Tosti, Francesco Paulo



Popular writer of songs in Italian, French and English; born at Ortona di Mare, in the Abruzzi. In 1858 he entered the Royal College of San Pietro a Majella at Naples, studying in composition under Conti and Mercadante and violin under Pinto, and finally receiving an appointment as maestrino, or student teacher, from Mercadante. He remained in Naples until his health gave out in 1869, and then returned to Ortona, where during an illness he wrote Lamento d'Amore and Non m' ama piu, two songs which afterwards became favorites. He went to Rome and with the assistance of Scambetti gave a concert at the Sala Dante which proved very successful and got him the appointment of Court singingmaster. In 1875 Tosti visited London and in 1880 he became Court singingmaster to the English Royal family. He was very popular with his royal patrons and used to entertain the Duchess of Cambridge daily with his songs. He was made professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music in 1894. He is still living in London. He has written a great many songs of which the English ones are remarkably popular, among them being Ask Me No More; Venetian Song; That Day; Come to My Heart; At the Convent Gate; and many others. They are simple and melodious and hold a high place in the list of drawing-room songs.