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Sunday, 6 July 2014

Conservatory (Music)

Conservatories originated as charitable foundations for the care of poor or orphaned children. In the 17th-century the conservatorii for boys at Naples and the ospedali for girls at Venice found that a concentration on musical training could be educationally and financially profitable.

In 1703 Antonio Vivaldi was appointed Director of Instrumental Music at a Venetian church-sponsored home for foundling girls, known in Italian as a "conservatory of orphans." With a few interruptions, he occupied this position for thirty-seven years.

By the end of the 18th century these institutions began to attract fee-paying pupils, and the idea of the modern conservatory,  a school dedicated to the training of musicians. as exemplified by the Paris Conservatoire (1795), began to take shape.

In 1843 Felix Mendelssohn founded the Leipzig Conservatory, where he and Robert Schumann taught composition.

When Giuseppe Verdi was 15 he applied to study music at the Milan Conservatory but was turned down.

When Edvard Grieg was 15 the famous violinist Ole Bull visited the family. He insisted that Grieg play his compositions and then persuaded the youth's parents to send him to the Leipzig Conservatory to study music. Young Grieg worked so hard there, and for such long hours, that his health broke. Pleurisy destroyed his left lung. Nevertheless, he graduated with honors in 1862.

In 1892 the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák was made the director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. Dvorak missed Bohemia and returned in 1895.

Source Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999.

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