The Award of the Consulate General of the United States of America for Cultural Diplomacy handed over to Zubin Mehta and Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda
The pandemic has reshaped America’s presence in Italy, rendering the development of daily connections and cultural exchanges between our two countries more difficult. The absence of temporary residents, tourists and American students and the lack of their contribution to the region’s cultural life was deeply felt during the pandemic. For this reason, Consul General Ragini Gupta inaugurated the creation of a new award – that of the Consulate General of the United States for Cultural Diplomacy – that exalts those that are to take as an example for the latter principle. Zubin Mehta and Simonetta Kortum Brandolini d’Adda are the first recipients of the award.
The Consul General Ragini Gupta delivered the award to Zubin Mehta and Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda on the first of July 2021, with the presence of the region and city’s authorities, amongst whom the Councillor for culture, fashion, design, and international relations of the Commune of Florence, Tommaso Sacchi, alongside the Director of the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscapes for the metropolitan city of Florence and the provinces of Pistoia and Prato, and the Superintendent of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Alexander Pereira.
The Maestro Zubin Mehta, the principal former Conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (from 1985 to 2017), considered as the heart and soul of the Maggio, is now its Honorary Director for life.
Simonetta Kortum Brandolini d’Adda is the President and Founder of Friends of Florence, an American non-profit organization created in 1998, that financed important artistic restoration projects, both in Florence and Tuscany. Both Mehta and Brandolini d’Adda represent exceptional leadership examples to strengthen cultural connections and exchanges between the United States of America and Tuscany.