About us

The Project

The vocation of the Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de Musique Romantique Française is the rediscovery and international promotion of the French musical heritage of the long nineteenth century (1780-1920). Its interests range from chamber music to the orchestral, sacred and operatic repertories, not forgetting the lighter genres characteristic of the ‘esprit français’ of the nineteenth century (chanson, opéra-comique, operetta). The Centre was inaugurated in 2009 and has its headquarters in a Venetian palazzo dating from 1695 which was specially restored for this purpose. The Centre receives the support of the Fondation Bru.
There are some fine causes, just waiting to be taken up by projects which are innovatory, inspired and well conceived... all that is lacking for success is the firm support of a committed partner.
Nicole Bru, president
The Palazzetto Bru Zane conceives programmes focusing on the French Romantic repertory. It undertakes many complementary activities in fulfilment of its mission:
• The conception of concerts and staged performances presented in touring productions or within the framework of its own festivals.
• The production and release of recordings that perpetuate the artistic achievement of the projects undertaken, notably in its series of book + CD sets: ‘Prix de Rome’, ‘Opéra français’ and ‘Portraits’.
• The coordination of research projects.
• The cataloguing and digitisation of documentary collections and public or private archives relating to its chosen repertory, including those of the Villa Medici, the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris and the Cité de la Musique in Paris.
• The organisation of conferences in collaboration with different partners.
• The publication of scores.
• A series of books in collaboration with Actes Sud.
• The uploading of digital resources via the database bruzanemediabase.com.
• A web radio, Bru Zane Classical Radio, streaming twenty-four hours a day.
Training sessions.
• Outreach activities aimed at young audiences through the Romantici in erba programme.
Bru Zane Label: the label of French Romantic music
Through its recordings – CD-books, thematic box-sets, traditional formats – the Bru Zane Label revives little-known or neglected works belonging the French musical heritage of the years 1780-1920. The 'French opera', 'Prix de Rome' and 'Portraits' series aim to give a new lease of life not only to the vocal repertoire (opera, operetta, cantata, mélodie) but also to chamber, symphonic and sacred works. The Bru Zane label is an initiative of the Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de musique romantique française.
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Romanticism in French Music
'Louis XVI et Gluck vont faire de nouveaux Français' Voltaire, 1774
Thus he expressed his intuition that France was entering a new age, one in which tastes and habits would no longer be the same. The term 'Romanticism', however, was not adopted until much later, to refer to French music of the period between 1780 and 1830.
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The Casino Zane

For a hundred years, the Casino Zane, built between 1695 and 1697 in the San Stin district not far from the Basilica dei Frari, housed the entertainments of the Zane family, who lived in the nearby Palazzo Zane. The main palace (now a training school, the Scuola Livio Sanudo) was separated from the Palazzetto by a splendid formal garden. A building next to the Palazzetto housed the library; it no longer exists.
In 1682 the workshop of Baldassare Longhena – the most distinguished Venetian architect of the Baroque period, who designed Ca’ Pesaro and Ca’ Rezzonico – completed the restoration of the Palazzo Zane commissioned by Dominico Zane (d. 1672). On his death the latter had bequeathed his property and an important collection of books and paintings to his nephew Marino. Marino Zane then commissioned the building of a casino (now the Palazzetto) and a library to house the collection left to him, which he had subsequently enlarged. The architect Antonio Gaspari, who had worked in Longhena’s workshop, was given carte blanche to design the casino. On his death, his assistant Domenico Rossi carried on the work with the help of artists of repute. The very rich interior decoration is attributed to the famous stucco decorator Abbondio Stazio; the woodwork, including the ornate wooden balustrade above the main salon, is from Andrea Brustolon’s workshop. The frescoes in the house have recently been attributed to Sebastiano Ricci. The palace is listed on the National Register of Historic Monuments. After consultations in 2006, restoration work was begun in 2007, with the aim to restore the building in its original spirit and to create a venue for music. The building, with an overall area of eight hundred square metres, is on three levels. Its windows look out over a canal on one side and over the garden on the other. The ground plan is traditional Venetian. The sixteen rooms include a concert hall with a seating capacity of up to a hundred. Now the restoration work is finished, the Palazzetto has a sound-proofed rehearsal studio; there is also a lift for persons with reduced mobility. The glory of the house is the double-height salon (music room of the Zane family) with a magnificent coved ceiling bearing a huge painting of Hercules with Fame and Virtue in the centre, and Olympian gods in grisaille in the four corners. Painted shells, such as those seen on the ceiling, are a rarity in Venice. The room is reached via a grand staircase decorated with splendid frescoes.

The Research

Valorisation of documentary collections
The Palazzetto Bru Zane encourages institutions holding documentary collections relating to music of the French Romantic period to enhance those collections and facilitate access for researchers and musicians. To that end, appropriate international partnerships have been set up with the aim of assisting in the work of cataloguing and digitisation.

The Team

Docteur Nicole Bru
Steve Roger
president of advisory board
Jean-Paul Davois
Emmanuel Reibel
Michèle Roche
Andrea Simionato
deputy general administrator
administrative and financial director
Viola Costantini
Matteo Duse
general services officer
Valeria Frasson
editorial and administrative officer
Alexandre Dratwicki
artistic director
Rosa Giglio
artistic coordinator
Camille Merlin
coordinator for Bru Zane Label and recording partnerships
Étienne Jardin
director of research and publications
Hector Cornilleau
research coordinator
Sébastien Troester
director of musical editions
Marie Humbert
music editor
Elena Vignotto
head of production
Ophélie Estrand
production officer
Agathe Moulin
production officer
Giulia Trevisanato
production officer
Paola De Troia
head of communication
Viviana Bianchi
marketing and public relations coordinator
Giulia Conte
communication and public relations officer
Marianne Jugan
editorial coordinator
Georges Tabbi-Anneni
digital marketing officer
Aude Hazaël-Massieux
tour organiser and production officer - Bru Zane France
ahm [at] bru-zane.fr
Carlos Céster
editorial adviser
Benoît Dratwicki
artistic adviser
Remo Romano
Valentín Iglesias
designer for Bru Zane Label
Loïc Le Gall
graphic designer
Studio Tapiro
logo and graphic designer - Venice
Grafiche Veneziane
printer - Venice