Fondazione Merz


Mario Merz Prize | Geoffrey Gordon, winner of the 2nd edition – concert

Mario Merz Prize

Gotham News
Concert with performance of the piece by Geoffrey Gordon, winner of the 2nd edition



9 p.m. on 12 October 2018

Church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria – Piazza Bellini 2, Palermo


The second edition of the music section of the Mario Merz Prize concludes in Palermo, in the setting of the splendid church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, with the concert including the premiere of the work by winner Geoffrey Gordon.

On October 12 at 9 p.m. in a Baroque setting, rich in paintings, sculptures and frescoes, a new ensemble of performers, the WadiEnsemble – especially created and sponsored by the Fondazione for this occasion and made up of young Sicilian musicians flanked by performers already established in the international concert scene – will be performing a composition from the late Renaissance and early Baroque repertoire of Palermitan Sigismondo d’India, followed by pieces by Antonio Vivaldi and Luigi Boccherini before arriving at the contemporary scene with a piece by Willy Merz and with Gotham News, the new composition by Geoffrey Gordon.

Gotham News was written as a musical response to the 1955 painting by Willem de Kooning bearing the same title. Through his work, the composer explores the contents of the painting and gives life to a sound representation that returns the energy and various facets of the pictures through engaging and vigorous plots, dynamic rhythm, harmonic structure and dexterity of the instrumentation.

The concert reinforces the synergy, begun two years ago with the will to continue it over time, between the Fondazione Merz and the City of Palermo. The latter, nominated Italian Capital City of Culture 2018, offers an extraordinary context of events, proposals and suggestions ranging from visual arts to material culture, from literature to social sciences, from political studies to music. It is precisely in this area that the activities of PUNTE BRILLANTI DI LANCE are held, a programme of events for the city and its communities organised by the Fondazione.

Finally, the musical event inaugurates the collaboration between the Fondazione Merz and the Cultural Heritage Department of the Archdiocese of Palermo. In particular, it will contribute to the launch of an ambitious project of conservative restoration of the baroque stalls of the Coro Grande delle monache, recently included in the visits offered to the public in the ancient cloister complex of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria.



In addition to Geoffrey Gordon’s Gotham News, the Fondazione Merz proposes a musical programme consisting of pieces that follow a common thread: that of migratory themes, in a place that is so symbolic for this phenomenon as is Sicily.


Sigismondo D’India, Quatuor animalia from the Saint John’s Apocalypse, version for strings

Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto in D major RV 121

Geoffrey Gordon, Gotham News (composition by the winner of the second edition of the Mario Merz Prize)


Luigi Boccherini, Concerto in G major for cello and stings, soloist Alessio Pianelli

Willy Merz, Rubayat for clarinet and strings, soloist Davide Bandieri

Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto in A major RV 158