Princess Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso: Her Passion for Music and Politics
Yoon, Monica Chiyoung
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For centuries, famous musicians have been linked with prominent noblemen and patrons. This dissertation describes one such noble: Princess Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso (1808-1871). Princess Cristina lived a technicolor life: she was a fairy tale princess, an unhappy child and wife, an Italian patriot who lived between France and Italy, one prosecuted by the Austrian authorities, and the hostess of a glamorous salon in Paris. She suffered confiscation and reclusion of her property. She led a semi- permanent exile as a young woman. Her travels took her to Greece, Jerusalem, Syria, Asia Minor, and the Ottoman Empire. Finally, she returned to Italy for her final illness and death. Her accomplishments were many. Cristina devoted her life to politics, the arts, literature, Italian unification, and, last but not least, music. She organized a hospital even before Florence Nightingale. Her Paris salon became an important social platform. There, visitors discussed politics, literature, and the arts, including music. She had a very close relationship with Franz Liszt. This dissertation reviews the life of Princess Cristina, with a focus on the Hexameron composition she conceived of, which involved the famous composers of her day: Franz Liszt, Frédéric Chopin, Sigismond Thalberg, Johann Peter Pixis, Henri Herz, and Carl Czerny. It also discusses the piano duel between Liszt and Thalberg. Both were part of fundraising efforts to aid her cause. Other chapters delve more deeply into other aspects of her life, including her efforts for Italian reunification, her Paris salon, and her five years in the Ottoman Empire.
- Music