Auditorium della Conciliazione was built in the 1930’s as part of an urban reorganization between Rome and the Vatican. It’s name, “Conciliazione,” meaning “reconciliation” in English, was chosen to represent a new partnership between the city and the papal state. It was designed by architect Marcello Piacentini and was initially meant to be a pontifical audience hall.
The auditorium opened in 1950 and its inaugural concert was conducted by Fernando Previtali with Arthur Rubinstein on piano. Its first season included performances by internationally renowned conductors such as Sergiu Celibidache, Paul Hindemith, Peter Maag, and Ildebrando Pizzetti.
Over the years, many classical music legends have graced its stage: Leonard Bernstein, Stravinsky, Karajan, Igor Markevitch, Aldo Ceccato, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Seiji Ozawa, Riccardo Muti, and Myung-Whun Chung.
In 1958, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Italy’s first exclusive symphonic orchestra, established its headquarters at the auditorium and remained in residence until 2003. RCMF’s artistic director, Robert McDuffie, made his Italian debut with the orchestra in 1994 at the prestigious hall.