He is considered an authority in the field of the German Lied, but his career began in France as a tenor soloist in the Opera singing company in Nice. He starred in operas of different eras and genres covering roles in works by Monteverdi, Haendel, Vivaldi, Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, Britten, Maderna, Stravinsky. However, his greater specialization has always been the art song and lied repertoire which is unanimously recognized as one of the leading specialists. At the Conservatory of Music Luigi Cherubini in Florence he teaches Art Song and Lied and he has trained generations of singers who are now working around the world. We asked Maestro Leonardo De Lisi a few questions about the Conservatory of Florence and about art events open to the public which we publish here the schedule of February and March.

Master De Lisi, which kind of advice you can suggest to young people who want to enroll in a music conservatory?

Music conservatories in Italy can provide excellent preparation for professional music, training from beginner level up to the specialist, especially in the field of classical music, but in some locations even jazz and modern repertoires or linked to new technologies such as electronic music.

The educational structure of the conserva- tory is (for now) on three levels:

1. Pre-academic: it is a period of preparation for entry to higher diploma courses in practice from the absolute basics to an intermediate level in the main subject, i.e.: the musical instrument, or singing, or the disciplines of composition, or jazz or music and new technologies.

2. Diploma, first degree (three-years degree) is the first academic level and the first qualification of a path parallel to that of the university reform (3+2), the system of organization of the curriculum is 180 credits in 3 years. On the website you can see our conservatory curricula: www.conservatorio.firenze.it

3. Diploma, second degree (two-years degree) is the completion of the 3+2 system, similar to the Anglo-Saxon system Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, and in this case would be similar to the level of master degree.

The prospects for the future in the field of music of every graduated student are traditionally linked to two important factors: the natural talent base and the great discipline in the study following the trail by our programs and our teachers.

How different is today the Conservatory of Music with the new system and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this change?

The transition from the old system to the new one has had positive and negative effects on the educational system of music. The more positive aspects have been the enlargement of the possibility to choose different paths and more differentiated than before. Under the new arrangements have been developed areas that previously had a marginal presence in the traditional conservatory, as early music, electronic music, jazz, the music together and chamber ensemble in general.

From another point of view, however, the fragmentation into various courses or “smaller” modules (one semester, a few credits) made it to the conservatory as well as the university, the study as a path made of small short stages where a broader and more comprehensive breadth is missing. It’s a rather long course of study which at the same time can be shortened with much difficulty: the barriers of “university” inspiration make mandatory all of the years in their overall structure.

Your conservatory is always a multicultural institution for the presence of foreign students attracted by the Italian “bel canto” or the general artistic culture of our Country. The presence of foreign students is now growing or shrinking and why? 

The presence of foreigners is clearly in- creasing. In Florence the very ancient cultural identity meets the artistic tradition, known throughout the world, in addition to the fact that the Cherubini Conservatory, through numerous initiatives at international level, has been able to get known very well, especially in certain areas. Many of our faculty members are active in concert at the international level and this creates a major attraction.

In addition to the Open Day on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January in which your institution promotes itself, the academy offers regular meetings and free concerts at your Sala del Buonumore (Hall of Humour). Can you talk about these events?

The Cherubini Conservatory has an activity of artistic and musical production very wide and not only at the Hall of Humour. For example, on May 15 we will be at the Teatro Verdi in Florence with a concert by the very structured program in which actually play or sing almost all of our students. In fact, orchestra, soloists and chorus will perform Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. Those interested can sign up our mailing list or consult the site regularly. For educational activities there are excellent information services at the Secretary’s office or by contacting faculty representatives of the boards of course, whose email addresses are also found on the site.


Free entrance
Jazz Festival january/february 2014 Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini
Sala del Buonumore, Piazza delle Belle Arti 2, Firenze

15 February 2014, 5 p.m.
Villa Favard,
Via Rocca Tedalda 3, Rovezzano (Firenze) Featured books
Coffe musical concert
Presentation of Biografia in lingua italiana di Britten by Alessandro Macchia
Free entrance

5-10 March 2014
Sala del Buonumore,
Piazza delle Belle Arti 2, Firenze Multimedia festival
MNT Department of Music and New Technologies of the Cherubini Conservatory presents
The Body/the Light/the Sound
In collaboration with New York University

A Brief History of the Conservatory

Florence has hosted music schools since at least the fourteenth century, the period of the flowering of the Ars Nova. Under the French government, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, were established the first municipal schools of music. We have more precise information on the Academy of Fine Arts, already active in 1811 and divided into three classes, one of which was devoted to music and declamation.

A grand-ducal decree of August 6, 1849 converted the music school of the Academy of Fine Arts in musical institution in it- self. Giovanni Papini, the famous composer of the time was called to direct it. Vittorio Emanuele II, by decree of March 15, 1860 transformed the old schools of music, which depended on the Academy of Fine Arts, in “Regio Istituto Musicale di Firenze” (Royal Music Institute of Florence). 

In 1910 the musical institute was named after Luigi Cherubini. Finally, under the direction of Arnoldo Bonaventura, the Royal Decree of December 31, 1923 transformed the institution into the Royal Conservatory of Music.