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The Myth of the "Violin Fairy" Teresina Tua in the American Press



The Myth of the

The Myth of the "Violin Fairy" Teresina Tua in the American Press

Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (CDT)

Chicago, IL


ott 9


Paolo Tarallo,from the National Conservatory of Music Giuseppe Verdi in Turin, will give a lecture on Teresina Tua, an Italian violinist born in 1866, who performed throughout the world starting in her teenage years.



In conjunction with this presentation, the following concerts will be performed by pianist Giacomo Fuga and violinist Sergio Lamberto, who will perform on Teresina’s original Stradivari “Mond” violin.


Thursday, October 11 at 4:30pm
University of Chicago
Fulton Hall, 5845 W Ellis Ave, Chicago
Free and open to the public

Friday, October 12 at 7:30 pm
The Music Conservatory of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University
Ganz HalL
430 S Michigan Ave
Free and open to the public

Saturday, October 13 at 7:30 pm
St. John Cantius Church
825 N Carpenter St, Chicago
For tickets or more information, please click here

Sunday, October 14 at 12:30 pm
St. John Cantius Church
825 N Carpenter St, Chicago
For tickets or more information, please click here

Sunday, October 14 at 7:30 pm
Northwestern University
Carol and David McClintock Choral and Recital Room
70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
Free and open to the public


-Edvard Grieg, Sonata n.3 Op. 45 in DO min. (written by the Norweigan composer in honor of Teresina's talent, following her visit to his home in Bergen.)

-Healey Willan, Sonata n.1 in MI minore HWC100. (written by the Canadian composer in honor of the 50th anniversary of his death. The Saint John Cantius of Chicago Church promotes the Healey Willan Society).

- Sandro Fuga, Sonata n.3 (composed in honor of Italian music and music from Turin from the 1900s).

Teresina Tua (Maria Felicita Tua) was an Italian violinist born in Turin on April 23, 1866. Her first instruction was received from her father, Antonio Tua, who was an amateur violinist, and under whom she learned so rapidly that she appeared in public when was only seven years old. During her first tour she played at Nice, and there gained the interest of Madam Rosen, a wealthy Russian, who was instrumental in sending her to Paris, where she studied at the Conservatoire under Massart and in 1880 received a first prize.

In 1881 she made a tour through France, Spain and Italy, going to Vienna in 1882 and appeared at the Crystal Palace in London in May 5, 1883. It has been said that in Europe, everywhere she played, she created a sensation. For a time, she was called the “violin fairy” for her angelic face and good looks. Grieg met the twenty-year-old Italian violinist Teresina Tua and claimed that a new composition for violin would be because of her (the Sonata n.3). The great Norwegian composer had recently built a new house, Troldhaugen (Norwegian for “Troll Hill”), so he called Tua “the little fiddle-fairy on my troll-hill.” Tua also played for Verdi in Genoa, for Wagner in Nice, for Liszt in Rome (who promised her a violin concert). Brahms was her accompanist to the piano in a private concerto at his home in Wien. In 1885 she toured all Russia by a special train placed at her disposal by the Tsar. Her accompanist was none other than Sergei Rachmaninoff. She played in America during 1887 with great success and received rave reviews in the press. After she returned to Europe, Tua seemed to gradually lose interest in concertizing further but devoted some of her time to teaching. About 1891 she was married to Count Giuseppe Ippolito Franchi-Vernay della Valletta (a distinguished Italian critic) and retired from the stage, although she was frequently heard in concerts in Italy. In 1895 she made a successful tour of Europe and in 1897 played in concert in St. James' Hall, London, where was enthusiastically received. When Count Franchi-Vernay died in 1911, two years after she married another aristocrat, Count Emilio Angelo Quadrio who died in 1933. In 1940, Teresina Tua entered a convent in Rome and give her violin Stradivari (“Mond”, 1709) up to the Turin Conservatoire. She was 74 years old. Tua died on October 29, 1956, at age 90, largely forgotten.



Date: Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Time: From 6:00 pm To 8:00 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura Chicago

Entrance : Free