Sister City event will feature Italian classical concert pianist


The City of Carmel’s sister city relationship with Cortona, Italy will bring a taste of Italian culture to Carmel in February 2023.

Cortona Deputy Mayor Francesco Attesti, who also happens to be a well-known classical concert pianist, will perform with the Carmel Symphony Orchestra at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Palladium at the Center of the Performing Arts. The concert will be followed by a VIP reception in the Cole Porter Ballroom of Hotel Carmichael.

In addition, Attesti and his AB&C Trio, which includes Attesti (piano), Maurizio Bozzi (double bass) and Maicol Cucchi (drums), will perform a jazz concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael for a special black-tie event that begins at 5:30 p.m. and will feature a celebration of Cortona food and wine. The weekend is called “Arte D’Italia.”


The Rotary Club of Carmel, in conjunction with the City of Carmel and the Carmel-Cortona Sister City Committee, is presenting the events. Rotary president-elect Julie Lundin-Shadinger is serving as chair of the committee for the shows. Proceeds from the events will benefit the Rotary Club of Carmel and the many local projects the Rotary support throughout the year.

Packages and tickets are available at the Center for the Performing Arts box office.

Lundin-Shadinger said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard talked with the Rotary about the project of inviting Attesti to the city for the concerts.

“It seemed like a good fit,” she said. “He’s the deputy mayor, and to boot, he’s a world-renowned concert pianist. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate that kind of culture in a community where culture has been wonderful here. Carmel is kind of a cultural Mecca, I think. I think it’s wonderful that he has that kind of talent to share and help us celebrate the relationship.”

Among his generation of musicians, Attesi is considered one of the finest interpreters of the Romantic and early Twentieth Century Repertoire. He began practicing the piano at the age of 6 and performed his first concert at 11.

Attesti has recorded several CDs and performs regularly in internationally prestigious concert halls around the world. He has performed approximately 1,000 concerts in 40 different countries, including the United States.

Attesti has served as deputy mayor and councilor of culture and tourism for Cortona since 2019.

Cortona, which is known for its wineries, is a historic city in the Tuscany area of Italy with landscapes of low mountains and lakes.

Following the Feb. 19 concert, there will be an “Elegantly Italian” VIP dessert reception at 8:30 p.m., featuring desserts, coffees and liqueurs.

On May 23 of this year, Carmel and Cortona became official Sister Cities, signing an official agreement designed to promote international goodwill, understanding, student educational exchanges and expanded business relationships between the two cities and their respective nations. Cortona is Carmel’s fourth international Sister City. Earlier this year, the city entered into a similar relationship with Jelgava, Zemgale, Latvia. Previously, Carmel established relationships with Kawachinagano, Osaka, Japan and Xiangyang, Hubei, China.

Lundin-Shadinger has been a Rotarian in Carmel for seven years. She previously was a Rotary member in South Bend. She moved to Carmel 15 years ago.

“I’m a pianist and this meant a lot to me,” said Ludin-Shadinger, a minister of music at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Carmel. “Our college choir sang at various locations in Italy. In a way, this is a perfect fit for my background. It gives me a little extra joy to do this.”

Lundin-Shadinger is the organist and directs the adult and children’s choir at King of Glory.

For tickets, visit