Erica Piccotti and Diego Ceretta, principal conductor of the ORT as of this season, are almost the same age. They represent the ‘best of Italian musical youth’, that generation of twenty-year-olds who are making their way onto international billboards through merit, study and tenacity. Erica is now perfecting herself in Germany, after a period spent in Bern, where she arrived after having trained at the Conservatory of Rome, the Stauffer Academy in Cremona and the Chigiana in Siena. After all, she is proud of her nation, and Italy is very supportive of her as evidenced by the honorary title of “Alfiere della Repubblica” (an honorary title awarded for merit in fields of culture, science, art, sports and volunteering), “for the exceptional results she obtained in the field of music at a young age”, conferred on her by President Giorgio Napolitano. With the ORT, she plays Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, a score both loved and feared by cellists, as it challenges their technical ability. Here Tchaikovsky, at the end of the 19th century, turned nostalgically back to the previous century, identified with Mozart. He is the composer that we find at the opening of the concert with his Divertimento for String Orchestra K.136: a short work composed in 1772, at the age of sixteen, in a simple, crystalline style, in the Italian manner. The programme ends with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8.