GAETANO PUGNANI (1731 - 1798)
The name of Gaetano Pugnani is familiar to all violinists through Kreisler’s famous pastiche, the Praeludium and Allegro ascribed to him. A pupil of Somis in Turin, Pugnani won esteem there, with court appointments, before concert appearances took him to Paris (the Concerts spirituals) and to London (the concerts organised by J.C. Bach and C.F. Abel). After a period in Turin he resumed concert tours, now with his pupil Viotti. He died in Turin in 1798, shortly before the occupation of the city by the French and the dissolution of the royal musical establishment.
Pugnani wrote operas, ballet music and cantatas. His instrumental music includes violin concertos and overtures, and a variety of chamber music in which he explored the new possibilities of changing styles.