via Guerrazzi, 13
40125 – Bologna
Founded in 1666 by Count Vincenzo Maria Carrati in the family palace, the Philharmonic Academy is the oldest secular music institution in Bologna, and one of the oldest in Europe. Among its members were some of the most famous musicians of all time, such as Corelli, Farinelli, Rossini, Liszt, Verdi, Wagner, Abbado, and Muti. In 1770, a 14-year-old Mozart took the entrance exam with Father Martini, and the historic hall that hosts concerts and other important events organized by the Academy as part of its training and educational activities is named after him. Two study and listening rooms are dedicated to Francesco Molinari Pradelli. The Academy’s extensive holdings comprise music collections, a historical archive, and the library.
The collections include paintings and works and objects related to people tied to the Institution’s history. A major collection of musical instruments comprises items from the earliest days of the Academy, such as a 16th century flute consort and Vindelio Venere’s lute from the same period, a viola da gamba from the 16th or 17th century, and the recently restored Traeri organ from 1673. Countless other objects were added to the collection from the 18th century onwards, including the so-called “Rossini” fortepiano, an Erard piano that belonged to the pianist Stefano Golinelli, and a piano of Ottorino Respighi; finally, the academy boasts an educational exhibit called “The Luthier’s Workshop” and Eugenio Amadori’s terracotta caricatures of musicians.
The archives and the library house the extensive collections that accumulated over the centuries: official deeds, other documents, books, and manuscripts, including autograph manuscripts such as the antiphon Quaerite primum regnum Dei that Mozart wrote in order to join the Academy, in the version approved by the commission chaired by Father Martini; the manuscript of A. Scarlatti’s Musica per la Settimana Santa; the autograph of Rossini’s Cenerentola and fragments of that of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and many others by composers such as Liszt, Verdi, and Beethoven. Many of the documents and bibliographic material are accessible online thanks to ongoing cataloguing and digitalization activities. Finally, the Academy has a photographic archive.