the great Italian violinist born in Ferrara May 14th, 1902 - died in San Remo June 28th, 1978


MEMORIAL EVENTS planned in Ferrara and Rome

from May 14th to May 22, 2002

Tuesday 14th May 2002 at 5 PM

Inauguration of


(Chamber of Commerce Hall, Ferrara, Largo Castello)

from Wednesday 15th May until Monday 20th May: opening 10-12 AM; 4-7 PM.

Life and Art of Aldo Ferraresi will be documented with the aid of photos, autographs, concert programs. It will be possible to listen to a rare series of great performances of major concerts (Walton, Elgar, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Bazzini, Shostakovich, Ysaye, etc.) recorded by the Maestro with Italian Radio Television.


Monday 20th May 2002 at 4 PM

Seminar on


(Conference Hall of Ferrara Chamber of Commerce, Largo Castello)

Violinist, musicians and experts will illustrate life and career of Aldo Ferraresi, pupil of Ysaye and one of the most outstanding violinists in XX Century.

A volume will be presented, recollecting photos and discography of Ferraresi, and a reimpression of Paganini Concerto in D, and of Mario Guarino Violin Concerto, both performed by the Artist, will be prepared for the occasion.


MEMORIAL CONCERTS at Teatro Comunale of Ferrara and Opera of Rome

Monday 20th May, 2002, at 8.30 PM, in Teatro Comunale of Ferrara,Violinist Misha KEYLIN and pianist Vladimir KRPAN, playing Tartini Devil’s Trill, Brahms Sonata in d op.108, Beethoven Spring Sonata, Hubay Fantaisie brillante op.3 on Carmen.

The concert will be repeated at Opera of Rome, on Wednesday May 22, 2002, 8.30 PM in Teatro Nazionale, Rome.

For further information on the Memorial events and hotel accomodation contact Professor Gianluca La Villa in Ferrara, ++39-0532-211977 (phone and fax) or e-mail him at



Aldo Ferraresi was born in the historic centre of Ferrara on May 14, 1902 at 21 Via Vittoria. His father Augusto, an artillery marshal and passionate mandolin player, and his mother Marcella Jesi, having noticed their child’s gift for music, sent him to the Frescobaldi Institute of Music of Ferrara at the age of five to study with the masters Federico Barera and Umberto Supino.

At the age of twelve, having succeeded in an audition for admission, Ferraresi was accepted to the Conservatory of Parma under the guidance of Mario Corti, who later accompanied him to Rome to the Academy of Saint Cecilia, where he received a violin degree with top marks at fifteen years old.

He started his concert career at the Music High School of Bologna, and at the City and Verdi Theatres of Ferrara: a career of an "enfant prodige" with a bold and informal spirit, characteristic of his whole life. In Ferrara, while still very young, Ferraresi performed at the Apollo Cinema, in the orchestra of the silent cinema, and in the café concerts of Viareggio and Florence ("Orchestra Ferraresi-Cortopassi"). His life was almost parallel to that of the great Vasa Prihoda (who too was discovered by Toscanini at the café Grand’Italia in the Gallery of Milan!). Only poets who have truly suffered are capable of creating real poetry. And it was Vasa Prihoda, together with Jan Kubelik, who prompted Ferraresi to go to Brussels to the school of the famous violinist Eugène Ysaye, who later considered him to be the best of all his students. He availed himself of Ysaye’s instruction and often in his concerts presented music of the great maestro (e.g. Poème élégiaque, Divertimento, Chant d’hiver).

His concert career as a soloist started with some brilliant debuts. Already, the first reviews had revealed that "Aldo Ferraresi’s technique is such that he even offers tips to some concert performers who are considered virtuosos of class by critics and by themselves" (Gaianus in "L’Avvenire d’Italia"); "Although a fifteen-year-old, he is already a perfect violinist, a first-rate connoisseur of the technique of his instrument. Moreover, he possesses a very sensitive musical temperament that allows him to interpret in an exceptional way even the most difficult composers" (Bastianelli in "Il Resto del Carlino", 1918). Bold technique, sentimental audacity, and attachment to the family were the guiding points of Aldo Ferraresi’s life.

Nazism and war weighed heavily on the Ferraresi family especially because of the fact that the mother was of Jewish origin. However, the storm passed.

From the Theatre of the Scala in Milan to the Royal Festival Hall in London, Ferraresi performed around the world. He gave concerts in Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Portugal, Yugoslavia, and the United States, where he was invited to celebrate the anniversary of the foundation of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He always performed under the most famous directors: Scherchen, Knappertsbusch, Munch, Barbirolli, Rodzinski, Celibidache, Klecky, Kurz, Cluytens, Poulet, Erede, Rossi, Zecchi, and many others.

