Martucci, Giuseppe



Composer, concert pianist and conductor; born at Capua, January 6, 1856. His early musical education was directed by his father who was a trumpet-player. When ten years old Martucci began appearing in public, and in his eleventh year scored a pronounced success in Naples. He was admitted to the Royal Conservatory of Music in that city in 1867 and for five years studied there, taking counterpoint and composition of Lauro Rossi and P. Serrao, harmony of Carlo Casta and piano of Cesi. After graduating from the Conservatory he taught and played piano in concerts for about two years, and in 1874 competed for a professorship at the University, winning it from such competitors as Bonchard, Palumbo and Simonetti, although he was then but a youth of eighteen. At about the same time he became leader of the Neapolitan Quartet Society, directing the work for eight years with pronounced success. He was also conductor of the Orchestral concerts instituted by the Prince of Ardore, and in that position did excellent work, giving a series of concerts at the Exposition of Turin in 1884. In 1888 he had charge of all vocal and orchestral music performed at the Exposition of Bologna. In 1902 he was made director of the Royal Conservatory of Music at Naples. He is now at the head of the Musical Lyceum at Bologna.


In 1875 he made an extended tour through Germany, France and England, remaining four months in London, and playing in Dublin. In 1878 he appeared in Paris and was heard by Rubinstein, who expressed the highest admiration for him, calling him the "Glory of Italy," and personally conducting a performance of Martucci's Concerto in B minor. He greatly broadened musical knowledge in Italy and introduced the English composers Parry and Stanford. In 1866 he succeeded Luigi Mancinelli as director of the Lyceum at Bologna and devoted most of his time and energy to orchestral direction. Under his baton the orchestral concerts of Bologna and Milan developed into the highest type of artistic and intellectual interpretation. He is a member of the Accademia Reale of Naples, as well as Cavaliere dei San Maurizio e San Lazzaro and Commentadore della Corona d'ltalia.


Of Martucci's one hundred and fifty compositions the first symphony, in D minor is usually considered the finest. It was performed at the Royal College of Music in London in 1898. Others are the piano concerto in B flat minor and an admirable quintet in E flat; piano quintet in C; variations and fantasia for two pianos; cap riccio and toccata for piano; noyelletta, scherzo and notturno for piano; a concerto for piano and orchestra in D minor; a sonata for organ; piano trio in E flat; sonata for piano and cello; six volumes of compositions for piano; Pagine Sparse for voice and piano; also many other compositions.