Ricci, Luigi , Italian composer, brother of Federico Ricci; b. probably in Naples, June 8(?), 1805; d. Prague, Dec. 31, 1859. He enrolled at the Naples Cons. when he was 9, his principal teachers being Furno and Zingarelli; also studied privately with Generali. His first opera, L’Impresario in angustie, was performed at the Cons. in his 18th year. He scored a major success with his opera Chiara di Rosembergh (Milan, Oct. 11, 1831), composed for the diva Giuditta Grisi, and his Un avventura di Scaramuccia also proved a popular favorite when premiered there (March 8, 1834). In 1836 he was appointed maestro di cappella in Trieste, where he also became maestro concertatore at the Teatro Grande. After the twins Fanny and Lidia Stolz joined its roster in 1843, Ricci became closely associated with them—indeed, so closely that he began living with them during his tenure as director of the Odessa Opera (1844–45). Returning to Trieste, he finally married Lidia in 1849 but did not abandon his intimacy with Fanny; Lidia bore him a daughter, Adelaide (1850–71), who became a singer at the Paris Théâtre-Italien (1868–69); Fanny bore him a ter, A de laide (1850–71), who became a composer. After he produced his last opera, Il Diavolo a quattro (Trieste, May 15, 1859), a mental derangement manifested itself, and he was sent to an asylum in Prague, where he spent the remaining months of his life.
V. dal Torso, L. R. (Trieste, 1860); F. de Villars, Notices sur L. et Federico R., suivies d’une analyse critique de “Crispino e la comare” (Paris, 1866); L. de Rada, I fratelli R. (Florence, 1878).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire