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The Sanfilippo Foundation

Barrington, IL   

The Sanfilippo “Place de la Musique” is known worldwide for its magnificent collections of beautifully restored antique music machines, phonographs, arcade and gambling machines, chandeliers, art glass, the world’s largest restored theatre pipe organ, the most spectacular European salon carousel in existence, street and tower clocks, steam engines and other functional mechanical antiques, displayed within a breathtaking French Second Empire setting.

The primary motive behind this collection is the preservation and sharing of the experience of these marvelous inventions of the Western World.

The Place de la Musique contains the largest collection of restored automatic musical instruments in the world, including:

  • music boxes and phonographs
  • coin-operated pianos
  • violin machines
  • photo-players
  • American and European orchestrions
  • dance organs
  • fairground and band organs and calliopes
  • the world’s largest indoor theatre pipe organ

In conjunction with guided tours, the Sanfilippo Foundation features a wide range of performances throughout  the year. Many of these performances, as well as other recording sessions with vocal and instrumental artists, have been recorded in their acoustically-ideal music hall, utilizing state-of-the-art recording equipment. The Foundation’s recording partner, Victorian Recordings, has professionally produced a great number of these performances and recordings.   

Audrey Johnson singing ‘Smanie implacabili’ from Mozart’s Così fan tutte in the Foundation’s concert hall

This audio selection has been included here to demonstrate the ideal acoustics and high-quality recording equipment of the Sanfilippo concert hall. No additional reverb or other such effects are needed during editing, as the balanced reverberations present in the hall naturally enhance the artists’ timbres, providing them–and their listeners–with authentic representations of their work.

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