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the Concerto Storico (Historical Concert)
Commemorative photo of the "Concerto Storico" held on 24th May 1889 in Sala Palestrina, Palazzo Doria Pamphjli.
On 24th May 1889, in the Palestrina hall of Palazzo Doria Pamphilj (in piazza Navona), a group of musicians conducted by a Caecilian Academic held a concert of 17th to 19th century "melodramatic" Italian music, promoted by the Società Musicale Romana (Roman Musical Society). The ensemble performed on ancient instruments; six of these instruments would become - and remain - part of the Accademia collection.

The commemorative photograph on display in the Museum, valuable evidence of the event, has also made it possible to identify some of the instruments. Each musician wears a daisy (a "margherita" in Italian) on his lapel in homage to Italian Queen Margaret of Savoy, who attended the concert.

Two Academics are recognizable in the group: the ensemble's conductor, Alessandro Orsini, standing on the far left, and Giuseppe Branzoli, sitting in the foreground embracing an eighteenth-century mandolone transformed into a twelve-string guitar. The other instruments which entered the collection are (from left to right): the cittern transformed into a guitar which one of the musicians in the background is resting on the harpsichord; the rebec held by the young player behind Branzoli; the violin by Carolus Helmer made in 1814 in Prague by Carolus Helmer; the large cello bearing the label "Francesco Framonti, 1688"; and the 16th-century viola da braccio made in Venice by Johannes Marcus Grapello, just visible in the hands of the musician behind the cellist. From the inventories we know that all the instruments - with the exception of the Helmer violin - had been donated purchased in 1895, the year the Museum was founded.
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