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The Conte Guido Chigi Saracini The mecenate of music

Guido Chigi SaraciniIt was 1932 when conte Guido Chigi Saracini (Siena 8 March 1880 - 18 November 1965), last descendant of the family, gotten passionate of music, founded the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, investing in this enterprise its material assets and lending to musicians of world-wide reputation the magnificent palace of via di Città.

A passion that finds its roots in the formation of the conte that in fact studied at the conservatory Luigi Cherubini of Florence.

Having inherited a huge patrimony, he began to use it in order to promote the musical activity in its city.

Therefore the Quintetto Senese was founded and supported economically by Guido Chigi Saracini who organized the concerts devolving some of the proceeds in beneficence.

Fair Towers San GimignanoOne of the most importantant manifestation was the execution in 1913 of the Messa di Requiem di Giuseppe Verdi in the Church of Saint Francesco. For the personality of the interpreters - the director was Edoardo Mascheroni, a musician much appreciated by Verdi- and for the relative rarity of the brano, the event had great national resonance thanks also to the presence in Siena of Arrigo Boito, guest of the conte with which he then tied in a deep friendship and by whom he was influenced in his future activity.

To the end of the First World war, to which he participated like a volunteer, Guido Chigi began a program of restructure of his Saracini palace in order to adapt it to the requirements of music.

It was therefore that the painter, sienese sculptur and architect, Arturo Viligiardi, transformed what had been known as the dance hall into concert hall that was inaugurated on the 22nd of November 1923 with the first event of a season, today still existing, entitled by the Conte “Micat In Vertice”, a maxim inspired to the family coat of arms. In 1939, with the council of Alfredo Casella – that had already brougth to siena the VI Festival della Società Internazionale di Musica Contemporanea(VI Festival of International Society of Contemporary Music)- Guido Chigi Saracini created the(Settimana Musicale Senese) Sienese Musical Week .

But already in 1932 he had founded the famous music classes that made the Chigiana Academy famous in the world.

Conte Guido Chigi
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