians, have helped the experience in Modena to be known all over Europe as an example of creativity and productive skills.
The festival was born as a side-event during the “Modena Capitale” celebrations, aimed at building up a regular research and cultural production rather than more occasional ones. As a consequence, in 2000 the Associazione Musicale Estense organised an early music festival on the wake of “Grandezze & Meraviglie”.
The Municipality of Modena (Comune di Modena), realised that there were continuities between this early music festival and the previous editions, thus allowing the Associazione Musicale Estense to use the same title “Grandezze & Meraviglie”, Este Music Festival. Its supporters are the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Vignola, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Mirandola, The Municipality of Modena, the Municipality of Sassuolo, The Municipality of Vignola and The Municipality of Mirandola.
The Festival has gained a good reputation in Europe since the very beginning and this has helped the festival to become a national and international reference point for early music.

Early music has become so widespread in Europe that it needs new repertoire and new ideas. The main European festivals have looked at Modena as a source of dynamism and innovation.