After the Second World War, in 1948, Ferraresi returned to the spotlight by performing at the Theatre of the Scala in Milan. As he performed the incredibly difficult concerto for violin and orchestra by Mario Guarino, under the direction of André Cluytens, the audience watched his steel fingers unfold like silk tissue.

There were two very memorable concerts of Aldo Ferraresi. The first in Genoa in 1950 for the five hundred year anniversary celebration of the birth of Christopher Columbus, where he performed Paganini’s Concerto in D major on the Guarnieri "Cannone" violin. The second was in 1965 when Ferraresi gave a concert at the Vatican, in the Hall of Benedictions, in the presence of Pope Paul VI (to whom he had given violin lessons years before) and his Papal Court, where he played Jean Sibelius’ Solemn Melodies Op. 77. No less important, however, was the concert of 1950 in San Remo in the presence of Prince Philip of Edinburgh, when he had to encore with the Paganini Concerto in D major. Paganini didn’t take the repeats but Ferraresi did!

In 1963, he performed the Aram Katchaturian concerto for violin and orchestra televised by the RAI Italian television station, under the direction of the composer himself.

Still, however, Ferraresi never neglected chamber music which he instead held in great esteem. He was first violin in the Quartet of San Remo and the Symphonic Orchestra of San Remo, as well as concertmaster at the San Carlo Theatre of Naples.

Among the pianists who accompanied him, we will always remember Antonio Beltrami, Riccardo Castagnone, Ernesto Galdieri, and his own son Augusto Ferraresi.

When Efrem Zimbalist died, the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia called on Ferraresi to direct the violin department, but Aldo Ferraresi preferred to stay in Italy with his family. "Où peut-on etre mieux qu’au sein de sa famille?" as the composers André Grétry and Vieuxtemps would have said (leitmotiv of the Adagio of the Vieuxtemps Concerto no.5)

A rear-admiral was asked by the royal British yacht anchored in San Remo to bring Ferraresi on board as guest after his triumphal concert. He thanked her but declined the offer saying, "I’m too tired." He then went into downtown San Remo to enjoy a nice ice-cream.

Simplicity was his way of life and he never renounced, not even as a celebrity.

At the end of his life, Aldo Ferraresi moved from his Naples residence to the town of Ospedaletti where his family had lived for many years in a beautiful villa in the surrounding hills. His wish was to be near the final resting place of his mother and brother who were buried in Ospedaletti. On June 29, 1978 Ferraresi died in San Remo, the city which had witnessed his rise to success.

Ferraresi played on many precious violins: the Stradivarius "King George" and the Guarnieri of Paganini, for example. Yet his favourite instruments were a Camillo Camilli and an Alessandro Gagliano, two violins he often used in his live recordings. When RCA records asked him to make a recording of the Paganini Capricci, he accepted the invitation on the condition that they leave his mistakes in the recording.

Gianluca La Villa

English translation by Alexander Hunt



VIDEO Recordings from Italian Television (RAI)

  1. KHACIATURIAN A., Concerto per vl e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Torino-dir.A. Khaciaturian ) (reg.12/4/63) (not found)
  2. PAGANINI, Nel cor più non mi sento; Adagio e Tamburino; Le Streghe; Sonatina (reg. 4/1/66; trasm.28/10/66 Rai TV1) (pf. Augusto Ferraresi)
  3. PAGANINI, Concerto n.1 in re magg. per vl. e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Roma-dir. L. Rosada) (not found)
  4. BEETHOVEN, Concerto in re magg. op.61 (Orch. A.Scarlatti- dir. E. Gracis) (not found)
  5. BRAHMS, Tre Sonate per vl. e pf. (pf. E. Galdieri) (not found)
  6. SIBELIUS, Melodie solenni op.77, dir. La Rosa Parodi, Orch.Sinfonica Rai Roma, in presence of Pope Paul VI (rec. and transm. 12/6/65, Rai TV1)

