Scuola Grande San Teodoro

Living music between art and history

Crossing the threshold of the 16th-century Scuola Grande di San Teodoro for a concert by I Musici Veneziani is like going on a journey back in time. The warm welcome by the ‘moretti’ and the ‘major domo’ (young servants and butler) dressed in their spectacular period costumes gives the visitor a taste of the festive party atmosphere at the palace.

History of Scuola Grande di San Teodoro

 

The Scuola Grande di San Teodoro is named after the patron saint of Venice, St. Theodore, a Byzantine warrior. The majestic building of the Scuola Grande — literally “Great School” — was conceived as the seat of the oldest confraternity in Venice, which was originally founded in the  8th century in the location where St. Mark’s Basilica now stands. When St. Mark replaced St. Theodore as the city’s patron saint, the brotherhood was dissolved, only to be resurrected in 1258 by the Augustianian fathers of San Salvador.

The remains of St. Theodore are located inside the Church of San Salvador – the Church of the Holy Savior — in the same square as the concert venue, on the altar of the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro. The remains were brought to the altar in 1261 from Constantinople. The brotherhood provided charitable assistance to the poor, and gained prestige through the centuries. St. Theodore was restored as a patron saint of Venice in 1450, holding the title alongside St. Mark.

In addition to its charitable works, the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro confraternity of artisans and merchants played an important role in religious processions during the Venetian Republic, also known as La Serenissima, which lasted until 1797. With the fall of the Republic of Venice, the confraternity was also suppressed, later to be reconstituted in 1960. Nowadays, however, the name Scuola Grande di San Teodoro refers mainly to the 16th-century building that now hosts the concerts of I Musici Veneziani.

One-of-a-kind Concert Venue

 

A twilight ascent of the beautiful Longhena designed staircase before taking ones seat in the glorious Capitoline Hall adorned with precious paintings, including “The Annunciation” by Jacopo Palma il Giovane recreates a unique opportunity to become immersed in the splendor of the Serenissima Republic before being swept away on a sea of notes…

The Scuola Grande di San Teodoro is a magnificent concert venue that takes visitors back to the opulence of the Republic of Venice. It was built in the 16th century and is an impressive example of classic Baroque architecture. Construction began in 1580 and was completed at the end of 1581. However, the current structure was expanded in successive years through the work of the architects Tommaso Contin, Antonio Sardi, and, after his death, Sardi’s son Giovanni.

As classical music fills the hall, visitors can enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience within walls that carry  nearly 500 years of history. This unique concert venue makes a perfect backdrop to an evening of splendid music. Visitors take their seats in the sumptuous Capitoline Hall on the ground floor, where musicians in period costumes await to delight the senses.

The Scuola Grande di San Teodoro is just steps from the iconic Rialto Bridge, a Venice landmark that is the oldest bridge of the four that cross the city’s Grand Canal. There is truly no better way to experience a concert in Venice than in this unforgettable venue, which wraps visitors in the spirit and atmosphere of a wealthy and aristocratic Venice that dominated the seas.

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