Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1743-1757 - Haymarket (Westminster)

Musician Nicolò Pasquali was born in 1717/8 in Cosenza, but little is known of his life until he arrived in London about 1743, accompanied by his younger brother Francis, also a musician. Nicolò worked as a violinist and composer and became a member of the Royal Society of Musicians in April 1743. He published his Sonate a violino e basso op. 1 in London in 1744.

A concert at the Haymarket Theatre (1 April 1745) featured Nicolò performing a violin solo and Francis (known as Pasqualino’) playing a concerto on the violoncello. In October 1748 the elder Pasquali became director of Thomas Sheridan’s band at Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin, where he remained for three seasons. A benefit concert for him at the Little Theatre, Haymarket, on 3 February 1752 is recognised as one of the first times the piano was ever played in public in Britain.

Pasquali made his most enduring impact through theoretical writings. The teaching manual Thorough-Bass Made Easy, published in 1757, achieved considerable success and was translated into French and Dutch. He died in October 1757. His book on The Art of Fingering the Harpsichord was published posthumously in Edinburgh in 1758.

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