The University Choir of Florence was founded in 1996. Open to the participation of students, administrative staff and teaching staff, it is the official chorus of the University of Florence. It was made into an association in 2000 with the aim of promoting cultured choral music within the university through the organization of concerts, competitions and festivals. In December 2011 the Choir received the special recognition of 'choir of national interest' from the Ministry of Cultural Heritage for the quality and excellence of its work.
The staff varies according to the academic years and is on average made up of about forty items. The University Choir of Florence is a mixed choir (with male and female voices), with a mainly a cappella repertoire based on the European educated tradition.
The Choir maintains standing collaborations with university choirs of Palermo, Trieste, Parma, Salerno, Perugia, Siena, Pisa, Hartford (United States), Lyon (France), Budapest (Hungary), Rome Tor Vergata, Camerino, Modena and Reggio Emilia, Bolzano, Venice, Ferrara, Bologna, Constance (Germany).
It participated in the Festival Choral International de la Sainte Baume (2002) and at the International Choral Singing Festival Alta Pusteria (2008). In 2006 it promoted the Simone Gentile Choral Composition Prize in collaboration with the Associazione Cori della Toscana, presenting in concert the first performance of the winning piece (Memorie, by C. Gentilini). It joined the IV National Conference of Italian University Choirs and Orchestras, taking part in the performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana at the Auditorium della Conciliazione in Rome along with more than 300 choristers chosen from Italian universities.
Its tenth foundation anniversary was celebrated with the organisation of the review University in Music together with the Choir of the University of Siena and the Choir of the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa.
The University Choir goes on tours abroad and in Italy on a regular basis: in 2010 it makes a twin exchange with the choir of the University of Budapest; in 2011 with the choir of the University of Trieste; in 2012 with the Choir "Singkreis Köttmannsdorf" of Klagenfurt; in 2013 with the University Choir of Salerno and the University Choir of Parma, in 2014 and 2016 respectively with "Hartt Choir" of the University of Hartford (Connecticut, US) and with The Fairfield University Glee Club (Connecticut, US).
In December 2014 it promoted the conference "Vivaldi and Venice", held in the Great Hall of the University of Florence by Maestro Federico Maria Sardelli to mark the occasion of the twinship with the Choir and Orchestra of Ca' Foscari University of Venice, which brought together the two ensembles to perform in both cities.
The Choir routinely participates in official ceremonies and initiatives promoted by the University.
In May 2015 it collaborated in the project UNInCanto International University Choir Festival, promoted by the University's artistic and performance activities, with the patronage of the Municipality of Florence, the Tuscany Region and the Florence Capital Committee. The Festival hosted ten Italian and foreign university choirs, which performed in the Basilica and in the Santa Croce Complex.
Again, in the splendid setting of Santa Croce, in May 2016 the Choir celebrated the twentieth anniversary from its foundation in a two-day event, in which vocal music was the sole protagonist.
It performed in front a children's audience on the "Meyer for a friend" open day, 2017 edition, giving a singing performance in the playroom for the little guests, singing the Swahili song Baba Yetu by Christopher Tin. In the same year it featured, together with the University Orchestra, in Bright 2017 - The Researchers' Night at the Teatro Verdi in Florence (September 29) and in the traditional Christmas concert together with the Orchestra and the Theatre Company at the La Compagnia Cinema (December 18).
In 2018 it participated in the university choir festival organized by the University of Urbino (19-20 May) and collaborated in the realization of the Università in Musica event, now in its sixteenth edition, inside the Church of Saints Michael and Gaetano in Florence together with the University Orchestra (24 May 2018).
Directed by Valerio del Piccolo from its foundation to 2005 and by Valentina Peleggi until 2015, the Choir is currently under the direction of Maestro Patrizio Paoli.
To participate in the Choir please write to: spettacolo(AT)unifi.it
Info: spettacolo(AT)unifi.it – corouniversitariofirenze(AT)gmail.com
The Choir's own website (external link)
Videos of the Choir in action
The Choir at the Meyer Children's Hospital's Open Day