Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia


Founded in 1908, the Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia is one of Italy's best-known orchestras.

  • The Academy is one of the world's oldest musical institutions. It was founded in 1585 by Pope Sixtus V, in honour of two musical saints: Gregory the Great - after whom Gregorian chant is named - and Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music.
  • It is the only example of an Italian academy originating in the Renaissance that has evolved into a functioning modern academy and symphonic concert organisation of international renown.
  • In the 19th century, all of Europe's major exponents of music were enrolled as honorary associates of the Academy. They included Donizetti, Rossini, Paganini, Mendelssohn and Berlioz.
  • Among the crowned heads of Europe who were honorary members was Queen Victoria.
  • Today the Academy is made up of an academic body of 100 prominent Italian and foreign musicians providing professional training, the symphony orchestra and chorus.
  • Since 2002, the orchestra has been housed at il Parco della Musica designed by architect Renzo Piano. The Parco is reportedly the world's most visited music facility with more than a million visitors every year.
  • Among the distinguished music directors of the Orchestra have been: Igor Markevitch (1973-1975), Giuseppe Sinopoli (1983-1987), Daniele Gatti (1992-1997) and Myung-Whun Chung (1997-2005).
  • Since 2005, the music director of the Orchestra has been Antonio Pappano, the British conductor (of Italian extraction) who is also music director of the Royal Opera House.

Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra

Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle