The Accademia Musicale Chigiana was founded by Conte Guido Chigi Saracini in 1932. Authentic patron of the arts, music enthusiast, he made his palace in Siena available for advanced musical studies, with prestigious and internationally renowned teachers, and students from every continent.
The Sienese Academy has been considered since then one of the most prestigious Italian musical institutions worldwide, and the list of great musicians who have studied in Siena and often remember having had their most formative experiences indeed at the Chigiana, as it is commonly called, is extraordinary.
The presence of such important artists gave a very precise and characterizing spirit to the Academy, which is still intact to this day, giving the institution that solidity of tradition that is one of its main characteristics and that is confirmed more and more every day. Over the years the number of students coming from all continents has gradually increased, today representatives of about 50 nations, other than the increase in the number of the advanced courses, in a continuous exchange between old and new generations of students that became teachers and integral part of the history of the Academy.
Two are the concert programs: Micat in Vertice in autumn and Chigiana International Festival and Summer Academy in the summer.
A curious episode of Sienese life is linked to the Chigi Saracini Palace hosting the Academy, built in the XII century by the Marescotti family: it is said that from the top of the tower, a drummer observed the Montaperti battle between the armies of Siena and Firenze, and told the people gathered in the street the development of the battle while it was happening. The courtyard of the palace is undoubtedly worth a stop due to its pleasant appearance, with a typical well, and gifts you - during class days - a pleasant musical background of great level.
Another curiosity is the Ghibelline merlons - the only ones left in Siena - so well hidden, that they can be seen only from Via dei Percennesi.