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Stefano Donaudy (Composer)

Born: 21st February 1879, Palermo, Italy

Died: 30th May 1925, Naples, Italy

Nationality: Italian

This page is taken word-for-word from the first page of Ricordi's 36 Arie di stile antico

Stefano Donaudy (February 21, 1879 in Palermo – May 30, 1925 in Naples), son of a French father and an Italian mother, was a minor Italian composer active in the 1890s and early 20th century, at a time when Palermo, his native city, was enjoying a period of relative splendour under the influx of rich Anglo-Sicilian families such as the Florios and the Whitakers. No biographical or musicological studies have so far been devoted to him, but it seems that Donaudy was very precocious, as a variety of sources date both his first opera Folchetto and one of his most popular songs, Vaghissima sembianza, to 1892, when he was only thirteen.

After studies with the director of Palermo's Conservatoire, Guglielmo Zuelli (a rival of Giacomo Puccini in his early years), it seems that Donaudy made a living as singing teacher, coach and accompanist for some of Sicily's wealthiest families, all while actively pursuing a career as a composer. He wrote mostly vocal music, dividing his efforts between opera and song, though he did also write chamber and orchestral music. Practically all his song texts and libretti were supplied by or written at four-hands with his brother, Alberto Donaudy (1880–1941), a poet whose style reflects the prevailing literary tastes of the period, from Arrigo Boito and Gabriele D'Annunzio to Guido Gozzano.

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