ANTONIO BARTOLOMEO BRUNI (1757 - 1821)
Antonio Bartolomeo Bruni was born in Cuneo, Italy on 28 January 1757. He studied the violin in Turin and Novara before travelling to Paris at the age of 23. There he began to establish a reputation as a violinist, performing in the famous Concert Spirituel. A year after his arrival in the city he was offered a place in the orchestra of the Comédie-Italienne, one of Paris’s most popular theatres. In 1789, however, he took the post of first violinist at the Théâtre de Monsieur. It was during this period that Bruni began to publish some of his compositions, including several works for violin. It was within the sphere of comic opera, however, that he gained his greatest successes, collaborating in the premières of almost twenty of them between 1785 and 1800. Despite the upheavals of the French Revolution, Bruni’s career continued to flourish. He became a member of the recently formed Commission temporaire des Arts, a committee tasked with making an inventory of and preserving the republic’s heritage. In 1799 he became director of the Opéra-Comique, but just two years later he accepted the post of director at the newly-opened Théâtre Italien. His tenure there ended in 1806, when he returned to his home town of Cuneo. It was there that he eventually died, on 6 August 1821.
© Caroline Waight