Documenti AUDIO RAI

  1. ALFANO F., Sonata in re per vl. e pf.( pf. E.Galdieri) (reg. 10/12/73)
  2. ALLEGRA S., Violinata alla luna per vl e orch. (Orch A.Scarlatti-dir. autore) (reg. 27/4/73)
  3. ALLEGRA S., Il pastore errante per vl. e orch. (Orch. A.Scarlatti-dir. autore) (reg.27/4/73)
  4. BAZZINI A., Concerto n.4 in la min. per vl. e orch. (Orch. A.Scarlatti-dir. F. Gallini) (reg.13/6/61)
  5. BEETHOVEN, Sonata a Kreutzer (pf. E. Galdieri) (reg.20/11/70)
  6. DVORAK, Capriccio Konzertstuck per vl. e orch. (Orch. A.Scarlatti-dir.L.Ludwig) (reg.1/4/67)
  7. ELGAR, Concerto in si min. op.61 per vl. e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Milano-dir.P. Argento (reg. 22/3/66)
  8. FAURE’, Sonata n.1 in la magg. op.13 per vl. e pf. (pf. E.Galdieri) (reg.21/7/65)
  9. GUARINO M., Concerto per vl. e orch. (Orch.Sinf.Rai Milano-dir. F. Scaglia: reg. 30/7/69)
  10. HOLLER K., Musica per vl. e pf. op.27 (pf. E. Galdieri) (reg.11/10/71)
  11. JACHINO C., Sonata drammatica per vl. e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Roma-dir.M.Forstat) (reg.1/7/70)
  12. KHACIATURIAN A., Concerto per vl e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Torino-dir.A. Kachaturian ) (reg.12/4/63)
  13. MANNINO F., Capriccio dei capricci op.50 (Orch. Sinf. Rai Roma-dir. F. Mannino) (reg. 19/4/69)
  14. MOZART, Concerto in la magg. K 219 per vl. e orch. (Orch. A. Scarlatti-dir.C.Zecchi) (reg. 21/6/60)
  15. PAGANINI, Concerto n.1 in re magg. per vl. e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Roma-dir. F.Scaglia, reg. 19/11/66; Orch. Sinf. Rai Roma- dir. L. Rosada, reg. 4/4/62)
  16. PAGANINI, Concerto n.4 in re min. per vl e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Milano- dir. F. Gallini) (reg. 27/4/63)
  17. SCHOSTAKOVICH, Concerto in la min. op. 99 per vl. e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Torino- dir. M. Rossi) (reg. 15/5/59)
  18. SIBELIUS, Melodie solenni op.77 per vl. e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Roma-dir. A.La Rosa Parodi) (reg.12/6/65)
  19. STRAUSS R., Sonata in mi bem.magg. op.18 per vl. e pf. (pf. E. Galdieri) (reg.20/11/70)
  20. SULEK S., Concerto per vl. e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Roma-dir. F. Scaglia) (reg. 30/6/56)
  21. TCHAICOWSKI, Concerto in re magg. op. 35 per vl. e orch. (Orch.A. Scarlatti-dir. G. Delogu) (reg.14/7/68)
  22. TURINA J., El Poema de una Sanluquena per vl. e pf. (pf. E.Galdieri) (reg. 12/5/66)
  23. TURINA J., La oracion del torero per vl. e pf. (pf. E. Galdieri) (reg. 12/5/66)
  24. WALTON W., Concerto per vl. e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Milano- dir. M. Forstat) (reg. 26/5/61)
  25. YSAYE E., Concerto per vl. e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Roma-dir. M. Freccia) (reg.23/12/64)
  26. YSAYE E., Divertimento in la magg. op. 24 per vl. e pf. (pf. E. Galdieri) (reg. 11/10/71)
  27. YSAYE E., Poema elegiaco op. 12 per vl. e pf. (pf. E. Galdieri) (reg. 21/7/65)
  28. YSAYE E., Chant d’Hiver op.15 per vl. e pf. (pf. E. Galdieri) (reg. 11/10/71)


DISCOGRAPHY of 78rpm and LP recordings compiled by

Cheniston K Roland (Violin Historian)

Stimmungen, Op. 32  -  HMV QDLP6048
E. Galdieri pf

Concerto in a, Op. 54
Tempo di valse (2nd mov) (arr Heifetz)  - QCLP12025
E. Galdieri pf

La Ronde des lutins, Op. 25  - Odeon 0-26264
A. Ferraresi pf

Aria  -  Storia della Musica SdM015
G. Spinelli pf

Quintetto in Fa min. op.34 per pf (M. Martini) e quartetto d'archi
(Quartetto di Sanremo: vl. A. Ferraresi, V. Brun; vla C. Pozzi; vlc. B. Mazzacurati)
(LP F.lli Fabbri "I Grandi Musicisti" vol.63: anno 1967)

Images , 1 (1904)
No. 3. Mouvement  - HMV QCLP12025
E. Galdieri pf

La plus que lente - valse (1910)   - HMV QCLP12025
E. Galdieri pf

Preludes - Libro 1 (1910)
No.8. La Fille aux cheveux de lin (arr. Hartmann)  - HMV QCLP12025
E. Galdieri pf

