The Cathedral's Choirs

music chapels

The CATHEDRAL's Choirs

Music, chant and prayer

The choirs of Siena Cathedral carry on the ancient tradition of prayer through music.

The first major document testifying to, and regulating, the performance of music in Siena Cathedral was the Ordo Officiorum written by Canon Oderigo in 1215. Work on the monumental carved wooden choir and the construction of an organ in the second half of the 14th century led to important innovations, revealing an unflagging interest in music. Thanks to such constant developments as, for instance, the employment of a singing master, the mid-15th century witnessed the birth of a fully-fledged music chapel, a crucial contribution to which was provided by the arrival of singers from abroad – chiefly from Poland at first but later also from Flanders, the two areas that dominated the music scene in Europe at the time. It was not until the first decade of the 16th century, however, that the choir became a permanent fixture, the first "maestro di cappella", or kapellmeister, being a Frenchman named Eustachius de Monte Regali.

The "Agostino Agazzari" choir

Siena's "Agostino Agazzari" Choir, founded and conducted by Cesare Mancini, was established as the official choir of Siena Cathedral in 2001. Comprising a group of enthusiasts passionate about choral singing, and more especially about polyphony, the choir handles a vast repertoire stretching from Gregorian chant to 20th century experimental music. The choir performs an intense and lively programme of concerts and it has conducted numerous tours abroad, performing in England, Austria, Germany and Poland.
The choir is regularly invited to such events as the International Festival at La Sainte-Beaume, the National Polyphony Festival in Camogli and International Renaissance Organ Day, invariably attracting unanimous praise from critics and audiences alike.
In addition to tackling a traditional polyhphonic choir repertoire, it also takes part in performances of such demanding scores as Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C Minor K. 427, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana and Bartolucci's Passion. The choir also organises the "Musica Senensis" Festival, an event designed to maximise the potential of, and to add lustre to, Siena's venues, its instruments, its music and its musicians.
The Italian Cultural Assets and Activities Ministry has recognised the choir as a "group of national interest".


For further information:
tel. +39 3383321259
tel. +39 3474551225

The "Guido Chigi Saracini" Choir of Siena Cathedral

Siena Cathedral's new choir was formed in September 2016. The product of a partnership between the Opera della Metropolitana and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, it is one of the city's most important developments in the production and dissemination of music in recent years, offering an example of constructive cooperation between institutions eager to use this artistic initiative to make Siena a model for Italy and for Europe.
The project aims to enrich the community's cultural heritage through the creation of a permanent artistic complex occupying its rightful place at the very top in the widespread practice of performing the liturgical repertoire, combining a commitment of religious inspiration with the production of quality concerts..

Siena Cathedral's "Guido Chigi Saracini" Choir is conducted by Maestro Lorenzo Donati, a conductor of international renown who attended the Accademia Chigiana's Composition Course as a student.
The basic composition of the choir will consist in eight sopranos, eight contraltos, seven tenors and seven basses, all of proven experience.
The choir plans to hold fifteen performances a year, chiefly inside the Cathedral itself, starting 23 December 2016.


For further information, please contact the offices of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana:
Via di Città, 89 – Siena

Artistic Administration

tel. +39 057722091
or drop the Accademia an e-mail at:

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