The city of L'Aquila boasts a rich classical music tradition showcased by prestigious municipal and regional institutions.
The renowned "Alfredo Casella" Conservatory is located in the city's eastern suburban area, in via Francesco Savini n. 7, and greatly contributes to training new generations of musicians.
There are also other important music associations that offer concert seasons regularly.
The "Società Aquilana dei Concerti B. Barattelli", founded in 1946 upon the initiative of Nino Carloni, has had noteworthy musicians as Presidents such as Goffredo Petrassi, Guido M. Gatti, Roman Vlad, Nicola Costarella.
The "Solisti Aquilani" created in 1968 under the guidance of Vittorio Antonellini and inspired by Nino Carloni, has been directed by Franco Mannino, Vittorio Parisi and Vincenzo Mariozzi.
The “ISA - Istituzione Sinfonica Abruzzese”, created in 1970 as part of a vast project ideated by Nino Carloni back in 1946 to set up a music-culture centre in the city of L'Aquila, debuted its Orchestra after a few years in 1974. Vittorio Antonellini, the ISA's artistic director since its creation, was followed by Ettore Pellegrini who has held the title since 2011.
The "Archi del Cherubino" Orchestra was formed in L'Aquila in 2007, thanks to an idea expressed by Judith Hamza, as a place and a moment for collaboration among young musicians and renowned professionals. The Orchestra boasts collaboration with internationally famous soloists.
Choral music is also widely represented in the city with numerous associations: “Le cantrici di Euterpe”, “Associazione Corale Gran Sasso", “Associazione Corale Gran Sasso”, “Coro della Portella” etc.
Theatrical production has flourished thanks to prestigious theatre institutions.
The "Teatro Stabile d’Abruzzo" produces and distributes festivals of national calibre. The “Teatro stabile dell’Aquila” was founded in 1963, became "Teatro Stabile Abruzzese" in 1991, and in 2000 was established as "Teatro Stabile d'Abruzzo - Regional Theatrical Institution". The shows programmed for each season can be consulted visiting the “Le stagioni teatrali del Teatro Stabile d'Abruzzo" section; shows are held in the Auditorium of L'Aquila's Scuola della Guardia di Finanza and in the "Ridotto" of the city's municipal theatre (Teatro Comunale). The theatre box-office is in via Dragonetti 3, L'Aquila. In 2015 “L'Uovo - Teatro Stabile d'Innovazione" became part of the “Teatro stabile dell’Aquila”. "L'Uovo" was established in 1978 promoting and contributing to theatrical education and training for young people thanks to a solid collaboration with scholastic institutions. From 1987 to 6 April 2009 it was located within the San Filippo Theatre.
Theatre production cycles are also organised by the ATAM "Associazione Teatrale Abruzzese Molisana", established in 1975 providing annual theatre seasons in both regions - Abruzzo and Molise. It is located in via Salaria Antica Est 84, L'Aquila.
Prior to the 2009 earthquake, the "Casa del Teatro" was a theatre culture project, created in 2003 and coordinated by the Associazione Brucaliffo with scientific consultation provided by Mirella Schino and Ferdinando Taviani of the University of L'Aquila. The "CGS Arcobaleno", "Opera Salesiana" and the University of L'Aquila's degree course in "History and Techniques of Arts, Music and Performances" all collaborated within the project. Following the 2009 earthquake, the Casa del Teatro was rebuilt in Piazza d'Arti and has since regained its activity within a wider project involving two associations: "Artisti Aquilani” and “Teatrabile”.
The "Artisti Aquilani" association was established after the 2009 earthquake and is committed to producing performances suitable for anti-conventional situations such as streets, areas of distress and the outskirts. It aims at providing laboratories and seminars to promote non-academic theatrical and choral music-dance production in order to employ theatre and dance as social instruments. With a 90-seat multi-purpose hall (for auditions, conferences, screening etc.) situated in Piazza d'Arti, it defines itself as "a place where diverse and seemingly distant theatres can meet within a common home, a crossroads where everyone can leave a trace of their own human and artistic experiences".
"Teatrabile" is a theatre company committed to artistic and socio-cultural promotion. One of its aims is to spread "theatrical culture", focusing on the expectations and preferences of younger generations of theatre-goers. Shows and initiatives can be consulted on Teatrabile's web-page.
The "Teatro Zeta" has been active in L'Aquila since 2002 and at present manages two theatres: "Teatro Zeta - Piccolo Teatro Studio" in via Francesco Savini (area known as Collesapone near the Carrefour supermarket) as well as the “Nuovo centro polivalente del Parco delle Arti dell’Aquila” in via Rodolfo Volpe (in the village of Monticchio, in strada prov. per Cavalletto). The latter includes a 250-seat theatre with a 5000 square-metre green park area.
As regards the cinema, aside from commercial films offered at the Movieplex Cinema (in Via Leonardo da Vinci, L’Aquila) season- tickets for experimental and independent film cycles are also available.