Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1802-1834 - Newman Street (Fitzrovia)

Violinist Paolo Ludovico della Diana was born in Cremona in 1768. A child prodigy, he received his early training in Naples. Paolo later worked as a court violinist in Spain, a seemingly natural placement given the Spanish court’s longstanding preference for Cremonese instruments and Italian musicians. Upon his return to Italy, his colleagues dubbed him lo Spagnoletto’ (Little Spaniard). The name stuck.

Around 1802 an Italian tenor named Vagnoni heard the violinist in Milan and was so impressed that he brought him to London. There Sagnoletti worked as concertmaster to the King’s Theatre Orchestra for over thirty years. Living at no. 28 Newman Street, just off Oxford Street, he gained a reputation as an excellent orchestral leader. Paganini requested that Spagnoletti be engaged as the concertmaster for all of his 1831 London performances. In 1813 he was one of the first of twenty-eight associates that founded the Philharmonic Society. Spagnoletti died in London in September 1834.

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