The Boccherini Quintet (Quintetto Boccherini) was a string quintet founded in Rome in 1949 when two of its original members, Arturo Bonucci and Pina Carmirelli, discovered and bought, in Paris, a complete collection of the first edition of Luigi Boccherini's 141 string quintets, and set about to promote this long neglected music. Since then, they performed all over Italy and Europe and in many parts of the world, including thirteen tours of North America.
After the death of the two founders, the violist Luigi Sagrati became the main organizer of the quintet's recording and performing activities until the mid-nineties, when he had to quit public performances because of old age.
The quintet has recorded many LPs in Italy and abroad, mainly of music by Luigi Boccherini but also string quintets by Antonio Bazzini, Franz Schubert and Luigi Cherubini. Their records have been published by various recording houses like His Master's Voice, Fonit Cetra - Italia, Ensayo, EMI - Angel Records.
Many musicians played in the Quintet over the years. In addition to the two aforementioned founders, the original Quintetto included Dino Asciolla (who alternated with Carmirelli as first violin), Renzo Sabatini (viola) and Nerio Brunelli (second violin). Among the most notable of the several other players one recalls Guido Mozzato, Montserrat Cervera, Arrigo Pelliccia, Marco Fiorini and Claudio Buccarella (violin); Marco Scano (first cello); Piero Stella (second cello); and Luigi Sagrati (viola).
The group toured Southern Africa in 1959 as Quintetto Boccherini, and were again in demand in 1960 as Quartetto Carmirelli di Roma.
A two-record album, played by Cervera, Buccarella, Sagrati, Scano and Stella, and entirely dedicated to Boccherini's quintets, and issued by the Spanish recording house Ensayo in 1976, won the Grand Prix du Disque of L'Académie Charles Cros. Some of the quintet's recordings have been re-issued on CD in the UK by Testament Records at the beginning of the 21st century.