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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » B » Bossi, Marco Enrico

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Marco Enrico Bossi (4/25/1861 - 2/20/1925)

Marco Enrico Bossi was born in Salò on Lake Garda in 1861, the year of Italy’s unification, into a family of musicians: his father Pietro (1834–1896) was also an organist and composer, his son Renzo (1883–1965) became one of the most renowned professors of composition in Italy. Marco Enrico studied in Bologna and Milan, where he was first awarded his piano diploma (1879), then his diploma in composition (1881). Bossi never finished his organ studies, despite years of study with the renowned organist and composer Polibio Fumagalli (1837–1908), which could be interpreted as an act of criticism against Italian organ practice of his time, which was heavily influenced by the prevailing taste for opera. Instead, he travelled throughout Europe and America, establishing ties with fellow organists Camille Saint-Saëns, Marcel Dupré, Karl Straube and others, who strengthened his resolve to bring the organ culture of his native country into line with central European standards. After nine years as titular organist at Como cathedral (1881–1890), Bossi embarked on a remarkable ‘official’ career (first as lecturer in organ and composition at Naples and Bologna, then as head of the Conservatories of Venice, Bologna, and Rome); in 1897 he was also appointed to the Commissione reale per l’arte musicale. This plethora of high-ranking offices made it possible for him to exert almost unequalled influence on the musical life of the young nation. Under Bossi’s influence, educational standards were



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