Alessandro and Anna Maria

Piano concert: Beethoven and restorative justice

Beethoven Choral Fantasy op.80 and reflections on music and restorative justice by Anna Maria Bordin, Alessandro Marchetti and Grazia Mannozzi (Italy)

Alessandro Marchetti

Two anniversaries converge in the year 2020, the first twenty years of the European Forum for Restorative Justice and 250 years since the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, seemingly indifferent to each other, but with an important elective affinity. 

This contribution brings together musicians Anna Maria Bordin and Alessandro Marchetti in a piano concert, followed by reflections by Grazia Mannozzi on the links between music and restorative justice. The concert has been pre-recorded and made available during the entire REstART Festival week (now password protected). Scroll down to watch the live talk on Zoom with the contributors Mannozzi and Bordin on 2 December 2020.

"The cathartic, calming, peaceful value of art as a real alternative to despair, loneliness, conflict with society and with oneself"

Grazia Mannozzi, Anna Maria Bordin, and Alessandro Marchetti offer an unusual perspective both in the panorama of musicological studies and in the varied world of reparative justice, centered on one of the most universal messages of the Great of Bonn. The event celebrates the two anniversaries with a piano duo performance of the Choral Fantasy op.80, proposing the Beethovenian message in it evidenced: the cathartic, calming, peaceful value of art as a real alternative to despair, loneliness, conflict with society and with oneself. A subtle but precious conceptual thread interweaves Beethovenian thought of music as saving and restorative, with the founding values of the European Union and the most vivid and authentic conceptual core of restorative justice.


Grazia, Anna Maria and Alessandro

Anna Maria Bordin graduated from the "Musik-Akademie" of Basel. Professor of Piano and Research Coordinator of the Conservatory of Genova, she is the author of two books and numerous international articles. She is a member of the Learning - Teaching Working Group of the European Conservatories Association, Evaluation Expert of the Italian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, and she has collaborated as a professor with the University of Pavia and the Academy of Brera. She planned and conducted a ten years experimental piano course for an autistic student, and she spent the last twenty years researching in the fields of the theoretical and applied methodology of piano teaching.

Grazia Mannozzi is a professor of Criminal Law and Restorative Justice and Victim-offender Mediation at the University of Insubria (Como - Italy), where she is also the Director of the Restorative Justice and Mediation Study Centre (CeSGReM) and of the Master in Restorative Justice and Humanistic Mediation. For the year 2019, she is Chair of the Working Group on Restorative Cities established at the European Forum for Restorative Justice. Her publications have been translated into several languages. In 2017, she published the first Italian handbook of restorative justice, titled “La giustizia riparativa. Formanti, parole e metodi”, Giappichelli, Torino (with G. A. Lodigiani).

Alessandro Marchetti was born in Pavia in 1998 and he started playing the piano aged 5. In 2014 he graduated from the “Istituto Pareggiato Franco Vittadini” (Pavia) with the highest honors under the guidance of M° Anna Maria Bordin. He is currently teaching piano at the same conservatoire. He has been giving concerts since his childhood, both as a soloist and with orchestras. He won many national competitions in Italy, such as J. S. Bach Piano Competition in Sestri Levante, where he was also awarded a special prize for the best interpretation of a composition by J. S. Bach.


Anna Maria

On three separate occasions, Beethoven has openly and passionately stated what art and music represented for humanity, society, and for himself.

The first occurred in the Testament of Heiligenstadt, a letter written by Beethoven to his brothers Carl and Johann on 6 October 1802 concerning his increasing deafness, the third one in the Ode to Joy of the Ninth Symphony, written in the summer of 1785 by the German poet, playwright, and historian Friedrich Schiller, best known for its use in the final movement of his Ninth SymphonyBeethoven's text is not based entirely on Schiller's poem and introduces a few new sections. His version was adopted as the "Anthem of Europe" by the Council of Europe in 1972 and subsequently by the European Union.

The second occasion is the Choral Fantasy op. 80, a composition for orchestra, chorus, and solo piano that premiered in Vienna on December 22, 1808. Many scholars have pointed out a resemblance between this work and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and indeed, there are strong similarities between the two works’ principal melodies and the concepts expounded in two texts. The symphony praises the brotherhood and goodwill that arise from shared joy, similarly, the text of the Choral Fantasy proclaims that gracious souls accept joyously the gifts of art and the spring sun of the arts forms light out of suffering.