The 1830 election of Luigi Rossi to the post of secretary of the Congregazione inaugurated a period of great changes, solidifying the Accademia as an institution of true international stature. With the decision to open membership to previously excluded categories (poets, dancers, musicologist-philologists, musical instrument makers, editors, and even sovereigns and ambassadors in the capacity of patrons) and thanks to the collaboration with Gaspare Spontini (who was in Rome between 1839-40), Rossi launched a profound reform of the Statute, transforming the Congregazione first into the Congregazione and Accademia (1838) and then into the Pontificia Accademia. All the major exponents of the European music world of the day were enrolled as honorary associates, including: Cherubini, Morlacchi, Mercadante, Donizetti, Mayr, Rossini, Pacini, Paer, Paganini, Spohr, Auber, Adam, Baillot, Liszt, Cramer, Thalberg, Czerny, Moscheles, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Thomas, Halévy, Gounod, Meyerbeer; the ballerinas Maria Taglioni and Fanny Cerrito; the actress Adelaide Ristori; and librettists Jacopo Ferretti and Carlo Pepoli. Among the sovereigns were Queen Victoria of England and her consort, Albert; William IV of Prussia and his wife, Elisabetta Luigia, and the rulers of Naples, Ferdinando II and his wife, Maria Teresa Isabella of Austria.
Along with all these innovations, the Accademia continued to face the usual problems: rivalry with the Pontifical cantori (led by Baini) and from 1824, with the Accademia Filarmonica Romana; the ongoing search for a home (after the revolutionary parenthesis from ’48 that saw the Santa Cecilians siding with anti-pontifical forces for the first time) which was established in Palazzo Camerale on Via di Ripetta in 1853. But certain long-standing problems were being faced with a new spirit: musical instruction, for example, laying the foundations for the institution of a music school; or assistance for members, for whom an Instituzione di Beneficenze or “charity institution” (later a Cassa di mutuo soccorso or “mutual aid fund”) was set up at the Cassa di Risparmio di Roma.