Chigiana Musical Academy - Chigi Saracini Palace
Prenota il Sangallo Park Hotel e scopri Palazzo Chigi Saracini
In the mid-twelfth century the powerful Ghibelline family Marescotti built the massive stone tower, the first core of the Palace. Over the three-light windows of the facade the family's coat of arms is still visible: an eagle with outstretched wings. The Palazzo was the seat of the Council of the Republic of Siena before the Palazzo Pubblico was built. In 1506 the palace was bought by Mandoli-Piccolomini, one of the city's most important noble families who made changes, both in structure and decoration, to give it a renaissance look. In 1770 the Palazzo was taken by the Saracini family. The facade was extended, bending along the bend of the road. The renovations were completed in 1824 by Galgano Saracini, thanks to whom the palace was enriched with its important collection of artworks, consisting in well over twelve thousand pieces. In 1806 Galgano opened the museum. The last owner of the palace was the Count Guido Chigi Saracini. In 1932 the Chigiana Academy was established, an international centre for advanced musical studies.
Chigiana Music Academy
Guido Chigi studied at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini in Florence. Having inherited huge possessions in 1906, he immediately began using it to promote musical activities in his beloved city of Siena. Thus was born, the following year, the quintet Senese, financially supported by the Count, who organized the concerts and donated the proceeds to charity. In 1932 he founded the first master classes for musicians and singers that will make the classic academy famous throughout the world. His reputation will attract leading musicians in the city, they will support the Count Chigi in courses from which artists such as Zubin Mehta, Daniel Oren, Roman Vlad, Claudio Abbado, Salvatore Accardo and Uto Ughi will emerge. Since 1923, in the Concert Hall in rococo style, a prestigious winter season of concerts called the Chigi family motto "Micat in Summit",is held; the Festival "Settimana Musicale Senese" was created in 1939 and later the "Chigiana Music Summer". In 1961 the Academy became a Foundation, thanks to the legacy of all the assets of the Count.
Art Collection Chigi Saracini and Museum of Musical Instruments
The Palace preserves a vast collection of works of art belonging to the greatest artists of Italian painting, especially Siennese, including the Sassetta, Sodoma, Beccafumi and Botticelli. The collection includes many sculptures, objects made of ivory, porcelain, silver and a collection of ceramics dating from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century Italian schools. The Academy also has a library of literature and music, which includes about 70,000 volumes, including rare editions and manuscripts of various ages. Very interesting is the collection of musical instruments, especially strings, which was collected by Count Guido Chigi from the beginning of the twentieth century. There you can see about thirty violins, violas, cellos and basses by Stradivari, Amati, Gagliano, Guarneri, Camilli and Bisiach. The small museum also includes a number of lutes, guitars, mandolin, dulcimer, wind and folks instruments. Precious are the keyboard instruments, including two virginal from the sixteenth century, a forte piano from the beginning of the nineteenth century, three harpsichords, one of which turns out to be the oldest of such tools which has even come down to us (1515).