The Italian Saxophobia Project

In the central Italian province of Rome, is a town called Fiumicino. There you’ll find the Centro Studi Musicali Torre in Pietra (CSMT). According to their website—that is only in Italian BTW—the CSMT is a non-profit association which was founded in 1989, with the intent of promoting the language arts and music in its various aspects.

If Google translate can be believed—which is a pretty big if at times—the President of the CSMT since 1996, has been a man by the name of either Berni Attilio (Italian), or Attilio Berni (English). (See what I mean about Google translate?) To keep things consistent, I’ll just go with the English version of his name: Attilio Berni.

Among other things, Attilio Berni is a saxophone historian. He has amassed an enormous collection of 500 rare and unique musical instruments, which he uses in concerts, conferences, and exhibitions throughout Italy and Europe. These instruments range in size from the smallest saxophone in the world—the Soprillo—to the full size contrabass.

Berni’s project is called Saxophobia, and it is through this project that all these small, large, and in many cases extremely rare, vintages saxophones, are exhibited and performed on. Saxophobia is a visual and aural journey through the saxophone’s development, and pays homage to the saxophone as the King of Jazz.

Check out this YouTube clip of Attilio Berni performing on just some of these 500 horns in Saxophobia.

Addendum: Berni’s project is not the only one like it. American saxophonist and educator Rob Verdi has a Saxophobia project as well, in which he demonstrates some of the rare saxophones of the past and present.

Both of these performers of course draw their projects’ names from saxophone virtuoso Rudy Wiedoeft (1893 – 1940). Arguably, Wiedoeft’s most famous composition is titled Saxophobia.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

1 Of Only 3 Straight Baritone Saxes Up For Sale

    Source: Sax On The Web

A week or so ago a was reading SOTW, and I came across a For Sale listing that immediately caught my attention. I was going to PM the seller, but then I realized that someone (a member of the Woodwind Forum & reader of my blog) had already beat me to it.

Peter Nixon, of Brisbane, Australia, was selling one of the 2 straight baritone saxophones he had created using Amati donor horns. The one for sale is black, keyed to low Bb, and is the second straight baritone he has made. BTW, the first is keyed to low A, is red, and is owned by Dr. Jay Easton of Seattle, Washington.

    Source: Sax On The Web

    Source: Sax On The Web

Oh well, I take comfort in the fact the the Cdn. dollar wasn’t great at the time, and that I know this rare bari is going to great home. I hope that Randy enjoys his new sax when it arrives. I’m sending positive thoughts for its safe journey from Oz. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of straight baritone saxophones, you can check out what Pete wrote for, about the Buescher Company’s 1931 custom-made straight bari, as well as Peter Nixon’s Amati customization work.

And just as an interesting aside, the straight baritones of Peter Nixon are currently featured in the 2008 TheSax.Info Calendar, (formerly known as the calendar) available through Pete’s Lulu Store Front. (The 2009 calendar is coming out soon as well.)


…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!