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When Physics meets Music

Walter Chinaglia was born in Como (Italy) in 1971; after obtaining his degree in Physics in 1996 and five years of research in non-linear optics at the University of Insubria, he opened the workshop Organa.

He drafts, designs, builds and restores pipe organs, harpsichords, claviorgans using traditional materials and techniques. Driven by his spirit of research he conceives every single instrument based on various historical sources, followed by a detailed design and a constant confrontation with musicians. Hence his organs are compact, structurally solid with beautiful mechanics, easily transportable and tuneable, and each one has its own individual timbre.

Walter Chinaglia’s instruments are highly appreciated for both their sound and technical qualities and he is considered one of the major experts in medieval organ building in Europe.

Some of his most relevant work:

He designed and built several continuo organs who were chosen for many CD recordings, festivals and concerts.
One of them is at the Department of Early Music of University "La Sorbonne", Paris.

A clavi-organ with pedal bellow system was designed and built in 2001.

A positive baroque organ in spanish style for Pamplona’s Cathedral was designed and built in 2008.

He made a specific research on the physical phenomenas involved to recreate the "principale sound" in wooden pipes; based on this research, he designed and built an "organo di legno rinascimentale" based on "Principale di legno" (wooden principale) in 2009.

A new perspective on the "organo di Leonardo da Vinci" was introduced in 2012 and the first professional version of this instrument was designed and built by him. This instrument has been presented during performances in many countries of Europe.

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In 2012 he presented a new interpretation of the famous painting of H. van der Goes: two gothic organs with pure lead pipes and hand bellows were designed and built by him. This research work was first shown in Moissac (ORGANUM, Marcel Pérès) then in other european countries. One of these organs is now at the ”House of Polyphony" in Leuven (Belgium).

For over twelve years, in cooperation with Guillermo Pérez, Walter Chinaglia has been designing and building a complete range of portative organs which allow to play medieval music of the 14th and 15th century.

An intensive and philological research in cooperation with Cristina Alís Raurich, gave him the possibility to develop and build - for the first time - a portative organ with copper pipes, specific for the music of the 13th century.

He is one of the official luthiers of the Faculty of the ”International Course on Medieval Music Performance" in Besalù (Spain).

From 2005 to 2008 Walter was assistant-professor of “historical temperaments and tuning tecniques” at the “Conservatorio di Como”, a superior institute of musical studies.


As of today, Walter has built more than 50 portative organs for important ensembles and schools, such as:

  • Tasto Solo - Guillermo Perez, FR
  • Magister Petrus, ES
  • La Reverdie, IT
  • Capella Bambergensis, DE
  • Camerata Aboensis, FIN
  • Viaartis, DK
  • In Illo Tempore, CH
  • Laterna Magica, RU
  • ArtePsalentes, ES
  • Artefactum, ES
  • Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, CH
  • Civiche scuole di Musica di Milano, IT
  • Haute école de musique de Genève, CH
He has given lectures at many international symposiums:

  • Moissac (CIRMA, M. Péréz), FR (Apr. 2012)
  • Spello PG (centro studi A. Broegg), IT (Jul. 2012)
  • Amsterdam (International Symposium on Medieval Organs), NL (June 2012)
  • Università terzà età Varese, IT (Mar. 2013)
  • Rhede EMS (Symposium on gothic organs), DE (Sept. 2012)
  • Besalù (International Course on Medieval Music Performance), ES (Jul. 2013, Jul. 2015)
  • Academia de Órgano Julián de la Orden, Cuenca, ES (Sept. 2013)
  • Pamplona, ES (Aug. 2013)
  • Ticino (masterclass ATO), CH (Sept. 2013)
  • Academia de Órgano Julián de la Orden, ES (Sept. 2013)
  • University of Wuerzburg, DE (Oct. 2013)
  • Fondazione Accademia di Musica Italiana Per Organo Pistoia, IT (Sept. 2014)
  • Bologna c/o "Collezione Tagliavini”, IT (May 2015)


Amadeus 9/2018, Massimo Rolando Zegna (italian)
  Read article

Arte Organaria e Organistica 1/2017, Bruno Silini (italian)
  Read article

Eco di Bergamo, Alessandro Bottelli
August 2017 (italian)
  Read article

La Provincia, Stefano Lamon
April 2013 (italian)
  Read article

La Provincia, Stefano Lamon
August 2012 (italian)
  Read article

Dismamusica, Cristiano Cameroni “Questione di Fisica” (italian)
  Read article

Concordia, Angelo Porro
“L’Organaro” (italian)
  Read article

Reviews / Testimonies

David Rumsey, organist and expert on medieval organ culture about the Chest organ with principal.
Magazine "The Diapason":
  Read article
Andrew Benson Wilson, organ recitalist, concert and organ CD reviewer for early music and organ magazines, about the Chest organ with principal:
“Regensburg Tage Alter Musik 2017”
  Read article
(scroll to June 3 pragraph)
Andrew Benson Wilson, organ recitalist, concert and organ CD reviewer for early music and organ magazines, about the Chest organ with principal:
“Echoes of Venice”
  Read article


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Ballate e Madrigali
ClubMediéval, Thomas Baeté
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Tactus TC 621801, Sisto Reina
Opera Quinta, 1653
Concentus Vocum
Michelangelo Gabbrielli
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Musica Ficta
Thomas Baeté: Artistic direction
Guillermo Pérez: Organetto and gothic organ
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Hänssler Classic
Luca Quintavalle: Harpsichord
Daniel Rothert: Recorder
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Classic Voice Antiqua
Giovanni Acciai, Ivana Valotti, Nova ars cantandi
Chest organ with Principal
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Glossa Music
Mara Galassi: Harp
Antonio Togni: Organ, Harpsichord, Fortepiano
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Imaginarium - Enrico Onofri
Zig Zag Territories
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© ORGANA di Walter Chinaglia
Via Montebello 10, 22072 Cermenate (CO) Italy, tel/fax +39 031 772776, mob. + 39 340 966 78 03