Pietro Pettoletti


The guitarist and composer Pietro (Piotr) Pettoletti lived in the first half of the Nineteenth Century. He was probably of Italian origin (or perhaps Danish), but spent the greater part of his life living in foreign countries. At first he lived in Germany, then, by age twenty five, in Sweden, where he taught piano and guitar. Subsequently he moved to Russia, employed by a wealthy landowner to teach guitar to his children. Pettoletti stayed for a long time in St. Petersburg, where he established residence, achieving a reputation as concert performer and as teacher. He often performed in duo with his brother Joachim, a violinist and guitarist at the Orchestra of the Italian Opera of St. Petersburg.

There he met Andrei Osipovich Sychra, the most renowned guitarist in Russia at that time. He encouraged Pettoletti to study and improve the 7 string (Russian) guitar, and to compose for it.

Pettoletti had many students, who in turn continued his style of teaching. He died in Petersburg, at about 1870, when he was 75 years old. Pettoletti composed about 50 works calling for the guitar, above all Fantasies and Variations based on themes from operas by Italian composers. A few of his works demand some virtuosity. He published his works in Germany, Denmark and Russia during the first decade of the Nineteenth Century.

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