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Paolo Giorza - 1838-1914

News, comes from Seattle of the death of Paolo Giorza, the distinguished composer of masses, ballets, etc. He was born in Dezio, near Milan, 1838, and first studied music with his father, Luigi Giorza, a noted grand opera baritone of his day. So rapidly did he advance that he composed his first mass as an exercise while in his ninth year. At the age of twelve he walked into Milan and witnessed his first ballet at La Scala, and on returning home immediately set about composing a similar work entitled Un Fallo. When he was seventeen years old he was engaged by the City of Venice to write a special ballet to be produced as part of a celebration in honor of the Grand Duke Maximillian, of Austria, who was destined to be the ill-fated Emperor of Mexico. In all he composed about seventy-five ballets, all of which were remarkably successful.
He also wrote nine masses, three sets of vespers and several hundred single compositions. His one opera, produced in the sixties, was a failure. He first arrived in this country in 1867, but after a few years went to Australia, where he lived about twelve years. He then returned to Europe. Giorza came again to this country to fill an engagement at the Buffalo Exposition. He then came to Philadelphia, where he lived until he went to Portland to fill another engagement as musical director. From there he went to San Francisco, where he lost all his possessions in the earthquake. He finally settled in Seattle, where he has since lived. Giorza enjoyed the friendship of such distinguished composers as Rossini, Verdi, Wagner, Massenet and many others contemporaneous with him, and had an inexhaustible fund of anecdotes concerning them. His broad information, sound training in the best Italian traditions of singing, genial personality and rich experience made him a very excellent teacher.

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