Pre-roman period
Roman period
Medioeval age
Guinigi family
the towers
Elisa Bonaparte
The architects
Walls and Garden
Teatro del Giglio
The musicians
The holy face
The saints
The writers

Lucca is proud of its outstanding musical tradition which can be rarely equalled; it counts composers as, Nicolao Dorati, Cristoforo Malvezzi, Gioseffo Guami, Giovanni Lorenzo Gregori, Francesco Barsanti, Francesco Geminiani, Filippo Manfredi, Luigi Boccherini, Alfredo Catalani e Giacomo Puccini.

Three among the major musicians of Lucca are particularly represented of this land of artists honoured all over the world: Luigi Boccherini (Lucca, 1743 - Madrid, 1805), Alfredo Catalani (Lucca, 1854 - Milan, 1893) and Giacomo Puccini (Lucca, 1858 - Brussels, 1924). All three were sons of art.

Luigi Boccherini

The father of Luigi Boccherini was double bassist player who struggled to bring up his sons in a musical environment. According to tradition, Luigi attended "Seminario Vannucci" studying with Domenico Vannucci.

In 1751 he was appointed as treble voice in the musical event celebrating the feast in honor of the Holy Cross. He stayed in Rome for some time, and when he went back to Lucca he played in the monastery of St. Domenico as violoncello solista.

Then he started travelling abroad, often to Vienna, acquiring a larger experience without forgetting his love for his native town.

In 1761 he applied for the position of violoncello in the Cappella di Palazzo which was granted him in 1764. After his father's death in 1764, Boccherini left Lucca forever starting a tour with Filippo Manfredi (of the same country) which brought him definitely to Spain. Lucca never forgot him and considers him as one of the glories of the town.

Alfredo Catalani

The father of Alfredo Catalani, Eugenio, was a good musician, teacher, and also a musical organiser.
Catalani undertook classical studies at the "Liceo" of the town and, at the same time, in 1863, he undertook, musical studies at the Istituto Musicale. Here he became a pupil of the scholar and composer Fortunato Magi, uncle of Giacomo Puccini.

He achieved his diploma with the composition and execution of a "Messa" with 4 voices, choir and orchestra.

The performance obtained a flattering reaction from the public and the critics. It was his lucky moment, and further offers came from the conservatories of Paris and Milan.
Lucca became the place where he passed periods of rest between the intensive moments of work dedicated to the composition of his operas.
In 1892, at the Teatro del Giglio "La Wally" was represented and directed by Arturo Toscanini, one of his greatest supporters, and the town honoured him warmly.

Giacomo Puccini was son, grand son, great-grand son and great great -grand son of art. It's well-known that he was the last musician of a very singular dynasty that dominated the musical scene for 150 years.
His family previewed the brilliant destiny of the child and christened him with all the names of his ancestors: Giacomo, Antonio, Michele, adding the specifying of second (he was the second "Giacomo Puccini").
Puccini, as Boccherini, was involved in the musical services of the Santa Croce, with a more important role because of his age.

Some anecdotes describe him as a very unconventional character who during his studies performed in churches, but played the organ and the piano as well in private places and theatres; some of the local critics previewed the quality of the future composer, but were worried for the irregularity of his learning style.

Finally he obtained the position of organist in the Cathedral, that the members of his family had occupied since 1740.
After that he moved to the Conservatory of Milan. In 1880, he got, as Catalani, the diploma of composition with a "Messa" with 4 voices.
From then on Puccini did never more live in Lucca, but while working to his compositions he used to choose places close to the town and to its natural environment.
Lucca was always enthusiastic of his operas and crowned the replicas that took regularly place a couple of months after the first performance.


  Comune di Lucca, texts