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Pina Carmirelli (1914 - 1993)

After graduating in violin from the Milan Conservatory Carmirelli continued there studying composition; she also graduated in chamber music from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome, and later taught there herself. Winning the Paganini Prize in 1940 brought her to prominence.

Upon discovering a complete set of Boccherini’s 141 string quintets in 1949 she and her cellist husband Arturo Bonucci founded the Boccherini Quintet specifically to make this neglected music known again. With this ensemble and her Carmirelli Quartet she built a significant Boccherini specialism, both groups touring extensively and recording. Carmirelli is thus best known to us for performances of early chamber music and for an important critical edition of Boccherini’s output published by the Istituto per la storia della musica, Rome, in 1970. More recent scholarship has resulted in a further edition of Boccherini’s complete works being undertaken by the Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Italy. Comparison of the two will undoubtedly reveal interesting facets of Carmirelli’s own aesthetic in performing early music in the 1970s.

Carmirelli appeared as a soloist with many leading European orchestras and in 1975 became concertmaster of I Musici, an unconducted chamber orchestra from Rome, well known in Europe and the USA. She also had a long association with pianist Rudolf Serkin, founder of the Marlboro Music School and Festival.




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