Nicolo Fiorenza

Biography

Born: 1700   Died: April 13, 1764; Naples, Italy  
Nicola (sometimes shown as "Nicolo") Fiorenza was a Neapolitan composer and teacher of instrumental music in the first half of the eighteenth century. The earliest known references to him are derived from the dates of the manuscripts of 15 concertos and nine symphonies ascribed to him. Though not all sources are dated, the ones that are bear dates ranging from 1726 to 1728, and it is assumed that all of Fiorenza's surviving music dates from the Read more 1720s. Fiorenza was noted as a teacher of stringed instruments and, as his manuscript music was preserved at the Conservatory of S. Pietro a Majella, he may have taught there in the years indicated by his manuscripts. Fiorenza was also named as a violinist in the royal chapel orchestra in Naples and was promoted to first chair in 1758 upon the death of first violinist Domenico de Matteis. In 1743, Fiorenza was picked through a lottery to lead the Conservatory of S. Maria di Lorenzo, a position he held until the end of 1762, when he was fired owing to longstanding complaints about his rough treatment of musicians. Fiorenza died less than two years later, and little else is known about his life.

Fiorenza's compositions, however, are significant, and at least one was good enough to bear a misattribution to Haydn for quite some time. However, this would be off the mark, as Fiorenza's music unquestionably belongs to the Baroque and demonstrates the influence of Vivaldi, though Fiorenza's own reportedly turbulent and prickly personality is easily detectable in his music as well. Read less