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Lolli, Antonio

Lolli, Antonio

Lolli, Antonio, notable Italian violinist and composer; b. Bergamo, c. 1725; d. Palermo, Aug. 10,1802. He was named solo violinist to the court of the Duke of Württemberg in Stuttgart in 1758. He also commenced touring as a virtuoso, appearing with great success in Vienna (c. 1760) and at the Concert Spirituel in Paris (1764,1766). As a result of incurring debts, the Stuttgart court allowed him to tour extensively in order to recoup his losses. His tours took him to Frankfurt am Main and Utrecht (1769), Italy (1771), and northern Germany (1773). Lolli’s Stuttgart contract was abrogated due to his debts in 1774. He then went to St. Petersburg, where he was a favorite of Catherine II in the capacity of chamber virtuoso (1774-83). He also found favor with Potemkin. Lolli continued to tour, and absented himself from the court between 1777 and 1780. Having disspated 10,000 florins he had accumulated from gambling, he returned to St. Petersburg in 1780 and succeeded in regaining his social and artistic position. He appeared in concerts at Potemkin’s palace there, and also in Moscow. Despite his frequent derelictions of duty, he was retained at the court until his contract was terminated in 1783. In 1784 he gave his last public concerts in Russia. He then appeared in Stockholm, Hamburg, and Copenhagen (1784), London (1785), and Italy. After visits to Copenhagen, Hamburg, and Stettin (1791), Palermo (1793), and Vienna (1794), he settled in Palermo, where he spent his last years in poverty. Lolli was greatly admired for his commanding technique as a virtuoso, and his violin concertos and sonatas were widely admired in his day.


orch: violin concertos (all publ. in Paris): Deux concerto, op.2 (1764); (2) Concerto, op.4 (1766); (2) Concerto, op.5 (1768); Septième concerto (1775); Huitième concerto (1776); etc. chamber:Sei sonate for Violin and Bass, op.l (Amsterdam, 1760?); Sei sonate for Violin and Bass, op.2 (Amsterdam, 1769); Sei sonate for Violin and Bass, op.3 (Paris, c. 1767); Cinq sonates & un divertissement for Violin and Bass, op.3 (Berlin, 1776); 6 sonates for 2 Violins, op.9 (Paris, c. 1785).


N. Nunamaker, The Virtuoso Violin Concerto Before Paganini: The Concertos of L, Giornovicchi and Waldemar (diss., Ind. Univ., 1968).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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