Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

The origins of the multi-secular Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia are closely linked to choral singing: in the second half of the 1500’s, several Chapel-masters and Choristers formed an association, electing as President Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, thus founding the Accademia. In May 1595, Pope Sisto V issued the papal bull Ratione congruit, the act officially founding the Congregazione dei Musici.

The objectives of the Institution, which was launched as an association having both artistic and charitable aims, have undergone continuous modification over the centuries, but the promotion and growth of the art of music in all its manifestations have always been the inspiration guiding all its activities.

The Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, made up of about 90 members, appears in both the winter and summer seasons of the Accademia, joining the Orchestra for performances of the great classic and modern symphonic-choral works.

Highlights among its more recent engagements include tours the Santa Cecilia ensembles made together with Music Director Antonio Pappano to the Dresden Semperoper (2006), the London Proms (2007, 2011, 2013) and to the Salzburger Festpiele (2011, 2013); its appearance in Lucerne with the famed Lucerne Festival Orchestra directed by Claudio Abbado (2006); and its participation (October, 2007) in the Sacred Music Festival in Rome, for the performance of Verdi’s Requiem with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Daniele Gatti.

The Chorus has also made numerous recordings; recently, together with the Accademia Orchestra, it took part in the recording of Madama Butterfly by Puccini, the Requiem by Verdi (both directed by Antonio Pappano), which received the 2010 BBC Music Magazine Award as best recording (choral section) and the 2010 Classical Brits Critics Award. His most recent recognition, also for the Verdi Requiem, was a 2010 Gramophone Award.

Among his latest recordings are the Stabat Mater by Rossini, Verismo Arias with Jonas Kaufmann (Decca), the opera William Tell and the Petite Messe Solennelle by Rossini (EMI), Verdi’s Quattro pezzi sacri and Britten’s War Requiem (Warner Classics).