When one thinks of Maestro Renzi, the following comes immediately to mind: for the Artist – the passion and the thrill of the new, the perfection, almost unattainable, but particularly the poetry (one must “reach the poetry inherent in every thing“); for the Teacher – the extraordinary empathy, responsibility and generosity; for the Man – the inexhaustible energy, responsibility and human generosity. In short, a great personality, difficult to summarise in a few words.
In 1960, I had the great fortune to meet Maestro Armando Renzi. I had just returned to Italy from Munich (Carl Orff, Kurt Eichhorn and the Musikhochschule) to learn some writing styles which were required of us at some exams (such as Double Chorus and few other things), but at that time they were not taught in Germany, only analyzed, since they were considered merely of musicological interest.
In Rome, everybody recommended Maestro Renzi to me – whom I had also heard on the radio, years earlier, as a pianist.

I had never witnessed so many qualities, knowledge and competence all in one person. And I would never stop discovering them. I was to take the exam for the additional subjects of study for the organ class. Therefore Maestro Renzi himself, once he learned about the state of my studies, decided to help me up by suggesting a harpsichord maker where I could rent a mute pedal component so that I could practice a few hours daily for a few months. After the exam, Maestro Vignanelli, who presided the jury, asked me: “but you already play the organ, right?“

Once, he examined an ex-tempore assignment that he gave me: “you wrote a harmony from God!“, he repeated while playing it piece by piece. We then dove into the stuydy of Counterpoint, and so forth. A few months prior to the esam sessions, he trained me with the ‘sealed envelopes‘: he would give me in a sealed red envelope the theme that, as indicated on it, I had to extract on that a certain day at a certain time and complete by the time indicated. He wanted to know everything about it in order to advise me. As for the instrumentation, to which I had always paid rabid attention, he told me that it would be enough to practice a bit under Maestro Nino Rota’s instrumentator, Maetro Italo Delle Cese.

After graduation, he generously helped me gather all my documentation (I submitted as much as 15 employment applications all over Italy), as well as compiling all the papers.

Maestro, how could I ever thank you?

M° Luigi Andrea Gigante
November 1015


Homage to Armando Renzi at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, Rome April 12, 2013



Written accounts by Friends and Colleagues

Written accounts


Sacred Music Catalogue
S.I.A.E. (Italian Society Authors and Editors) Catalogue



Memories from former students


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