History and Statistics

A bit of history

Ars Cantus is a non-profit cultural association founded on 10 December 1987 in Varese and aims to develop and disseminate the values ​​of classical music and in particular of Italian and sacred music; the values ​​of artistic / musical education of young people in society and in school. These goals are pursued by promoting all possible contacts and collaborations on the one hand with public institutions, on the other with diocesan institutions. The Association accomplishes this through its own choir and orchestra, both formed mainly by young people; with the presentation of the choir and orchestra favoring the youth audience; providing their technical skills where required, with particular attention to the choirs operating in the area. (From Article 3 of the Articles of Association).

Group life is of fundamental importance in the Choir and Orchestra Ars Cantus, to create a context in which the values ​​of the music performed can emerge alive and be recognized by the spectator.

The staff currently has about 200 elements divided as follows:

  • Chorus of White Voices – about fifteen children from 8 to 16 years old, from the provinces of Varese and Como;
  • Symphonic Choir – about 90 adults, average age 35 years old, from the provinces of Varese, Milan and Como, but also from Ireland, Norway, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary;
  • Symphony Orchestra – over 90 elements, average age 33 years, who also collaborate with other Italian and foreign orchestras; from the provinces of Varese, Milan, Como, Lecco, Bergamo, Lodi, Monza and Brianza, Novara, Pavia, Piacenza and Verbania, but also, in the various years of the Association’s life, from Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil , Bulgaria, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Japan, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Syria, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, residing in Italy.

The Ars Cantus Choir and Orchestra in 30 years has held about 650 Symphonic Concerts, in Italy, Austria, France and Switzerland, and has been repeated several times by RAI and numerous other Radio and TV broadcasters. Everywhere he found a large turnout and enthusiasm of the public and critics, so much so that there are numerous cities and bodies that regularly invite him.

In particular, on 21 September 1997 the Ars Cantus Choir and Orchestra is called to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Province of Varese, where, in the Basilica of S. Vittore, he performs Beethoven’s V Symphony and Bruckner’s Te Deum.

For the Great Jubilee of 2000, he is invited by the Vatican Commission to hold two [the 22nd and the 23rd] of the 57 Official Concerts: on May 13th in S. Maria sopra Minerva, for the 80th birthday of His Holiness Giovanni Paul II; on the 14th in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, for World Vocations Day, filmed for RAI Sat.

In May 2003 he had the honor, the first Italian symphonic group, to be heard on the Bas. of Notre-Dame in Geneva, with the Stabat Mater of Poulenc, and in the Church of Belfaux in Freiburg with Verdi’s Requiem, arousing authentic ovations.

In November 2004, the Association became the protagonist of another historical event, sponsored by countless and prestigious Italian and Russian bodies, the exchange of Directors with the Volgograd Philharmonic Orchestra, ex Stalingrad, capital of the homonymous Region in the Russian Federation:

  • Edward Serov, “Artist of the People” of the Russian Federation, one of the greatest Russian Conductors of the Modern Era comes to Italy to conduct Ars Cantus in two memorable, amazing Concerts;
  • Giovanni Tenti travels to Volgograd to direct the Philharmonic, making himself appreciated for his gritty human charge, combined with an involving sensitivity of interpretation.

On 29 October 2005 the Ars Cantus Choir and Orchestra is also invited to hold the Grand Opening Concert of the New Cathedral of Brescia after the restoration, aired live on television, performing with great success the III Heroic Symphony of Beethoven and the Te Verdi’s Deum, in front of the city and provincial Authorities and almost 3000 Public people.

In 2007, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Foundation, the Ars Cantus Association obtained two truly “special” awards.

On July 7, the Aer Macchi Aeronautical Company (today Leonardo), for the first time in almost one hundred years since its foundation in 1913, opens the gates to a symphonic concert: Ars Cantus “enters the factory”. The two Entities, each of excellence in its own field, recognizing themselves rooted in the same territory of Venegono, in the Province of Varese, inaugurate a particular collaboration, discovering together

  • the relevance of their “two worlds”, of symphonic music and high technology, “capable of channeling the virtuosity of individuals in achieving great collective results” (from the Preface to the Concert Hall Program, curated by the CEO by AleniaAermacchi, Ing. Carmelo Cosentino);
  • that the resonance given by the voice of Music to the roar of Aircraft, “is a powerful and harmonious affirmation of Italian creativity and genius” (Ibidem).

On 8 July, the Varese municipal administration grants Ars Cantus to hold a large concert at the Estense Gardens – for the first time in the history of the gardens, a symphonic concert in front of the Fontana Maggiore – in honor of the city.

In July 2009 Ars Cantus had a great success also in Vienna, at the Musikverein, the Olympus of Music, one of the very rare Italian groups to be invited there, in the famous Golden Hall of the Friends of Music, from which it has been broadcast for decades worldwide the famous New Year’s Concert.

At the beginning of 2010, after 23 years of “road”, Ars Cantus received two prestigious awards in its Varese area: from January it was nominated Testimonial of the Province of Varese; in February the Rotary Club Tradate awarded Maestro Tenti the Professionalism Award, a plaque that the Club annually attributes to a person in the area who has distinguished himself in his work for serving the Community through his professional ability and competence.

In July 2013 Ars Cantus is the protagonist of an “ecumenical” tour in Strasbourg, which sees his work in sharing and solidarity particularly appreciated, in the Catholic Cathedral and also in the Reformed Church of Saint-Paul.

The October 2015 Ars Cantus captures an unexpected success, fully convincing even the very expert and demanding audience of the prestigious Musical Evenings in Milan, who call it – for its “season of Serie A subscription” – to replace at the last moment the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, forced for serious reasons to give up.

In July 2015 and 2016 it also shows its particular effectiveness in outdoor concerts, performing in front of an enthusiastic international audience, in the large courtyard of the Sforzesco Castle in Milan, as part of the Expo in the City.

Artistic director

Giovanni Tenti was born in Tradate, in the province of Varese, in 1961: after graduating from the High School in 1980, he graduated in 81 in Piano with the teachers Cesare Castellani and Ugo Amadei; in 86 in Organ and Organ Composition with the Masters Gianfranco Spinelli, Maria Cecilia Farina, Claudio Riva and Luigi Benedetti and in Choral Music and Choir Conducting with Maestro Franco Monego; in 1989 in Composition with Maestro Angelo Bellisario: always at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. He also studied Conducting with Leonardo Taschéra, Gabriele Bellini and Gianpiero Taverna.


The document below shows various statistical analyzes of the Choir and Orchestra Ars Cantus – Lyric / Symphonic Body updated to 31 December 2019

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CLICK HERE to read the Ars Cantus Statistics