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Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia

The Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia was integrally connected to the development of a serious tradition of symphonic music in Italy. It was the country's first orchestra to devote itself exclusively to the symphonic repertoire, giving premieres of major works such as Respighi's Roman tone poems. The Academy of Saint Cecilia itself traces its origins to the year 1585, when it was founded by Pope Sixtus V; its first president was the composer Palestrina. The orchestra was founded in 1908, and its conductors have included Mahler, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Strauss, Stravinsky, Sibelius, Hindemith, Toscanini, Furtwängler, Karajan, and Abbado, as well as major early 21st century baton masters such as Valery Gergiev and Gustavo Dudamel. The orchestra's music directors have included Bernardino Molinari, Franco Ferrara, Fernando Previtali, Igor Markevitch, Thomas Schippers, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Daniele Gatti, and Myung-Whun Chung, and, beginning in 2005, Sir Antonio Pappano. Leonard Bernstein served as the orchestra's Honorary President from 1983 to 1990. Daniel Harding is the conductor-designate of the orchestra, set to take up the baton in 2024. In 1991, under conductor Franco Capuana, the orchestra backed a recording of Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur on the Decca label. Pappano raised the profile of the orchestra as both a concertizing and a recording ensemble. The orchestra has appeared at the Proms in London, White Nights in St. Petersburg, the Lucerne Festival, and the Salzburg Festival, as well as performing at the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Royal Albert Hall in London, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. The group has appeared on symphonic, choral, and operatic recordings, several of which have won major awards; its recording of Verdi's Requiem under Pappano was garlanded with a Gramophone Award, a BBC Music Magazine Award, and a Brit Classical Award. The orchestra backed pianist Beatrice Rana in a major recording of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23, and Janine Jansen on her recording of Brahms' Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77. The orchestra signed with the Warner Classics label in the mid-2010s and has released several albums under Pappano there, including a cycle of Leonard Bernstein's three symphonies (2018) and recordings of Rossini's Messa di Gloria (2022) and Puccini's Turandot (2023).
© James Manheim /TiVo


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