Alfredo Campoli


Born: October 20, 1906; Rome, Italy   Died: March 27, 1991; Princes Risborough, England  
This revered violinist was remarkable for the exquisite tone he drew from his Stradivarius (the Dragonetti, dated 1700), as well as his comprehensive musicianship. His interests embraced works from the Classical period through compositions written by the composers of his own time. His collaborations with the best conductors were always of a special order: two great artists meeting for the full realization of works they both valued. Campoli was Read more born to a father who taught violin at Rome's Accademia Santa Cecilia and a mother who had retired from a career of concert and operatic performance. At the age of five, Alfredo began his musical studies with his father. Several years later, after the family had moved to London, the child was heard in a series of concerts given for English forces at YMCA facilities. At the age of 13, Campoli began entering competitions, eventually winning seven first prizes, a silver cup, and two gold medals. One of these was presented to him by Princess Mary at the 1919 London Music Festival after a performance of Mendelssohn's violin concerto. Campoli's professional debut came with a recital at London's Wigmore Hall. In the aftermath of his success there, offers came from all regions of the country for both recital engagements and solo appearances with England's premiere orchestras. Given the depressed state of the British economy, Campoli pursued a career in light music during the 1930s, gaining celebrity for his radio broadcasts with his Salon Orchestra. Smaller settings, afforded him by his Welbeck Light Quartet and his trio, also heightened his popularity with the public. At the same time, Campoli maintained a schedule of performances, if a less arduous one, devoted to serious music. With Sir Henry Wood, he appeared at a 1938 Promenade Concert. Prior to the beginning of WWII, Campoli disbanded his Salon ensemble and stood ready to provide concerts for British forces. Initially, Campoli's Italian citizenship stood in the way of his broadcasting, but eventually that obstacle was cleared. In any event, it did not interfere with the innumerable concerts the violinist gave for troops in hospitals and army camps and for British workers keeping up the war effort in the nation's factories. Upon the conclusion of hostilities, Campoli resumed his career, concentrating on serious music and making extended tours of Europe, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. Appearing once more on regular BBC programs, he eventually amassed a total of more than 1,000 broadcasts. Recordings for British Columbia and HMV also added to Campoli's expanding audience. Campoli's American debut came as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic on December 5, 1953, when he performed Lalo's Symphonie espagnole under conductor George Szell. Later, the violinist undertook several American tours. In 1956, he toured the Soviet Union as part of a troop of British artists (the first since WWII) and was subsequently invited to return to perform in orchestral concerts. Campoli's recorded artistry maintains as persuasive a hold on the imagination as it did in concert. However sensuous, the beautifully sculpted tone never cloys. The violinist's grace and ease prompted from certain conductors (Boult, for example) a less-confined, less emotionally restricted performance. Campoli's ability to invest a full measure of life into his work while never letting his tone slip out of focus is uncanny. Several discs on the Beulah label reissue incomparable Decca performances. Read less
Browse 1-2 of 2 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Boult Conducts Elgar / London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 5010 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Alfredo Campoli,  Pablo Casals
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    The Decca Sound [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619902 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Elgar: Symphonies No 1 & 2, Etc / London Po, Et Al
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 16 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  Alexander Cameron,  John Chambers,  Rodney Friend  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake / Fistoulari, Lso
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 7024/25 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Alfredo Campoli,  Willem de Mont
    Conductor:  Anatole Fistoulari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Original Masters - Ataúlfo Argenta - Complete Decca Recordings 1953-1957
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000798002 Release Date: 01/09/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados,  Moritz Moszkowski  ... 
    Performer:  Julius Katchen,  Alfredo Campoli
    Conductor:  Ataulfo Argenta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Coates, Moeran: Violin Concertos / Boult, Groves, Et Al
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 27806 Release Date: 07/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Douglas Coates,  Ernest John Moeran
    Performer:  Colin Sauer,  Alfredo Campoli
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves,  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Northern Symphony,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Great Concertos - Great Artists Vol I - The Violin
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 219 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Ruggiero Ricci,  David Oistrakh,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Alexander Gauk,  William Steinberg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New Symphony Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 8.
    Handel: Six Violin Sonatas;  Bach / Campoli, Malcolm
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1358 Release Date: 11/09/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Alfredo Campoli,  George Malcolm
    CD: $21.99
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  • 9.
    Original Masters - Eduard Van Beinum
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000017402 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Alphons Diepenbrock,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Alfredo Campoli,  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Eduard Van Beinum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Bliss: Introduction And Allegro, Concerto For Cello & Orchestra, Meditiations
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470186 Release Date: 05/20/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Arthur Bliss
    Performer:  Alfredo Campoli,  Robert Cohen
    Conductor:  Sir Arthur Bliss,  Bernard Herrmann,  Elgar Howarth,  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble  ... 
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  • 11.
    Homage to Kreisler - 22 Miniatures for Violin / Campoli, Gritton, Wada
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4666662 Release Date: 10/04/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Eric Gritton,  Alfredo Campoli,  Noriko Wada
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