History of the courses

The establishment of the Academy was the most characteristic and distinctive of the ideas implemented by Count Chigi, who, with his personal initiatives, succeeded in transforming the atmosphere of his beloved city, contributing in this way to opening it up and welcoming people from all over the world. Because it was mainly foreign students who came to Siena in 1932 to take part in the first course in musical training held in Palazzo Chigi, taught by prestigious musicians. Over the years, the number of students coming from every continent gradually grew, today representing about fifty nations, and the number of master classes increased in an ongoing exchange between older and younger generations as students became teachers and an integral part of the history of the Academy.
Among the celebrated musicians who have graced the halls of Palazzo Chigi are: Pablo Casals, Antonio Guarnieri, Alfredo Casella (who assisted Count Chigi during the creation of the Accademia Chigiana), Arrigo Serato, Sergiu Celibidache, George Enescu, Andrés Segovia, Alfred Cortot, Jacques Thibaud, Nathan Milstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Hermann Scherchen, Guido Agosti, Gino Bechi, Gina Cigna, André Navarra, Riccardo Brengola, Giorgio Favaretto, Fernando Germani, followed by, after the Conte’s death, Franco Ferrara, Goffredo Petrassi and many others. Furthermore, recently: Carlo Maria Giulini, Salvatore Accardo, Bruno Giuranna, Franco Petracchi, Franco Donatoni, Kenneth Gilbert, Severino Gazzelloni, Franco Gulli, Oscar Ghiglia, Antony Pay, Trio di Trieste, Michele Campanella, Christophe Rousset, Giuliano Carmignola, Azio Corghi.
The presence of personalities of such great stature has contributed to the shaping of a precise, characteristic physiognomy of the Accademia which has remained intact to our day, giving the institution the solidity of tradition that is one of its principal distinctive traits and is confirmed by the current presence of artists like: Boris Belkin, Jurji Bashmet, Raina Kabaivanska, Renato Bruson, Patrick Gallois, Salvatore Sciarrino, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Antonio Meneses, David Geringas, Joaquin Achucarro, Luis Bacalov, Quartetto Alban Berg and many other teachers.
Particularly prestigious for the academy are the famous musicians who attended master classes at the Chigiana as part of their musical education. Among these, especially noteworthy are: Carlo Maria Giulini, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Oren, Roman Vlad, Claudio Abbado, Salvatore Accardo, Uto Ughi, Daniel Barenboim, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Alirio Diaz.