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Leonov V., Palkina I.

A child prodigy’s fate: Terezina Tua

The 19th century, with its democratic tendencies, opened up artistic stages for women playing various musical instruments, and the first celebrity among ladies in performing art became the Italian violinist Teresina Milanollo.
This article highlights the life and artistic work of another outstanding Italian violinist Terezina Tua, it shows the significance of an incident in her fate, which manifested in a Russian lady’s patronage. The artist’s biographical facts are revealed as well as her fees and a great success with the public which inspired Grieg to write a sonata for violin. The author also gives some information on Tua’s tours in both European and Asian parts of the Russian Empire. Another interesting aspect discussed in the article is reviews by Rachmaninov and Joachim with absolutely different opinions on the artist’s performing skills. There are also facts revealing further life of the violins made by Nicola Amati and Antonio Stradivari – violins T. Tua was presented with by admirers of her talent.
T. Tua received a high-level education at the Paris Conservatory under Massard, and in Germany Joachim himself gave her significant pieces of advice. Working hard, the artist could avoid dizziness with success which is so typical of child prodigies ruining their in-born talent, and thus the violinist performed on stage with a great success for 40 years on. T. Tua triumphantly toured Europe and America for many years and became a rich and noble woman as well as Professor in Milan and Rome. In her declining years, she abandoned her wealth and spent 16 years in a monastery.
T. Tua wrote a book about J. Joachim, which was published as early as in 1907 but it is still of great importance for musicians. The violin by A. Stradivari, which Terezina inherited from the British Ludwig Mond, is now in a museum of Turin, the violinist’s home town. The central square in the town of Sondrio is named after T. Tua as well.

Key words

violin performing art, concert activity, Teresina Milanollo, Teresina Tua, L. Zh. Massar.

For citation

Leonov V., Palkina I. A child prodigy’s fate: Terezina Tua // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2019. N 4. PP. 106–111.