Music in

Santa Barbara

The Palatine Basilica of the GONZAGA family

Graziadio ANTEGNATI, was born in Brescia in 1525. Son of Giovanni Battista, he was held to be the most talented organ builder of his time and is, along with his son Costanzo, the most illustrious member of his family. We do not know a lot concerning his early years, but the number and the importance of the organs he built in his adulthood are enough to justify the title of “cavaliere dell’organo”. The most ancient Antegnati organ in our possession is the one in the cathedral of Chiari (Brescia) [...]. Between 1564 and 1566 he built the organs for the basilica of S. Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. On 27 May 1566 he signed a contract for an organ for the church of S. Spirito in Bergamo. This latter instrument displays the attention paid by Graziadio to the phonic part, to the tuning and to the aesthetic of the pipes. In 1565, Graziadio was tasked by Duke Guglielmo with the crafting of an organ for the ducal basilica of S. Barbara in Mantua. Graziadio worked on the organ assisted by his friend, Girolamo d’Urbino (Cavazzoni), who was also the organist of the cathedral of Mantua and who placed the value of the organ at 600 scudi.
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The Organ Rediscovered 

A piece of breathing and living history, this unique organ still allows us to breathe the grandeur of the Gonzaga court.

The organ rediscovered!  De Wert, Pallavicino, Gastoldi among other important people worked here.
The splendor of the time of the Gonzaga court is found intact in this unique instrument.
Here you can find out and get to know it.

The musical activities

The musical programme of the Basilica, with live performances of the repertoire of Santa Barbara.

The musical activities. You can find here the dates for future and past events.

Music and Sound in Santa Barbara

Listen to some musical examples

Music and Sound in Santa Barbara. You can listen here to some musical pieces, carefully chosen to show the peculiarities of the organ. You can also find the discography produced with this historic instrument.

The Cappella Musicale

The musical archive of the Cappella Santa Barbara is rich in very rare and precious musical materials

Research and rediscovering. The Musical Archive of the chapel hosts a wealth of materials, mostly unedited and unexplored. The scientific committee works tirelessly to uncover historic musical pieces from this archive, thanks, in particular, to the efforts of Licia Mari and Umberto Forni.

History and stories

Documents and essays

Historical Section by the Scientific and Technical Committee for the Graziadio Antegnati organ of the Basilica of Santa Barbara in Mantua

Santa Barbara. History is born and formed, it is discovered and rediscovered through anecdotes, thoughts, writings and documents

The Palatine Basilica in Mantua

The Palace and the BASILICA

The Palatine Basilica. The Basilica is part of the history of Mantua.


Piazza Santa Barbara, 4
I - 46100 - Mantova