2024 Events


From March 9th to 19th, 2024, the Italian Cultural Institute in Pretoria, in partnership with the UNISA Music Foundation, proudly hosted the Italian piano virtuoso Danilo Mascetti. Celebrated for his innovative recitals that merge classic and obscure works, Mascetti’s visit included a series of acclaimed concerts across South Africa. His illustrious career, marked by engagements with prestigious orchestras worldwide, has captivated audiences from Europe to Asia and beyond. During this tour, his performances in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, and Hermanus showcased not only his exceptional talent but also his global reach through partnerships with notable musical entities like the Kyoto International Music Students Festival and the New York Concert Artists.

Maestro Mascetti’s South African performances took place in prestigious venues such as Northwards House, the Miriam Makeba Hall at UNISA, the Odeion Auditorium, and others, reflecting his international stature and his role in fostering cultural exchanges. His concerts were a testament to his global appeal and served to deepen the local audience’s engagement with Italian musical heritage. Mascetti’s presence highlighted the dynamic interplay between Italian and South African cultures, promoting a deeper appreciation of Italian musical traditions within the South African arts scene.


The Italian Cultural Institute in Pretoria and the Consulate of Italy in Cape Town were delighted to present the Flag-wavers Association of Arezzo at the Italian Festival, held at Idiom Wines in Cape Town on March 2nd and 3rd. This enchanting festival, a staple event hosted by Idiom Wines, offers a deep dive into Italian culture, featuring activities such as wine tasting, street food, cooking masterclasses, and musical entertainment suitable for all ages. Embodying a fusion of South African and Italian traditions, the festival gives guests a taste of Italy’s rich heritage.

The Flag-wavers Association of Arezzo, which has been preserving the historic art of flag-waving since 1960, brought their spectacular performance to the festival, infusing it with historical significance and visual splendour. With a troop of over 60 flag-wavers and a musical ensemble, they captivated attendees, providing both entertainment and an educational glimpse into their craft. The event took place in the picturesque setting of Idiom Wines, emphasizing the seamless blend of Italian tradition with the warm embrace of South African hospitality. The event was a testament to the Italian Cultural Institute’s dedication to promoting Italian culture within South Africa, with bookings and additional details available on the festival’s official website.


The Italian Cultural Institute in Pretoria was delighted to participate in the Investec Cape Town Art Fair, held from 15th to 18th February, featuring esteemed curator Filippo Maggia. Renowned for his management of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo’s historical photographic collection since 1998 and his academic contributions, Maggia’s presence brought international recognition to the fair, which is acclaimed as a pivotal cultural event on the African continent, drawing a global assembly of artists and connoisseurs.

Maggia curated the exhibition “The Ship: Hemelliggaam or The Attempt to Be Here Now” at the art fair’s Curators Program, spotlighting the synergy between astronomical science and human perception of space. The collaborative work of photographer Tommaso Fiscaletti and artist Nic Gruber, with whom Maggia has a longstanding professional rapport, offered a multimedia narrative that fused art with science. This exhibition became a focal point for art and science enthusiasts, further underlined by the fair’s agenda available on its official website, showcasing the rich intercultural exchange fostered by the Italian Cultural Institute between Italy and South Africa.


In remembrance of the Holocaust, the Italian Cultural Institute in Pretoria, along with the Italian Embassy and Consulates in South Africa, and in concert with the Holocaust & Genocide Centres of Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town, held a series of film screenings for Remembrance Day. These events underscored the essential act of recalling and reflecting upon historical atrocities, with an emphasis on how cinema can impart profound insights into the Holocaust’s enduring impact.

The film “La Finestra di Fronte” by Ferzan Özpetek was showcased, featuring a poignant story of a struggling couple and an amnesiac elderly man who is uncovered as a Holocaust survivor faced with double persecution for his Jewish heritage and homosexuality. This film, along with “Maestro” by Alexandre Valenti—screened in Johannesburg with a preceding cocktail event – presented powerful narratives of memory, identity, and the haunting echoes of history. Although free, the screenings necessitated prior subscription, reinforcing the collective resolve to remember and learn from the painful lessons of history.

Vincenzo Casale in South Africa

The 2024 International Clarinet Extravaganza proudly welcomed esteemed clarinettist Vincenzo Casale, in a special week-long series hosted by the Free State Symphony Orchestra of Stellenbosch, the Hugo Lambrechts School of Music in Western Cape, and traditional venues in Bloemfontein. The event, now in its eighth year, is a staple for clarinet aficionados, providing a diverse programme of performances, masterclasses, and lectures to inspire and educate.

Casale, born in 1981 and a prominent figure in historical clarinet performance, brought his wealth of experience as a celebrated European and North American soloist, chamber musician, and conductor to the festival. Serving as Professor at both the Gent Royal Conservatory and the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, his directorship at ARTONOV and his innovative artistic methods have left a global imprint. His engagements, from masterclasses to a gala concert across Bloemfontein and Cape Town, provided a rich exchange of knowledge and an appreciation of the clarinet’s heritage.