Title

Giuseppe Ferrata: Emigre Pianist and Composer

Department

Music

Document Type

Book

Publication Date

1-1998

Abstract

The American career of Giuseppe Ferrata (1865-1928) was a part of the legacy of the influential European emigre musicians who came to the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Born in Gradoli, Italy, Ferrata studied piano with Giovanni Sgambati and Franz Liszt at the Royal Academy of St. Cecilia in Rome. He attained some renown as both a pianist and a composer in his native Italy before immigrating to the United States in 1892. He subsequently held teaching posts at various institutions in the eastern United States. In 1909, he became the first Professor of Piano and Composition at Newcomb College (now part of Tulane University) in New Orleans, where he remained until his death in 1928. Ferrata established his reputation in the United States by winning several composition prizes in his lifetime. He published many compositions including numerous piano works in both the virtuoso and salon traditions, over thirty songs, two masses, one string quartet, and three suites for organ. This book presents a historical account of Ferrata's life from his childhood in Italy, through the difficult years as an unknown emigre musician in America to his final years as a leading figure in the cultural life of New Orleans. Moreover, this book offers an overview of Ferrata's compositional style with a brief examination of his major publications, such as the Messe solenelle and the String Quartet in G Major. A catalog of Ferrata's published and unpublished compositions is included.

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