Frosini Pietro (1885 - 1951)

Frosini was born as Pietro Giuffrida to a farming family on August 9th in Catania, Sicily. At the age of three he lost his sight partly, due to measles.

When he was only four years old, he began to play on a toy accordion, inspired by the playing of his father. In a short time he was able to play on his father's big chromatic accordion too and at the age of nine he played easily "Intermezzo" from Cavaleria Rusticana and the overture to the opera "Norma". In 1895 he started his studies at the Municipal Conservatory of Fine Arts, where he took up the cornet, as the accordion was not accepted. Thanks to these studies he had a good knowledge of wind instruments, which helped him to master a good bellows technique on the accordion.

In 1898 Pietro became pupil of the famous Maestro Paolo Frontini and from him he learned composition, harmony and counterpoint. Three years later, in 1902 and being only 17 years old, he went to the Milan Conservatory of Music to complete his studies. Thereafter he accepted a job as cornetplayer in the British Navy Band in Malta, which he did for two and a half years. He had to stop this job after his lip was damaged due to malaria. As he couldn't play the cornet anymore, he returned to the instrument he started with: the accordion.

In 1905, in Fresno California, he was heard by an American vaudeville agent, while playing "Poet and Paysant", composed by von Suppé. This agent brought him to America and embarked him on an Immediate successful career in leading theaters all over the country. From that time he started to use the name "Frosini", as a tribute to his teacher Frontini. It was also on the vaudeville circuit that Frosini met another great accordionist: Guido Deiro. As they became friends and as Frosini saw the great success Deiro had with his audiences, he adopted some of Deiro's methods: he started to play popular music as well as classical and he pasted a dummy piano keyboard over his buttons, as audience was charmed by the unfamiliar and novel piano-accordion.

From 1908 Frosini started to publish his compositions. He was also one of the first accordionplayers to make recordings of his music.

In 1911 he went to England for a very successful tour through the leading music hall of the country. There he also got the opportunity to play for the English king George V. He also made some recordings in England, but he didn't do this always under the name "Frosini", he also used the pseudonym G. Arditi or S. Fregoli.

In 1920 he married Alfride Larsen, a Danish music hall danser. In 1924 he settled on Long Island, where he bought himself a house.

Because of his bad health he stopped his continuous traveling and in 1930 he started teaching music, he played on the radio and continued composing. The majority of his work was published by Alfred Music Company. He had resumed recording with Viktor in 1928 and in 1934 he also made some recordings for Decca. The majority of these were of his own compositions.

In 1940 he bought himself a new house on Long Island and his compositions started to spread over other publishers. In 1942 he became a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

In 1949 his wife died, he never recovered from this. In July of that year he was offered a plaque for "Outstanding Ability, Service and Accomplishment in the Accordion Field" from the American Association of Accordionists.

In 1951, after a period of illness, he died in his sleep on September 2nd.

1908 Chalice to words by Seldon
        Seneca Waltz, after lake Seneca
1910 Amoureuse Waltz
1918 Ommagio a Pietro
        Panama exposition overture
        On to Paragon
        Rag in D minor
Three large-scale rhapsodies
Symphonic Fantasy Brittania
Carnival of Venice Fantasia Variations
Smaller pieces: La Mariposita, Sicilian Serenade, Love smiles, Olive Blossoms, 
                       The Jolly Caballero, The Gay Picador, Gauchos on Parade, etc

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