Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1816-1876 - Jermyn Street (Mayfair)

Horn player and impresario Giovanni Puzzi was born in 1792 in Italy (further details are not known). In his early youth took up the cornet à pistons and was applauded as a child prodigy. In Paris he played for Napoleon Bonaparte which earned him a place in the Emperor’s private band sometime prior to 1809. He also received the patronage of Louis Philippe. In 1815, the Duke of Wellington invited him to Apsley House, his estate at Hyde Park Corner. He made London his home and became the most celebrated horn player of his time. Later, he took up the post of Professor of Horn at the Royal Academy of Music. He married Giacinta Toso, a celebrated opera singer. They acted as vocal professors and managers, and hosted many well-attended celebrity concerts in their Piccadilly salon at no. 38 Jermyn Street, Mayfair. His French horn, made for a left-handed player by Marcel-Auguste Raoux (one of a French family of brass instrument makers), is on view at the Horniman Museum, Forest Hill. Puzzi died in 1876.

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