Rolla, Alessandro



Italian violinist and composer; born at Pavia; began his musical studies as a piano pupil of a priest in his native town, and later at Milan, where his attention was directed to the violin, which he studied under Rienzi and Conti. He was chief violinist of the Italian Opera in Vienna; then acquired proficiency as a player of the viola, and in 1782 was called to Parma, where he was soloist at the Ducal Court, also chamber-musician, and later solo violinist and leader of the orchestra. Here Paganini took lessons of him. His next move was to Milan, where as opera conductor of La Scala he became prominent, and in 1805 was appointed solo violinist to Eugene Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy. He was also professor of the violin and viola at the Conservatory of Milan from 1807, the date of its foundation. He died in that city in 1841. He composed three concertos for violin, and four for viola; six quartets, a sextet, a concert quintet, trios, and duets for various combinations of stringed instruments. A ballet, Pizzarro, was produced in 1807. He also wrote church-music and symphonies. His son and pupil, Antonio, was born in 1798 at Parma, and died in 1837 at Dresden, where he had been first violinist at the Italian Opera since 1823. He composed a concerto and a number of solos for violin.