Capriccio-valse, Op. 15  - HMV GW2015
G. Favaretto pf

Songs my mother taught me (arr Kreisler) -  HMV QDLP6048
E. Galdieri pf

Danza slava No. 16, (arr Kreisler) - HMV QDLP6048
E. Galdieri pf

Jazz Preludes
Prelude No. 3 (arr Heifetz) -  HMV QCLP12025
E. Galdieri pf

Porgy & Bess (1935)
It ain't necessarily so (arr. Heifetz ) - HMV QDLP6048
E. Galdieri pf

My man's gone now (arr Heifetz)  - HMV QDLP6048
E. Galdieri pf

Danza degli spiriti beati: Lento "Melodie" (arr Kreisler)  - HMV QCLP1202
E. Galdieri pf

AIt Wien (arr Heifetz)  - HMV QCLP12025
E. Galdieri pf

Ave Maria   - - HMVS10113
Meditazione su
Bach "Preludio No. 1", dal Libro I del Clavicembalo ben temperato
C. Vidusso pf

Ave Maria  - HMV S10159
Meditazione su
Bach "Preludio No. 1", dal Libro I del Clavicembalo ben temperato
A. Albertini pf.

Concerto per violino e orchestra -dedicato a Aldo Ferraresi-
(con Orch. Sinf. San Remo-dir. C.Farina :
LP Sanremo Records 0422/0424 distr. Carisch;
inoltre CD a cura di Accademia Aldo Ferraresi, Napoli).

Zephir  - HMV GW2015
G. Favaretto pf

Gypsy Caprice  - HMV QCLP12025
E. Galdieri pf

Grave (W.P. Bach)  -  HMV QCLP12025
E. Galdieri pf

Liebestraum No. 3 - HMV S10493
G. Favaretto pf

Sonata  -  Storia della Musica SdM015 (Vol 2 No 2)
G. Spinelli clav.

L' Amico Fritz (1891) (arr Bufolari)- HMV HN188
C. Vidusso pf

Meditazione (arr. Marsick)  - HMV S10159
C. Vidusso pf

Canzoni senza parole op 62  - HMV QDLP6048
No. 25  "Brezza di maggio" (arr.Kreisler)
E. Galdieri pf

Aria -  HMV QDLP6048
E. Galdieri pf

Concerto n.1 in re magg. per vl. e orch. (Orch. Sinf. Rai Roma- dir. F. Gallini:
LP F.lli Fabbri "I Grandi Musicisti" vol.16: anno 1965)

Le Streghe op.8 per vl. e pf. (violino "Cannone" di Paganini; pf. A. Ferraresi)
(LP F.lli Fabbri "I Grandi Musicisti" vol.15: anno 1965)

Nel cor più non mi sento, per vl. solo (violino "Cannone" di Paganini;
(LP F.lli Fabbri "I Grandi Musicisti" vol.15: anno 1965)

Nel cor più non mi sento - - Storia della Musica SdM015 (Vol 2 No 2)
"Sonata appassionata con variazioni" Op. 38

Sonata No. 12  - Odeon 0-26264
A. Ferraresi pf.

Le Streghe (arr. Kreisler) -  HMV S10H3
C. Vidusso pf

Le Streghe (arr Kreisler)  - Storia della Musica SdM0l (Vol 2 No 2)
G. Spinelli pf

Sonatina (1905)  - HMV QCLP12025
Menuet (2nd mvt) (Roques)
E. Galdieri pf

Danzas espanolas
Romanza andaluza, Op. 22 - Storia della Musica SdM015 (Vol 2 No 2)
G. Spinelli pf

Zapateado, Op. 23, No. 2  - HMV HN18S
C. Vidusso pf

Der Rosenkavalier Op 59 Waltzes (arr Prihoda)  - HMV S10493
G. Favaretto pf

Mavra (1922)  - HMV QLP12025
Russian maiden's song (Parasha's aria) (arr Dushkin & Stravinsky)
E. Galdieri pf

Pieces, Op. 7
Love song (arr Marak)  - HMV GW20I4
G. Favaretto pf

Variazioni su un tema di Corelli - Storia della Musica SdM015 (Vol 2 No 2)
(arr Francescatti)
G. Spinelli pf

Sonata No 3  - HMV QCLP12025
Rondo (2nd mvt) (arr. Heifetz)
E. Galdieri pf


With his friend William Walton


An autograph of Sir John Barbirolli and dedication to Aldo Ferraresi

Professor Gianluca La Villa Ferrara Italy 2001

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