Achille Simonetti

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Achille Simonetti
Born(1857-06-12)June 12, 1857
DiedNovember 19, 1928(1928-11-19) (aged 71)
Occupation(s)Violinist and composer
Years activeCirca 1880–1928

Achille Simonetti (12 June 1857 – 19 November 1928) was a prominent Italian violinist and composer, mainly resident in England and Ireland. He was mainly known as a chamber musician and teacher.


Born in Turin on 12 June 1857,[1] Simonetti left his family in Bologna (this can be gleaned from his letter to Mr Hill (of Hills and Sons) written in 1922,[2]) and completed his studies under Francesco Bianchi, Eugenio Cavallini, Giuseppe Gamba, Charles Dancla (regarded as the last exponent of the classical French school of violin playing),[3] and Camillo Sivori, the last pupil of Niccolo Paganini.[4]

Simonetti died aged 71 in London on 19 November 1928.[5]


Simonetti came to England in 1891,[6] embarking on a career as chamber musician. He became part of the first London Trio, an endeavour which occupied him from 1901 to 1912,[7] along with cellist William Whitehouse and pianist Amina Goodwin.[8]

From 1912 to 1919, he was a professor of violin at the Royal Irish Academy of Music,[6] and served as a teacher for many distinguished violinists, including Walter Starkie.

Simonetti was also an early champion of the Brahms Violin Concerto, and wrote a cadenza for the work.

Selected compositions[edit]

  • Ronde joyeuse for string orchestra
  • Sérénade for string orchestra
  • Meditazione for small orchestra [9]
Chamber music
  • Allegretto Romantico in D minor for viola and piano (published 1897)
  • Andante mélancolique for violin (or cello) and piano
  • Ballata in C minor for viola and piano (published 1897)
  • Berceuse for violin and piano
  • Canzonetta for violin and piano
  • Capriccio for violin and piano
  • Cavatina for cello and piano
  • Elegia for cello and piano
  • Furlana, Italian Dance for violin and piano
  • Madrigale in D major for violin and piano (1901) - wrote text and music? - (Different?) music has been set to this by Pietro Floridia.[10]
  • Mazurka for violin and piano
  • Minuetto for violin and piano
  • Notturnino for violin and piano
  • Rêverie for violin and piano
  • Romanza for violin and piano
  • Romanzetta for violin and piano
  • Sonata No. 2, Op. 9, for violin and piano in C major (published 1894)[11]
  • Scènes montagnardes, Op. 12, for violin and piano
  • String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op. 14 (published 1904)
  • String Quartet No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 16 (published c.1904)
  • Caprice-Mazurka for piano
  • Trois Morceaux caractéristiques (3 Character Pieces) for piano


  1. ^ "Achille Simonetti is born". Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Montagnana Books: Autographs Catalogue". Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Charles Dancla: His Life & Times". Retrieved 24 August 2010..
  4. ^ Walter Starkie, Scholars and Gypsies (1963), p. 90–1.
  5. ^ "Achille Simonetti dies". Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  6. ^ a b Pine, Richard & Charles Acton (eds.): To Talent Alone. The Royal Irish Academy of Music, 1848–1998 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1998), 460–1.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Musik und Gender im Internet: Amina Goodwin". Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  9. ^ Autograph score at Santini Library.
  10. ^ "Madrigale, Floridia, Music by Simonetti". Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  11. ^ IMSLP / Hofmeister.

External links[edit]