Barili, Alfredo

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Barili, Alfredo

Barili, Alfredo, Italian-American pianist, composer, and pedagogue; b. Florence, Aug. 2, 1854; d. Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 17, 1935, in an accident when he took a walk and was struck by a bus. He was a scion of an illustrious musical family; his father, Ettore Barili, an excellent musician in his own right, was a half brother of the operatic diva Adelina Patti . Alfredo Barili was taken to America in his infancy and was taught piano by his father, making his public debut as a pianist in N.Y. on April 7, 1865. In 1868 the family relocated to Philadelphia, where he studied with Carl Wolfsohn, a German musician who claimed to be the first to perform all 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven in a series of concerts. In 1872 Barili enrolled at the Cologne Cons., studying piano with Friedrich Gernsheim and James Kwast, and composition with Ferdinand Hiller. Returning to the U.S. in 1880, he settled in Atlanta, taught for six years at the Atlanta Female Inst., and in 1886 founded his own “music academy,” teaching piano at a fee of $1.50 per lesson. He maintained a cordial relationship with his famous aunt, Adelina Patti, and acted as her piano accompanist at a London concert in 1911. He also composed some perishable salon music in the approved manner of the time. His piano piece Cradle Song went into 26 eds.; also popular among his pupils were his Danse caprice, Miniature Gavotte, and Spanish Serenade.


N. Orr, A. B. and the Rise of Classical Music in Atlanta (Atlanta, 1996).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire