It was during a visit to Magnano with a musician friend that Bernard Brauchli had the idea of organizing a clavichord recital in the magnificent Chiesa Romanica di San Secondo, in the fields below the village. The great and unexpected success of this concert led to the creation in 1986 of the Association Musica Antica a Magnano in collaboration with passionate friends. Since then, the festival has welcomed the greatest names in early music such as Gustav Leonhardt, Christopher Hogwood, Jordi Savall, Luigi Tagliavini, as well as ensembles such as the European Baroque Orchestra (EBO). Its worldwide reputation was hailed by the newspaper La Stampa, which on July 30th 2021 ran the headline "Magnano si conferma capitale della musica antica con l'edizione numero 36 del Festival internazionale".
In August 1988, the first edition of the summer courses took place, and since then, each year, a considerable number of students from all over the world have attended for a week.
In 1993 Bernard Brauchli and Christopher Hogwood founded the International Centre for the Study of the Clavichord, which has organised 12 symposia. Their work has resulted in as many publications.
In 1994 the Easter course and concert were created and on December 31st 1999 the first Capodanno concert was given.
From the very beginning, the Association has benefited from the financial support of the Willy Brauchli Foundation in Switzerland.
On the proposal of Bernard Brauchli, the committee has appointed Anastase Démétriadès as director in 2019.
Bernard Brauchli is one of the main architects of the renaissance of the clavichord; for more than thirty years he has been performing and lecturing all over the world on this instrument, as well as on the fortepiano and the organ. He has published numerous articles in specialized periodicals in Europe, and his book “The Clavichord” was released by Cambridge University Press in 1998 (second edition 2002, paperback 2005), for which he has awarded the Bessaraboff Prize by the American Musical Instruments Society in 2001. He has played for numerous festivals and for radio and television networks in many countries. He has recorded LPs and CDs for TITANIC RECORDS (U.S.A.), EMI (Portugal), MAM (Italy), STRADIVARIUS (Italy), and DARGIL (Portugal) on original instruments or copies.
Bernard Brauchli is Honorary Member of the Midwestern Historical Keyboard Society (U.S.A.). He is member of the artistic committee of the Festival International de l’Orgue Ancien de Valère (Switzerland) and was for many years president and artistic director of the Cambridge Society for Early Music (U.S.A.).
In recognition of his contribution to the life and reputation of Magnano, its authorities have awarded Bernard Brauchli the title of Honorary Citizen.