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Michele Esposito (Composer, Arranger)

Born: September 29, 1855 - Castellamare di Stabia, near Sorrento, Italy
Died: November 19, 1929 - Florence, Italy

The Italian-born composer and pianist, Michele Esposito, entered as a boy a Music Conservatory at Naples as a pianoforte pupil of Beniamino Cesi (1845-1907, himself a favourite pupil of Thalberg), and studied composition there for 8 years under Paolo Serrao (1830-1907, teacher of Francesco Cilea and others). He was a near-contemporary of Giuseppe Martucci, and a few years the senior of Alessandro Longo, both taught by these teachers. In 1878 he went to Paris for several years. In 1879 he married Natalia Klebnikoff (1857-1944), who hailed from St Petersburg. They had four children, including the noted scholar Mario Esposito.

Michele Esposito became chief pianoforte professor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 1882, and remained there for more than forty years (until 1928), devoting himself to the encouragement of classical music in Dublin. In 1886 he took control of the Royal Dublin Society chamber-music recitals from their inception, with great success, and gave piano recitals for the Society every year. He established the Dublin Orchestral Society in 1898 (or 1899) and was its conductor until its disbandment in 1914, and he was also the conductor of the Sunday Orchestral Concerts until they were discontinued in 1914. He conducted concerts of the London Symphony Orchestra at Woodbrook in 1913 and 1914, and also performed his piano concerto with them under the baton of Hamilton Harty. He founded the 'C. and E. Edition' of music publishing with Sir Stanley Cochrane. He was active as pianist, concert promoter and adjudicator at musical competitions. He died in Florence, Italy.

Michele Esposito conducted the Moscow premiere of Mussorgsky's opera Khovanshchina with the Russian Private Opera at the Solodovnikov Theatre on November 12, 1897. He also conducted the world premiere of Rimsky-Korsakov's opera-bylina Sadko on January 7, 1898 (or December 26, 1897), presented by the Russian Private Opera at the same venue.

Michele Esposito’s music is rooted in the late-19th-century romantic era, adding an unmistakable Irish overtone in many compositions using folk-song or dance material. Among his largest compositions are the opera The Tinker and the Fairy (1910), and Irish Symphony (1902) and the cantata Deirdre (1897). He also wrote for many chamber music instrumentations, piano music, songs and folk-song arrangements. Esposito received awards from the Feis Ceoil for his cantata Deirdre, his Irish Symphony and his string quartet in D. His cello sonata won a prize from the London Incorporated Society of Musicians in 1899. His violin sonata in E minor gained a prize offered by La Société Nouvelle, Paris, in 1907, and his string quartet in C minor won another offered by the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna.

Works (Selecyion)

Deirdre (text by T. Rolleston), cantata for soli, chorus & orchestra (1897, Breitkopf)
The Tinker and the Fairy (text by Douglas Hyde), 1-act opera. (1910, C & E)
The Post Bag (text by A. P. Graves), 1-act opera. (Boosey)

Poem for orchestra, Op 44 (1899)
Irish Symphony, Op. 50 (1902)
Irish Suite for orchestra, Op 55. (C & E)
Neapolitan Suite for orchestra. (C & E)

Sonata in G, for violin & piano, Op 32. (Schott)
String quartet in D, Op 33. (Breitkopf)
Sonata in D for cello & piano, Op 43. (Breitkopf)
Sonata in E minor, dor violin & piano, Op 46. (Astruc, Paris 1907)
String quartet in C minor, Op 60. (C & E)
Sonata for violin and piano, Op 67. (Astruc, Paris)

Numerous pianoforte solo works

Source: Wikipedia Website (November 2011); Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland: Composers Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2011)

Texts of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

Michele Esposito: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Michaele Esposito (Wikipedia)

Michele Esposito (Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland: Composers)



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