Leonardo De Lorenzo

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Leonardo De Lorenzo
Leonardo De Lorenzo.jpg
Background information
Born (1875-08-29)August 29, 1875
Viggiano, Basilicata
Died July 29, 1962(1962-07-29) (aged 86)
Santa Barbara, California
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Flautist, professor
Instruments Flute

Leonardo De Lorenzo (August 29, 1875 – July 29, 1962) was an Italian virtuoso flautist and music educator.


Born at Viggiano, in the province of Potenza, De Lorenzo started playing the flute at the age of 8 and went to Naples to attend the Music conservatory "San Pietro a Majella". At 16, he emigrated to the United States, working at a hotel in Cerulean, Kentucky, but in 1896 he returned to Italy to do his military service in Alessandria, becoming a member of a military band directed by Giovanni Moranzoni.

Subsequently, he began his own career and toured in Italy, Germany, England and South Africa. He joined an orchestra in Cape Town at 25. In 1907, he returned to Naples to complete his studies, then he went to America again, becoming first flautist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Gustav Mahler, and played with the New York Symphony Orchestra, in substitution of Georges Barrère.

He was also flautist of the orchestras of Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Rochester. In 1914, during his collaboration with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, he met Maude Peterson, a pianist who frequently accompanied him and became his wife. In 1917, the Los Angeles Flute Club played a musical in his honor and De Lorenzo was appointed the first Honorary Member of the association.

From 1923 to 1935 he was professor for flute at the Eastman School of Music and, after his retirement, he focused on composition and writing of theoretical publications. Works such as Saltarello and Pizzica-pizzica are a homage to the characteristic sounds of the traditional music of his native town. All of his research material was donated to the University of Southern California, on October 25, 1953.

In the same year, he received a Honorary doctorate of the Washington International Academy of Rome and was godfather for the newly formed flute club in Milan. On August 29, 1955 the Los Angeles Flute Club organized a concert playing his compositions for his 80th birthday. De Lorenzo died in his home in Santa Barbara, California. The International Flute Competition "Leonardo De Lorenzo", who is held every two years in Viggiano, is dedicated to him.


  • Appassionato, for flute, op. 5
  • Giovialità, for flute and piano, op. 15
  • Serenata, for flute and piano, op. 16
  • Saltarello, for flute, op. 27
  • Carnevale di Venezia, for flute
  • Nove grandi studi
  • I tre virtuosi, for three flutes, op. 31
  • I seguaci di Pan, for four flutes, op. 32
  • Non plus ultra, for flute, op. 34
  • Pizzica-Pizzica, for flute, op. 37
  • Suite mitologica, for flute, op. 38
  • Idillio, for flute and piano, op. 67
  • Improvviso, for flute and piano, op. 72
  • Sinfonietta (Divertimento Flautistico), for five flutes, op. 75
  • Trio Eccentrico, for flute, clarinet and bassoon, op. 76
  • Trio Romantico, for flute, oboe and clarinet, op. 78
  • I quattro virtuosi (Divertimento fantastico), for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, op. 80
  • Capriccio, for four flutes, op. 82

Didactic works[edit]

  • L'Indispensabile. A complete modern school for the flute (1912)
  • My complete story of the flute (1951)

External links[edit]