Maria Majno

Società del Quartetto di Milano, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano


Director of musica, educational and socio-cultural projects

Maria Majno has been the Artistic and Operational Director for the performance of Bach's complete sacred and secular Cantatas, which took place in Milan between 1994 and 2004 in a cooperation between the Società del Quartetto and the City of Milan, with the realization of 96 concerts in more than 20 locations and the participation of all of the major Bach performers. The complete performance was proposed with scheduling criteria relative to chronology, pertinence to the liturgical occasions, thematic content, musicological aspects, artistic variety; it was awarded the Abbiati Prize. In particular, the "alliance" between Ton Koopman (who proposed performances with his ensembles), Raffaele Mellace (musicological commentary and program notes), Quirino Principe (translation of the lyrics) and Christoph Wolff (musicological and editorial consulting) is worth noting. 

Maria Majno completed her musical education at the Conservatory, and studied musicology at the Università Statale of Milan. Her long cooperation with the Società del Quartetto of Milan began in 1899 with the series "I Concerti del Quartetto", and from 1994 to 2004 regarded the general artistic direction, comprising the complete performance of J. S. Bach's Cantatas, which was awarded the Abbiati Prize in 2000. Since 2006 she directs the International Association "European Mozart Ways" (, receiving EU funding in the project "Culture 2007-13", with a particular focus on Mozart and Italy. She is the vice-president of the Mariani Foundation for Child Neurology (, with a particular interest on the topic regarding the relationship between neurosciences and music in the cognitive field; she leads the series of international conferences "The Neurosciences and Music", including the related publications. 

Following a request by M° Claudio Abbado she started in Italy a project of collective musical education on the model of El Sistema by J. Abreu in Venezuela; since 2011 she manages SONG onlus in Lombardy; she is the Vice-President of Sistema Europe ( and the Advisor of Sistema Global ( She is a Professor at the Università Cattolica of Milan and cooperates with other Universities. She is a Founding Member of the International Platform SIMM - Social Impact of Making Music (, Co-President of the Scientific Committee of CEM - Centre Européen de Musique ( and a member of the Scientific Council for the DEMOS project of the Philharmonie de Paris ( 


Raffaele Mellace

Università di Genova - Musicologist

Bach: research and dissemination

Raffaele Mellace has been writing for a decade (1996-2005) the programme notes for the complete performance of Bach’s cantatas for the “Settimane Bach” promoted by Società del Quartetto and the City of Milan. He published a vast, comprehensive study on Bach’s cantatas (Palermo, 2012, Preface by Christoph Wolff), which has been awarded the C.M. Martini International Award 2013. He edited for the publisher Ariele two volumes including the first Italian complete translation of the texts of Bach’s cantatas (1995-96) and more recently that of the remaining church music. He wrote articles on Bach for journals of musicology, comparative studies and theology, and in collective volumes, CD liner notes (several, extensive listener’s guides for the CD annexed to the journal “Amadeus”) and a good number of programme notes for Teatro alla Scala, festivals and concert seasons. He is currently working on a volume on Bach’s church music.

Raffaele Mellace graduated in Humanities at University of Milan and oboe at Conservatory of Bologna, received a PhD in Musicology from University of Bologna and the Sommerhochschule Diploma from University of Vienna. Since 2011 he is associate professor for Musicology and History of Music at University of Genoa. He has been Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Modern Literatures and Performing Arts. He has been teaching at Università Cattolica (where he still teaches in the Master in Arts Management) and Università del Piemonte Orientale. He is coeditor of the Class-A journal «Il Saggiatore musicale». He sits in the scientific board of «Hasse-Studien», «Hasse-Werkausgabe» (Carus Verlag), «Musica teatrale del Settecento Italiano » (ETS), «Centre européen de musique» (Bougival, France), and “Centro di Musica Antica della Fondazione Ghislieri” (Pavia). He has been writing regularly for Teatro alla Scala since 1993. In 2013 he has been awarded the “Carlo Maria Martini International Award” for his book Johann Sebastian Bach. Le cantate. His main research focuses are 18th-century church music and opera. Publications: books (Johann Adolf Hasse, 2004, German revised edition, 2016; L’autunno del Metastasio, 2007; Johann Sebastian Bach. Le cantate, preface by C. Wolff, 2012; Il racconto della musica europea. Da Bach a Debussy, 20192), editions (J.S. Bach, Passioni, Messe, Mottetti e Magnificat, 2017, «La nostra musica di chiesa è assai differente…». Mozart e la musica sacra italiana, 2018), articles and reviews in journals («Eighteenth-century Music», «Händel-Jahrbuch», «Mozart-Jahrbuch», «Mozart Studien», «Parole rubate», «Il Saggiatore musicale»), books, dictionaries (MGG online), programme notes, CD booklets.


Stefano Molardi

Scuola Universitaria di Musica di Lugano; concert performer, professor of organ and harpsichord

Bach: Performance, interpretation, recordings

As regards the field of Bach studies and performance, Stefano Molardi's activity includes analysis and study of performance, in relationship with the religious/spiritual dimension of the organ and vocal works; study of the scientific, numerological and kabbalistic component of his works; study of the historical performance practice regarding Bach's organ and harpsichord works: "stile rubato", touch, expression, organ registration. Concert performances in Italy, Europe and Japan of Bach's works, with reference to the historically informed performance and to the quest for the most adequate sound with respect to the historical organs in Central Germany and to the "affections" found in the pieces.

Stefano Molardi is a Cremonese organ and harpsichord performer, conductor and musicologist. He studies with M. Radulescu at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna; he cooperated with him as a continuo player at the Académie Bach of Porrentruy (Switzerland). He later graduated in musicology at the Facoltà di Musicologia of Cremona. 

He is the laureate of numerous national and international competitions, among which that of Brugge and the prestigious Paul Hofhaimer Prize of Innsbruck.

He has an intense activity as a soloist and conductor, as well as a continuo player in important seasons in Italy, Europe, Brazil, USA and Japan. 

He is Professor of Organ at the Scuola Universitaria di Muscia of Lugano; he gives master classes in Italy, Switzerland, Japan and Spain. His recordings are published by Tactus, Deutsche Grammophon, Divox and Brilliant Classics. 

In particular, for Brilliant he recorded the complete organ works by J. S. Bach, by J. Kuhnau and by G. B. Platti, obtaining important international awards, among which five stars from the journal "Musica" and by the BBC Music Magazine (London), as well as the German "Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik". 

Since 2005 he conducts the Baroque orchestra "I Virtuosi delle Muse", which has become, in 2013, the Accademia Barocca Italiana, with which he realized important projects in Europe and the USA.

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