What does a country need to strengthen its identity? Maybe some music that describes to its inhabitants the beauty and characteristics of the country where they live.

This is the idea behind the Composition contest dedicated to Michele Novaro, a composer that few Italians remember despite the fact that his music is played on many different occasions. Novaro (1818-1885) composed the music that accompanies the words of Mameli’s “Il Canto degli Italiani”, our national anthem, at the age of just 25 years, in the middle of the Risorgimento.

The Contest was presented to the Chamber of Deputies today in the presence of the chairperson of the Chamber’s Culture Commission and MP Flavia Piccoli Nardelli, the MP Lorenzo Becattini, who devised the project, the conductor Roberto Prosseda, director of the Mendelssohn Association that promoted the contest, Giorgio Battistelli, a composer and conductor, the composer Cristian Carrara and Bruno Burigana, the Business Service director of Italgas, the company sponsoring the project. Italgas (Snam group) is the leader in Italy in the city natural gas distribution sector and is traditionally recognised as the company that brought gas to Italian homes, contributing to the country’s economic and social development.

The presentation of the contest was accompanied by a performance by the young violinist Clarissa Bevilacqua, Student Ambassador of the New Music School of Chicago, who played the national anthem at the start of the event.

After more than 160 years, the world of institutions and music at the highest level has decided to bring back to life that spirit that created this music, by asking young composers to write a hymn: the intention is certainly not to replace “Fratelli d’Italia” but to retrieve Italy’s founding and distinguishing values. Music capable of reflecting the identity, culture and spirit of Italy of the period and capable, as only music is, of inspiring new reflections and giving impetus to new ideas.