GIUSEPPE ANEDDA

“It was at the end of the fouth act during the debut of Stravinskij’s ballet, Agon, in Rome at the Teatro Eliseo, with the last notes of the mandolin lingering in the air that suddenly a voice was heard shouting, “Bravo Mandolino!”. It was Stravinskij himself who, visibly moved, came over to embrace and congratulate me”. With these words Giuseppe Anedda, the Paganini of the mandolin, recalled one of the most emotinal and satisfying moments of his remarkable lifelong career that began just after World War I in one of the more humble quarters of Cagliari, Sardinia where he was born March 1st, 1912. The youngest of 8 children Giuseppe Anedda had to abandon his desire to study violin (a costly instrument) due to his family’s poverty. Instead, to satisfy his musical inclination, he turned to a more simple instrument found hanging on a wall in his home: the mandolin.

The passion he dedicated to this instrument lead to exalting its unknown  technical and artistic possibilities which had, in the past, stimulated the creative inspiration of Vivaldi, Mozart, Hummel and Beethoven. Maestro Anedda is attributed to having found obscure works for only mandolin by these famous composers as well as works of many others after much research in libraries all over the world.He knew how to gain the attention of the difficult concert world, a realm prejudiced against plucked string instruments, by executing original pieces as well as noble and complex arrangements from Bach to Pergolesi: all for the sake of bringing this highly worthy instrument back to its antique splendor.

His virtuosic technique fascinated the great members of the international music scene, from Riccardo Zandonai who entrusted an 11 year old Anedda in Cagliari wih the part of solo for lute for his Francesca da Rimini to Arturo Toscanini; from Isaac Stern to Pablo Casals who wanted him as guest at his princely estate in San Juan de Portorico for the Festival that he organized for the greatest living solists of each known musical instrument.

For his artistic merits in 1975 he was awarded the first Italian chair for mandolin at the C. Pollini Conservatory in Padua.

In each of the current four Italian chairs there resides the hope that the mandolin patrimony inherited from Anedda will be carried ever forward. The maestro would often remark, “I have taught 10 people who are among the greatest mandolin players in the world. For me, old as I am, it is sheer joy and hope…”

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