Pietro Guglielmi

(Massa 1728 – Rome 1804)

He received his early teaching at home from his father (the Guglielmi family is a small dynasty of musicians), and then went to Naples to study with Durante.

His operatic debut took place in Turin in 1755, but his reputation soon extended beyond the Alps and he was called to direct the Opera of Dresden. His biggest success however was to come a few years later, when he was in London. Returning to Naples in 1777, he found the music scene changed and the much competition from young opera singers, and he preferred the noble position of Choirmaster and Music Director at the Cappella of St. Peter’s Rome. He died in Rome at the beginning of the new year.

Guglielmi wrote many operas, both comic and dramatic. The former stand up to and compare favorably with those written by more famous colleagues; the latter, however, are uneven given their length and facile writing.

Among his more famous works are: I Due Gemelli, La Serva inamorata, La Pastorella nobile, La Bella Peccatrice, Rinaldo, Artasers. He also wrote Oratorios and chamber music as well as music for the keyboard (harpsichord) and in fact he is considered a valid apostle of the Italian harpsichord school of the early 1700’s.

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