The Orchestra and Choir Desiderio da Settignano are under the direction of Johanna Knauf and are both amateur musical groups which perform together. The orchestra is symphonic and includes the full array of instruments, including strings, woodwinds, brasses and percussion. The choir is for adults and has sopranos, altos, tenors and basses who rehearse with piano accompaniment but then perform with the orchestra. Both groups have been performing for years and have a large repertory. The orchestra’s repertoire includes music from the Baroque, classical and early 20th century, ranging from sacred choral works such as Verdi’s Requiem to symphonies by the big composers such as Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Dvorak and more. 

The orchestra and choir perform several concerts per year, usually at Christmas and Easter and then in early summer in spectacular venues such as cathedrals and theaters and also outdoors when weather permits.

There is no audition required to join. Student instrumentalists and singers are very welcome to come to rehearsals and play in concerts, even if only for a few months. 

There are a number of local foreigners who play and sing, so there are always English speakers available. Rehearsals are conducted in Italian but as we all know, the language of music is universal and common to all musicians so if you do not speak Italian, it is never a problem. The atmosphere is friendly and non-stressful. 

If you are a string player but did not bring your instrument with you, there are two luthiers who play in the orchestra and have instruments for rent.

The orchestra rehearses every Monday evening at the Casa del Popolo in Settignano (number 10 bus) from 9-11 p.m. and the choir in the same location on Tuesday evenings, 9-11 p.m.
If you would like to participate as a player or singer, you may contact or for more information.