The University of Parma Choir came into being in 1968 upon the request of both teachers and students, who named it after the Parmesan composer Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880-1968). Over the years, the choir has collaborated with noteworthy institutions such as the “Teatro La Fenice” in Venice, the “Teatro Regio” in Parma, the “Arturo Toscanini” Symphonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Mantua and the “Arrigo Boito” Conservatoire in Parma. It has also often participated in international festivals in prestigious settings in Italy, Scotland, Catalonia and Greece, such as the “Abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba” in Piacenza, “Hutchensons’ Hall” in Glasgow, the “Sagrada Famiglia” in Barcelona, among many others. The choir also performs medieval music, a practice which has been established through the choir’s participation in the “Festival Oltrepo medievale” (Oltrepo Medieval Festival) and in the “Festival dei due mondi” (The Two Worlds Festival) in Spoleto. In recent years, the choir has received a positive response not just from members but also from music-loving citizens, thanks to numerous concerts held in and around Parma. Strong links have been forged with cultural institutions such as the administrative bodies of Parma and Piacenza and Mantua and Brescia, having taken part several times in “La notte dei Musei” (Museum Night) e la “Settimana della Cultura” (Cultural Week). It has a thriving and continuous collaboration with the “Soli Deo Gloria” festival in Reggio Emilia, with the Municipality of Parma and with the “A. Boito” Conservatoire in Parma, associations which strongly root the choir to its birthplace. Additionally, the choir performed on “Telethon”. In 2007, the choir joined a close network of Italian University Choirs, with the aim of increasing musical and cultural exchanges. It has held concerts at numerous universities, such as Ancona, Reggio Emilia, Perugia, Venice, Macerata, Camerino, Pisa, Genoa, Bologna, Florence and Verona. 2008 marked the foundation’s 40thanniversary, for which the choir organised and has since continued to organise the “Gaudeamus in Musica” music festival, which celebrates the world of university music associations. From 2008 onwards is when the choir started touring regularly abroad: Madrid, Istanbul, Munich, with concerts hosted at universities and Italian Cultural Institutes. In 2013 the choir was selected for the “Festival International de Musique Universitaire” in Belfort, France. In 2015 it participated in the first edition of the “UNInCANTO” Festival of University Choirs to mark the occasion of 150 years of “Firenze Capitale”, while in 2018 it was awarded the “Feluca d’Oro” at the Urbino “UNInCANTO” festival. In the same year, it also went on tour to Jerusalem, organised by AERCO, an association for choirs in the Emilia-Romagna region, in collaboration with the “Youth European Orchestra” directed by Paolo Olmi.
The choir has been led by the conductor Ilaria Poldi since 1994.