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date: 22 November 2019

Pergolesi, Giovanni Battistalocked

  • Helmut Hucke
  •  and Dale E. Monson


(b Iesi, Marche, Jan 4, 1710; d Pozzuoli, nr Naples, March 16, 1736). Italian composer. He was a leading figure in the rise of Italian comic opera in the 18th century.

His grandfather, Cruciano Draghi, was a shoemaker, a son of Maestro Francesco from Pergola; he married a woman from Iesi in that town on 1 January 1663. The family was known as ‘Pergolesi’ from the town of their origin (although the composer’s elder brother and sister were entered in the baptismal register under the name ‘Draghi’). In the files of the conservatory where he studied, Giovanni Battista is entered under the name ‘Jesi’, although he called himself ‘Pergolesi’; in contemporary records the form ‘Pergolese’ is also used.

The composer’s father, Francesco Andrea Draghi-Pergolesi, was a surveyor, and in that capacity formed links with the nobility of Iesi. One such nobleman was the godfather of Giovanni Battista, the third child; another defended his interests in a dispute over the will after his father’s death on ...

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