The art of organ-making in Pistoia dates back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when great Tuscan masters worked in some churches in the city. In 1664, on commission from Pope Clement IX, the Jesuit Willem Hermans built the great organ of the church of S. Ignazio di Loyola.
From the second half of the 18th century local production also reached a high level of quality, thanks to the Tronci and Agati families. Which made organs not only in Tuscany and Italy, but also abroad (France, Argentina, Jerusalem) Towards the end of the 19th century, the Tronci family acquired the Agati company, thus becoming the only great organ craftsman in the city. For economic and artistic reasons, the decadence of the art of organ-making began in the early twentieth century. The instruments in most cases are neglected if not abandoned or replaced.
Organo di Pietro Agati, 1794
Academy of Italian Music for Organ
We must wait until the seventies, when the restoration of the San Niccolò Church’s organ in Agliana brought interest back to this instrument. In 1975, thanks to the initiative of Umberto Pineschi, organist of the Pistoia’s Cathedral, the Academy of Italian Music for Organ was born in Pistoia. The purpose of the Association is to promote knowledge and study of the Italian organ and its literature, with special regard to the Pistoian school. Organists from all over the world are part of the Association. Since 2001 the association has taken the official name of the “Giuseppe Gherardeschi” Organ Academy. They organize courses and concerts every year.
The symbol of the Academy could only be the image of the Hermans Organ.
There is a strong link between Pistoia and Japan thanks to the art of organ-making. In 1985 an organ academy was created in the city of Shirakawa (World Heritage Site) by the Pistoian master Umberto Pisaneschi. In 1993 Princess Michiko, wife of Akihito, emperor of Japan and a great lover of organs, came to visit Pistoia.
Accomodations in Pistoia’s center – Carducci apt