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Antico Logo della Musica Cittadina di Locarno

City Music is part
of the history of Locarno

I quote verbatim from "A Muse in the City" Thesis in Literature at the University of Frigorgo, by our partner Manuela Monzeglio.

The history of the Locarno musical band, starting from its foundation in 1910, is daily intertwined with the political problems of the city of Locarno, with the needs of the local church, and later it is confronted with the reality of the Great War, despite Switzerland was neutral.


The only three bibliographic testimonies dedicated exclusively to the Musica Cittadina of Locarno, which try to tell its story, are not real books, but rather synthetic brochures published on the occasion of anniversaries of the Musica itself.

The first chapter of these brochures dates back to 1916: it is the small volume that contains the historical notes collected by Carlo Rossi on the Locarnese Philharmonic.  The historical part is divided into chapters: "From the Academy to the Workers' Band" tells the story of the band events in Locarno from 1808 to 1841,

The second chapter, "The Band of the Civic Guard" tells the story of the military band from 1842 to 1854, the era of the Locarnese Maestro Giovan Battista Poncini.


The third chapter concerns "The Musical Company of Maestro Marazzi, from 1855 to 1893.

Followed by: "The Philharmonic of the Pro Locarno and the Municipal Music School, 1893 - 1898", that of the Operai Esercenti

and the Italian Philharmonic 1899-1909” and finally the chapter dedicated to “City Music and its 1910 constitution”.


It is the local press that comes to our aid. In the "Eco del Gottardo" of 15 March 1910 we read in fact: "The new city musical body, recently established with the merger of the fanfares of the Velo Club, of the Gymnastics ... currently has 32 members".

The lessons are provisionally imparted by Maestro Paolo Lega but the Direction of the new Band has already secured a very talented teacher in the person of Maestro Ghilardi di Intra, a distinguished musician and composer, who graduated brilliantly from one of the most important conservatories in Italy".


On 17 April, the Musica Cittadina of Locarno, conducted by Maestro Ghilardi, performed its first acclaimed concert in the Piazza.


The first Assembly of the City Music Committee of Locarno dates on January 3, 1911.

On the agenda the presentation of the budget and final balance and the report of the committee, the appointment of an auditor, the increase of the salary of the Maestro to 150 francs per month and of the assistant to 50 francs. defined and also a renewed 'look' thanks to brand new uniforms and a banner promised since the beginning of the year by the Municipality in the person of Mr. Volonterio.


The new uniform was already inaugurated in June 1911 with a great concert by the Musiche di Giubiasco, Brissago and Ferrovieri di Bellinzona. Right from the start, the committee had expressed the desire for the uniform to be quite simple and not too flashy in terms of shapes and colors, proposing to those who would have created it to use only 'very fine black cloth' of a military type, a 'very simple shape ' with a collar of black velvet trimmed with gold, and epaulettes of black silk. In fact, the result was satisfactory.


The musicians of the Musica Cittadina of Locarno, on the day of the inauguration, wore black military cloth trousers and a very fine satin cloth tunic with a gold-embroidered velvet collar, gold embroidery on the arms and a black silk trimming on the front.

The whole story with historiographical insights, appendix, attachments, photos



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