The orchestra “Città di Brescia” was formed towards the end of the sixties within the “Musical Education Youth Centre of Brescia” which was established by the Costantino Quaranta Mandolin Association and by Isidoro Capitanio Philarmonic Society which were 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 initiatives in those years. Very important was the organisation in 1976 of courses on modern musical languages for plectrum orchestras, which were 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 began an intense concert activity at international level taking part with success in musical contexts (Kerkade in 1974 and 1978, Ferrara in 1979), to festivals (Remiremont, Schweinfurt, Udine, Baden-Baden, Logroño, Athens) and organising 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 showed its commitment toward 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. The show was repeated in 1990. Important concerts followed such as those performed for the Mucsical Association “G. Carissimi” in Rome, Veneto Festival and the S. Carlo theatre in Naples.

The orchestra between 1987 and 1993 co-operated in important artistic and cultural initiatives together with the Italian Mandolin Federation (3° International Composition Context for Plectrum Orchestras) and together with “Constantino Quaranta” (1989 at the Grande Theatre in Brescia “Brescia’s Compositors and the Plectrum Orchestra”).

This is a first signal, which will approach the two associations in order to bring out and spread the original music for plectrum instruments. This co-operation lead to a sole 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) shows the orchestra “Città di Brescia” committed in an important work of continuing the musical activity and of protecting of historical heritage of mandolin.