Casella, Alfredo

Casella, Alfredo

Casella, Alfredo (älfrāˈdō käsĕlˈlä), 1883–1947, Italian composer, pianist, conductor, and writer on music; pupil of Gabriel Fauré at the Paris Conservatory. He taught piano at the Paris Conservatory (1911–15) and at the St. Cecilia Conservatory, Rome (1915–23). In 1917 he organized a society, later known as Corporazione delle Nuove Musiche, to promote the recognition of contemporary music. He is the author of The Evolution of Music throughout the History of the Perfect Cadence (tr. 1924). His best-known compositions are the ballets Il convento veneziano (1912) and La Giara (Paris, 1924), the latter based on a novel by Pirandello. Other works are piano pieces, songs, chamber music, orchestral works, and concertos.


See his memoirs, Music in My Time (tr. 1955).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Casella, Alfredo


Born July 25, 1883, in Turin; died Mar. 5, 1947, in Rome. Italian composer, pianist, conductor, and musicologist.

Casella was a professor at the Conservatory of St. Cecilia in Rome in 1915. As a conductor and pianist (a member of the Trio Italiano in the 1930’s) he performed in many countries (Russia in 1907 and 1909; the USSR in 1926 and 1935). In 1917 he founded the National Music Society in Rome (since 1923, the Corporation for New Music, a branch of the International Society for Contemporary Music). He is an exponent of modernism and neoclassicism in music.

His operas (The Snake Woman and Tale of Orpheus, both staged in 1932), ballets, symphonies, and piano transcriptions contributed to a revival of interest in classical Italian music. Casella also wrote on musicology, including an essay on the evolution of the cadence, and monographs on I. F. Stravinsky and J. S. Bach. He has prepared editions of many classical piano works.

The Casella International Piano Competition has been held in Naples since 1952.


Glebov, I. [Asaf’ev, B. V. ]A. Kazella. Leningrad, 1927.
A. Casella. Edited by F. d’Amico and G. M. Gatti. Milan [1958].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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