Piccola Accademia di Montisi, located in a hilltop medieval village in southern Tuscany, has been founded to provide a center of inspiration for musicians worldwide who have an interest in the harpsichord, its repertoire and its history. In the past 50 years, interest in 16th-18th century music has flourished and the number of musicians exploring performance practices on original instruments has grown dramatically. Unfortunately, while interest in the harpsichord and its role in the musical life of Europe has greatly expanded, access to the original instruments for which the composers of that time wrote is rapidly diminishing.
Most institutions have withdrawn access to their instrument collections, treating them as historic ‘documents’, to be seen but not heard. The consequence of this approach to preservation is that the authentic sound of these instruments and the musical insights that they provide are being lost to future generations. In response, the Piccola Accademia is creating a world-class collection of harpsichords, including both original antiques and historic copies from leading modern makers to serve the musical community at large. The Accademia’s instrument collection will include examples of each national school that allow the entire harpsichord repertoire to be played on the historic style of instrument for which each composer wrote.