Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco in Florence: The Formative Years
In the Spring of 1915 the composer, musicologist and conductor from the Marche region, Ferdinando Liuzzi (known as Fernando or Nando, Senigallia 1884 - Firenze 1940) met Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco at the home of Amelia Rosselli (at that time President of the Literature Section of the Florence Lyceum). On this same occasion he met again the woman who later became his wife, Clara Forti. This is how Castelnuovo-Tedesco remembered this meeting: “It was there [in the Rosselli home][...] that I met Fernando Liuzzi for the first time (brother-in-law of Clara, having married her older sister, Paola), an excellent musician, who would become, before being a relative, one of my dearest friends and colleagues» (M. C. T., Una vita di musica (un libro di ricordi), edited by J. Westby, Fiesole, Cadmo 2005, p. 125). The Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco Collection preserves some of Liuzzi’s vocal works from the period of this meeting: from 1914 there is Sei canti ad una voce con accompagnamento di pianoforte [Six songs for voice with piano accompaniment]; from the following year dates the transcription of Tre canti popolari serbi [Three Serbian folk songs]; in addition, the Collection holds Liuzzi’s Tre canti popolari greci [Three Greek folk songs] (Florence, 1920) e Tre piccoli canti popolari [Three little folk songs] (Florence, 1922).
Liuzzi taught Harmony and Counterpoint at the Istituto Musicale “Cherubini” in Florence from 1917 to 1923. From 1924 to 1927 he taught Music History and Musical Aesthetics at the University of Florence, before moving to Rome, and then, as a result of the anti-semitic laws, to Belgium. Subsequently, he went to the United States to teach at Columbia University Summer School. After suffering a severe heart attack while in the United States, he returned to Italy, where he died in 1940.