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Gaetano Pugnani

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Gaetano Pugnani (27 November 1731 – 15 July 1798, full name: Giulio Gaetano Gerolamo Pugnani) was an Italian composer and violinist.
Gaetano Pugnani was born in 1731 in Turin, the city where he spent most of his life, son of Giovanni Battista Pugnani, secretary in the office of the Director of the Settlement of Turin. The Pugnani originate from the comune of Cumiana, where they held a common farm and where the musician returned often. He trained on the violin under Giovanni Battista Somis, founder of the Piedmontese school of violin playing. In 1752, Pugnani became the first violinist of the Royal Chapel of Turin, and then went on a large tour that granted him great fame for his extraordinary skill on the violin. In 1754, he was very well received at the Concert Spirituel in Paris, but in 1768 he had an even more successful musical encounter in London, directing the King's Theatre from 1767 to 1769. During these years Pugnani worked closely with Johann Christian Bach And Carl Friedrich Abel.
In 1770, Pugnani returned home to Turin and became the director of the Royal Chapel. His fame as a composer began to grow, but it would never equal his fame as a violinist. During this time, he also taught the violin. His most famous pupil was Giovanni Battista Viotti; in 1766 Viotti was placed at the cost of the prince de la Cisterne under Pugnani. From 1780 to 1782 they performed in Switzerland, Dresden, Warsaw and St. Petersburg.
Pugnani died in Turin in 1798. His funeral was modest as was his will and he was buried in the cemetery of St. Peter in Vincoli.
Fritz Kreisler borrowed Pugnani's name in order to publish some of his pieces (such as Praeludium and Allegro and Tempo di Minuetto), but in 1935 Kreisler revealed that these works were actually his own.
Operas with music by Gaetano Pugnani: