Presentation of the Activities

The Higher Institute of Musical Studies ‘Guido Cantelli Conservatoire’ in Novara has obtained full autonomy from the Ministry of Education in 1996, and has established itself -also in its name- as an active and lively reality in the area.
The wide catchment area, due to its strategic geographical position between Turin and Milan, together with being very well connected (car, train and also plane, being close to Milan Malpensa), allowed this institution to become a reference point for didactics, research and production within the High Artistic and Musical Education.
Thanks to the relatively small size of the Conservatoire, the students can achieve a tighter relationship with their teachers and the Institution itself. Having the chance to promote a productive musical interaction, many of the teachers -with indubitable national and international careers- invest a lot in the Cantelli Conservatoire, both musically and didactically.
A pleasant and sustainable didactic and academic environment, with the added bonus of distinguished musicians in its teaching roster, has attracted students from all over Italy, from Europe and the rest of the world: it just takes a stroll through the courtyard to perceive the international feel of its students.

At this time, in addition to the preparatory courses, the following courses are open, for both the Level 1 Academic Diploma and Level 2 Academic Diploma:
Harp, Singing, Baroque singing, Guitar, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Harpsichord, Composition, Double Bass, French Horn, Music Didactics, Instrumental Music Didactics, Choir Conducting, Historical Critical and Analytical Disciplines, Euphonium, Bassoon, Flute, Recorder, Repetiteur, Ensemble Music, Church Music, Oboe, Organ, Percussions, Piano, Historical Piano, Saxophone, Sound Engineering, Trumpet, Baroque Trumpet, Trombone, Baroque and Renaissance Trombone, Violin, Baroque Violin, Viola, Cello, Baroque Cello.

The building has over 30 rooms, a 320-seats Concert Hall with control room and all the equipment to allow early and contemporary music performance. There is also a majestic and prestigious pipe organ. We can say that all instruments needed for early and contemporary music alike are available, including some unusual ones like the Serpent, the Ophicleide, the Early Valve Trumpet, the Bass Flute and the Contrabassoon.

The Cantelli Conservatoire is well known for the intense artistic production and for the originality of its projects, and it offers its students chances to debut and to pursue a musical career. The strong points of its artistic production are in fact the ensembles, vocal groups and the year-round concerts.

The presence of a large Symphony Orchestra, completely made up by students and with an exceptionally wide repertoire, allows the best students to debut as soloists, in cooperation with the ‘C. Coccia’ Theatre, an important foundation in the city.

The Youth Choir, together with its smaller Chamber formation, is of fundamental importance for the concert productions.

The Contemporary Music Ensemble ‘C@n’t tell it’ performs and promotes the best repertoire of XIX and XX Century, and also allows the Composition students to have their music performed.

The artistic production spans over several events through the academic year:

  • The Cantelli Concerts, a traditional event offered to the city by the Conservatoire: every Saturday the best students -after an internal audition- have the chance to perform in front of a numerous and devout audience, as a sort of ‘baptism’ for their future career.
  • The Winds Festival, another fundamental event: the whole musical world knows Novara for the month of masterclasses, seminars, laboratories, exhibitions, courses and concerts about the Wind instruments’ world. Internationally acclaimed soloists, along with renowned orchestra leaders, share their expertise and raise the artistic and educational level of our Conservatoire.
  • The Guitar World, which offers a wide insight on guitar production, from baroque to contemporary repertoire, with masterclasses and concerts.
  • The Baroque Music Week, which involves teachers and students of the Early Music department in a laboratory aimed at the creation of original performing projects.
  • Rossini Lab, a new entry for our Conservatoire. It focuses on an in-depth study and the performance of Rossini’s operas, with a specific reference to one-act farces, and it culminates with the debut for the ‘Coccia’ Theatre season, in cooperation with the ‘Rossini Opera Festival’ of Pesaro.
  • Contemporary Autumn, XX and XXI Century with all their musical facets, with Composition students’ premieres, teachers’ compositions and specific projects on the most important composers for this repertoire.
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