The orchestra “Città di Brescia” was formed in the late ’60s within the “Musical Education Youth Centre of Brescia” established by the Costantino Quaranta Mandolin Association and by Isidoro Capitanio Philarmonic Society under Giovanni Ligasacchi’s direction. In 1974, thanks to Giovanni Ligasacchi’s and Rosa Messora’s will, the orchestra became an association in order to re-evaluate the mandolin tradition through the recovery of ancient original literature and the diffusion of modern original composition. This goal was pursued with lots of Ligasacchi’s initiative back in those years. In 1976, courses on modern musical languages for plectrum orchestras were added to its activities, held by the famous player and composer Siegfried Behrend with the co-operation of Claudia Brodzinska and Wolfang Bast.
Further to teaching and research work, the Orchestra toured intensively for concerts in Italy and abroad (Kerkade in 1974 and 1978, Ferrara in 1979, Remiremont, Schweinfurt, Udine, Baden-Baden, Logroño, Athens) and organised cultural exchanges with plectrum orchestras from other countries (Sofia, Bratislava, Russian orchestra “Classic Domra”, Darmstadt). Thanks to the precious aid of its president, Giuseppe Staro, and artistic director, Ugo Orlandi (a member of the association), the orchestra commited itself to the re-evaluation of the musical heritage of mandolin organizing in 1985 for its tenth anniversary the first “National Show of pinch instruments” under the patronage of Brescia Municipality and Lombardy Region, a performance to be repeated in 1990. Important concerts followed such as those performed for the Musical Association “G. Carissimi” in Rome, Veneto Festival and the S. Carlo Theatre in Naples.
The orchestra between 1987 and 1993 co-operated with significant artistic and cultural foundations such as the Italian Mandolin Federation (3° International Composition Context for Plectrum Orchestras) and “Constantino Quaranta” (1989 at the Grande Theatre in Brescia “Brescia’s Compositors and the Plectrum Orchestra”) a collaboration which lead to a joint association in 1995. The artistic and cultural tradition which the Mandolin Association “Costantino Quaranta” inherited by the former association of our town (Apollo Circle, Mandolin Society of Brescia, Mandolin Circle of Brescia, Mandolin Circles of Ghedi and Iseo) resulted to the orchestra “Città di Brescia” committed to further the musical activity and the historical heritage of mandolin.
Claudio Mandonico received his early musical training at the Gioietta Paoli Centro Giovanile di Educazione Musicale, Padua. He attended various courses in early music at Urbino, The Hague and Geneva, after which he took up the double bass and obtained a diploma in composition under Giancarlo Facchinetti. He directs the City of Brescia Plectrum Orchestra and teaches score analysis and harmony in Bergamo. As a composer he has written many works, reflecting various styles from the medieval to the renaissance, and from the baroque to the contemporary.