About Musical Chapels of Siena Cathedral

If you are in Italy and wish to explore the remnants of its stunning past, then the Tuscan hill town of Sienna and its grand cathedral need to be on your itinerary. A true living example of a mediaeval city, Sienna takes you back to the Middle Ages with its magnificent architectural landmarks and city attractions.

The Siena Cathedral, the city’s ultimate tourist hotspot, stands in the exquisite city centre and is a magnetic early Gothic structure that houses, among other priceless artefacts, artworks by Michelangelo, Donatello, Pisano, and Pinturicchio. Constructed in the early thirteenth century, the Cathedral was designed like a Latin cross with a projecting dome and bell tower. It was adorned with white and green-black marble stripes on the exterior and interior walls. With seven sets of bronze-panelled double doors that depict stories from the New Testament and 77 stained glass windows created by leading mediaeval-era artists, the Siena Cathedral is an artistic, architectural, and cultural masterpiece.

Discover The Musical Chapels of Siena Cathedral

The Ordo Officiorum of 1215 was the first document that certified and regulated musical performances in the Siena Cathedral. Yet, it was only by the second half of the fourteenth century that constant attention to music is known in the form of works about the carved wooden choir and organ construction. These developments spearheaded numerous others, including the indictment of a singing teacher. Finally, almost two centuries after the Ordo Officiorum, Siena Cathedral saw the birth of a musical chapel in the mid-fifteenth century. Driven by the arrival of singers from Poland and Flemish nations who dominated the music scene of Europe, the musical chapels of Siena Cathedral became a constant feature by the turn of the sixteenth century.

Coro “Agostino Agazzari”
Coro “Agostino Agazzari”

Established in 2001, The “Agostino Agazzari” Choir of Siena is the Cathedral’s official choir. Polyphony is a speciality of the choir, which is led by Cesare Mancini and boasts an extensive range of music, from Gregorian chants to experiences from the 20th century and studies of ancient musicians of Siena. Felicitated as the National Interest Group by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the choir performs enthralling tours in places like England, Poland, Germany and Austria. They have also been a part of and are regularly invited to major festivals like the National Polyphony Festival of Camogli, the International Festival of Sainte-Baume, and the National Day of the Renaissance Organ. While the Agostino Agazzari organises the “Musica Senensis” festival to celebrate Sienese music, musicians, instruments, and places, they have always known universal appreciation of critics and the audience at all their performances. Cesare Mancini, apart from his role in the choir, is also known for his musical performances of works like Mozart’s Requiem.

Coro della Cattedrale di Siena “Guido Chigi Saracini”
Coro della Cattedrale di Siena “Guido Chigi Saracini”

Among the most crucial and revolutionary interventions in Sienese musical production and diffusion is the establishment of the “Guido Chigi Saracini” Choir of the Siena Cathedral. Established in September 2016 as a result of an alliance between the Accademia Musicale Chigiana and the Opera della Metropolitana, this musical chapel of Siena Cathedral is a vivid testimony of a fruitful relationship between artistic institutions that wish to make Siena an example for the rest of the musical world. Directed by the internationally renowned Maestro Lorenzo Donati, the choir has a classic experienced ensemble of 8 sopranos, 8 altos, 7 tenors, and 7 basses. The “Guido Chigi Saracini” project aims to diversify and enrich the musical community’s cultural heritage, for which it intends to create a stable artistic complex. Envisioned as a project that would combine sacred inspiration with quality concerts, the artistic complex is to be above the massive executive and interpretative practices of choirs.

Plan Your Visit

Opening Hours
How to reach
Opening Hours

The opening hours of the Musical chapels of Siena Cathedral vary throughout the year, and it is recommended that you check the timings before planning your visit.

Monday to Saturday: 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM

Sunday: 9:30 AM to 6 PM

Admission is allowed until half an hour before closing time.

FAQs

How many Musical Chapels are there in Siena Cathedral?

    There are two Musical chapels of Siena Cathedral in modern times, the Coro “Agostino Agazzari” and the Coro della Cattedrale di Siena “Guido Chigi Saracini”. While the Agostino Agazzari is the official choir of the Cathedral, the Guido Chigi Saracini aims to transform the scene for musical chapels and make Siena an example for the musical world.

How old are the Musical chapels of Siena Cathedral?

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