The Association

The aim of the Association is to organize concerts and other activities that promote musical culture and keep alive the memory of Maestro Giorgio Questa and his marvelous wooden pipe organ.o.
from Art.2 of the Statute of the Giorgio Questa Association

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Who was Giorgio Questa

Giorgio Questa was born into a family of musicians in Genoa. His father provided his first musical training. He studied piano with Nicolay Klepikov, and dedicated himself to chamber music. He also developed an interest in vocal polyphony and organ music.
In 1966, at the "Internationale Zomeracademie vor Organisten" in Haarlem in Holland, he took part in a course of Marie-Claire Alain on French organ music. He studied Italian organ music and eventually constructed a mechanical wooden pipe organ similar to those used during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Traveling with his instrument, Questa played in Italy and Europe, in recitals and as a soloist with various symphony and chamber orchestras and with conductors such as Igor Markevitch, Karl Munchinger, John Pritchard and Sàndor Végh. He recorded for Dynamic and gave courses on interpretation of Italian organ music of the 16th and 17th centuries in the conservatories of Fontainebleau and La Chaux de Fonds, in Città di Castello and at the Amor in Assisi.
Giorgio Questa played mechanical transmission organs exclusively and his interpretations were based on autograph manuscripts and original prints. He was president of the Commission for the protection of artistic organs in Liguria, he died in Genoa on 11 June 2010.

The “portative” wooden pipe organ built by Giorgio Questa

Giogio Questa’s organ is a unique instrument; it can be assembled and disassembled in a few hours and is easily transportable. In this sense it recalls the ancient “portavo”, and in spite of its small size, its phonic structure is that of a common 16th century Italian organ. The instrument is entirely made of wood and completely mechanical. Giorgio Questa built it himself, piece by piece, following the methods used by the ancient master organ makers
It includes 491 pine and chestnut reeds and the keyboard, to which the pedalboard is attached, has four octaves.The liveliness of the sound, obtained with the intonation of the reeds at full air and low pressure, allows the natural acoustics of the instrument both in the theatre and in the small concert hall.
The instrument is equipped with a very sensitive keyboard which makes it possible to realize a great variety of nuances and effects. Its registers (Main Pine, Eighth, Fifth Tenth, Tenth Ninth, Vigesima Seconda, Fiffaro/Cornetta, Night Flute in VIII, Forest Flute in XII, Vigesima Sesta, Vigesima Nona) are those typical of the Italian organs of the classical period.
Two small accessories in accord with ancient traditions, "passero e passera", imitate the sound of birds. The squirrel tail reminds us of the ancient ”fox tail” that overhangs the organist, with the curious addition of a lever inscribed ”noli me tangere” (touch me not). A pulley pedaletto makes the free combination of the registers possible.

About this very particular and extraordinary portative organ, here's what Giorgio Questa and the music critic Leonardo Pinzauti wrote:

Giorgio Questa witness

Leonardo Pinzauti witness

They said about Giorgio Questa

My dear friend Questa... Certainly the organ is a masterpiece, but you are a masterpiece too!... I have just come back from Paris where I spoke about you with Nadia Boulanger... one of the people alive today who knows most about music... an extraordinary personality...

From letters by Igor Markevitch

[...] Giorgio Questa's music making, sustained by musicality informed by manual ability, gives one the sensation of constantly rediscovering the essence of the "expression" and of the "fun", the delight in seventeenth century music and with it the humility of an ancient musical service to community.

"[...] It is enough to listen to a few bars in the performance of Questa and the music acquires an impressive evidence of phrasing... It has happened, for example, that his passionate interpretations of some pages of Frescobaldi have given as never before the measure of the "modernity" of the seventeenth-century master... And there was really the impression of touching with one's own hand the essence of the works performed, in front of which the public remained as if hypnotized...

[...] The greatest merit of the Genoese organist is, in essence, precisely this ability of his to make himself humble and very wise intermediary of a fascinating expressive world, which however can reveal all his prodigious creative force only if brought back to the essence of his compositional structures and to those freedoms and hesitations that give the very sense of a musical matter in continuous, restless movement, like the pages of a book that asks to be leafed through with an astonished and absorbed eye... great masterpieces...

from the Critiques by Leonardo Pinzauti

Dear Mr Questa... A miracle!... I did not dare believe that you would come to Fontainebleau this summer... Your forthcoming presence at Fontainebleau lends a very precise character to the whole session... I give great importance to your presence... a real joy, this music favoured by such a pure instrument...

[...] You are most eagerly awaited in Paris, I can't wait to talk to you about what links us so deeply: Frescobaldi, performance of his music, your instrument, the way you play, your dreams, in a word music and you, you and music...

Dear Giorgio... You have gone but you have not left Fontainebleau, because we hold on to your presence as something precious... Your presence is still alive in the School and in my heart... You have left such a strong memory, made such an impression at Fontainebleau!... We are still talking about you, what you are and what you do have a special place in my memories...

Frescobaldi's works fascinate me... lt would be a real joy if once again you could bring back to life these works that are all too often left in silence... This truly beautiful sound and the light cast on such a great musician thanks to you... Know that from now on you will always be present at Fontainebleau

from the letters by Nadia Boulanger

Who we are


Beatrice Costa Horszowski


Maria Grazia Amoruso

Artistic director

Irene Martini




Execution by Maria Grazia Amoruso

Johann Sebastian Bach
Fantasia and fuga in A minor BWV 5611
Wood pipe organ by Giorgio Questa

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Activities and Collaborations


Maria Grazia Amoruso

For many years the Giorgio Questa Association has collaborated with the Genoese pianist and organist in concerts and performances to promote the Maestro's instrument.

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Capraia Music Festival

The Association, in collaboration with the Association ARS Musica Capraia, had the opportunity to exhibit in concert the instrument of Maestro Questa in numerous editions of the Festival.

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Contact us

Via Trieste, 9
16145 Genova (GE)