Esposito, Michele


Italian pianist and composer, who was born at Castellammare, near Naples. When ten years old he obtained by competition a free scholarship in the Conservatory at Naples, where he studied the piano under Cesi, and composition under Serrao till 1875. Three years later he went to Paris, and remained there till his appointment as professor of the piano at the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland, a position he has occupied since 1882. Here, in addition to his teaching, he has given many piano recitals and chambermusic concerts under the auspices of the Royal Dublin Society, and has been conductor of the Dublin Orchestral Society from its beginning in 1898, the success of this organization being ascribed chiefly to his ability. In 1905 he inaugurated a series of Sunday afternoon orchestral concerts, which are given throughout every winter.

His works include Deirdre, a prize cantata for solos, chorus and orchestra, first produced at an Irish musical festival, and later in London and in Chicago; an operetta, The Postbag, produced in London in 1902; a symphony, known as the "Irish symphony," the themes of which are based on Irish airs, a Poeme for orchestra and string quartet. In 1898 his sonata for cello and piano won the prize offered by the Incorporated Society of Musicians in England, and in July, 1907, another sonata for violin, that of the Societe Musicale of Paris. In 1905 he received from the University of Dublin the honorary degree of Doctor of Music. Other compositions are a second sonata for violin and piano, and a number of songs and piano-pieces. He has edited a volume of the compositions of early Italian harpsichord writers.

Esposito is said to be a pianist of exceptional power, who has created a school of piano-playing in Dublin which compares favorably with any in England or abroad. He is an indefatigable worker, and " the center of a circle of friends and musicians who are attracted to him by his great talents as a musician, by his extraordinary enthusiasm, and by the many kindly qualities of his character."