ROME, Italy—Last April the Italian city of L'Aquila, located in the Apennine Mountains, was struck by a devastating earthquake. As the city continues to recover and citizens rebuild their lives, its musicians have decided to use their talents to remind Italy that the people of L’Aquila are still living provisionally.
The quake, which measured 5.8 on the Richter scale, killed hundreds and left thousands homeless. When it struck, the whole of Italy paid close attention and the country provided large scale relief efforts.
On New Year's Day, musicians from L'Aquila’s Institute of Symphonic Abruzzese (ISA) performed in the Rome to remind Romans that, not so far away, the citizens of L’Aquila are still without homes.
With our presence, we want to remind the world of our problems, said secretary general of ISA, Giorgio Paravano. “In L’Aquila problems were not over, are even far from being over … We live it every day, and is often not told on television” he added.
The losses in historic architecture were large as well, all of L'Aquila’s churches were destroyed. And the quake also destroyed the headquarters of the orchestra and its music archive. “The historical memory of the city, was almost deleted in 23 seconds,” said Paravano.
The orchestra decided to resume making music as soon as possible and one month after the quake, it was back on the stages across Italy and abroad.
“We cherish the music, our work, our job goes beyond the musical aspect, and represents a vital binder, new cement for the consciences of our city,” says Paravano.
Rescue efforts by the Italian government have been large. Large amounts of rescue workers were deployed, field hospitals and tent villages were set up. Volunteers from all over Italy came to help.