Testimonianze Musicali is a web space about the Antoniano di Bologna, the Mariele Ventre Little Choir and the Zecchino d’Oro children’s song festival: here are collected stories, interviews, songs, artistic and cultural contents and much more about these entities, which were born in Bologna but whose fame and influence has gone beyond the city borders and whose history is absolutely worth knowing and reading.
The Zecchino d’Oro (the golden coin) is a children’s song festival created in 1959 by Cino Tortorella, better known as Wizard Zurlì. The main theme of the first edition was the tale of Pinocchio and was named after the attempt to make the gold coins tree grow again. The Mariele Ventre Little Choir of the Antoniano used to accompany the twelve competing songs, sung by children selected all through the year and coming from all over the world. The Zecchino d’Oro Prize was awarded by a jury exclusively made of children and was given only to the composers and songwriters and never to the singers.
First run by Mariele Ventre, until her death in 1995, and later by Sabrina Simoni, it was established as a permanent choir in 1963 and made of children aged from three to twelve. At the beginning its repertoire was made of Zecchino d’Oro songs only but then it extended over time, moreover the choir’s activities were constantly enriched and now include not only recording work but also concerts and TV performances.
In 2008 Unesco officially acknowledged the Zecchino d’Oro as a major player for a culture of peace.
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