SALONNIÈRES
women OF POWER AND INFLUENCE
Chamber Music from Bach to Stravinsky

CRISTINA BELGIOJOSO

AN ITALIAN IN PARIS

SATURDAY JULY 20, 4 PM
HANNA CENTER

PROGRAM
Liszt Sposalizio
Chopin Allegro de Concert

Songs by R Schumann, C Schumann, Chopin, Bellini and Rossini
Franck Piano Trio in B-flat: Trio de Salon

ARTISTS
Kyle Stegall, tenor
Nikki Einfeld, soprano
Rachel Barton Pine, violin

Madeleine Bouïssoucello
Tanya Tomkins, cello
David Belkovski, fortepiano
Eric Zivian, fortepiano
Jeffrey LaDeur, fortepiano

Princess Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso (1808-1871) lived an adventurous life in the limelight. She was beautiful, extremely intelligent and original in her artistic taste. Heiress to one of the greatest fortunes of Italy, she was deeply involved in the Italian unification movement headed by Mazzini.

In the early 1830s, separated from her philandering husband and pursued by the Austrian police, she escaped to France, where she became a close friend of General Lafayette. She established a very successful salon in Paris. It attracted Italian patriots, exiles, intellectuals, writers, artists and musicians. Rossini was an old family friend, Bellini was her protégé and Liszt fell in love with her.

She organized the famous piano duel between Liszt and Thalberg, and in 1837 she commissioned the Hexameron - a collaborative piano piece by the well-known composer-performers Liszt, Thalberg, Chopin, Pixis, Czerny and Herz - to be presented at a benefit concert for the poor.

In 1849, during the brief life of the Roman Republic, she directed the Roman hospitals (before Florence Nightingale!). With the defeat of the Roman Republic, Belgiojoso, penniless, embarked on an eight-year long exile to “the Orient” with her daughter. She established a farm in Turkey, traveled to Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, and wrote novels.

In 1856 she returned to Italy and resumed her campaigning for Italian unification (1861). She spent her last years writing at her residences in Milan and Lake Como.

~by Irene Zanini Cordi


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