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queen Margaret's bequest
Ritratto ufficiale della regina d'Italia, Margherita di Savoia
In December 1926, in accordance with the will of Margaret of Savoy, the first Queen of Italy, the Accademia inherited her private collection of twenty-five stringed instruments. Most of them are plucked instruments - her favorite - the most outstanding of which are a group of valuable mandolins and several Asian instruments, probably tributes from foreign visitors.

Her gift to the Accademia di Santa Cecilia conferred valuable official recognition of the Museum's role, increasing its prestige. Most of all, it reflected the strong ties the Queen had with the institution, whose activities she followed assiduously, often sponsoring them personally.

Among the various performances she must surely have attended are the "historic concert" in May 1889 and the lesson-concert on "folk melody in the 16th century" organized a few days earlier by the Accademia in collaboration with the Accademia Filarmonica. On that occasion, the poet Giosuč Carducci dedicated the poems Il liuto e la lira (The Lute and the Lyre) to Her Majesty, verses in which the Queen is depicted as she plays.

As a matter of fact, Margaret began her musical education when she was very young and she learned to play the piano, the lute and the mandolin. Her heartfelt passion for music, a unique case in Savoy history, lasted all her life, along with a broader interest in every art form.
For the first symphonic concert she offered her guests on 28 March 1881 in the great hall at the Quirinale, Margaret personally decided on the program, choosing the Coriolanus Overture and the new Symphony in D by Giovanni Sgambati, composed for the occasion and dedicated to the Queen. The Caecilian academic was eventually appointed her official musician, and in 1893 the famous Quintet by Sgambati became, by royal decree, "the Quintet of the Court of Her Majesty, the Queen".
Margherita di Savoia
(1851 - 1926)
Margaret of Savoy (1851 - 1926). The wife of Umberto (son of Victor Emanuel II), Margaret managed to lend an elegant, intellectual stamp to the severe Savoy court. "The Queen's Thursdays", also known as "The Queen's Club", was the only aristocratic salon that allowed and encouraged the attendance of the elite - not only in terms of rank, but also in various fields such as politics, literature and the arts.
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