Lanza, Gesualdo (DNB00)

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LANZA, GESUALDO (1779–1859), teacher of music, born in Naples in 1779, was son of Giuseppe Lanza, an Italian composer and author of '6 Arie Notturne con accomp. di Chitarra franc. e V. a piac.,' Naples, 1792, and of six trios, Op. 13, and six canzonets with recit. Op. 14 (London). The father resided during many years in England, and for some time was a private musician to the Marquis of Abercorn. From his father Gesualdo received his first instruction in music, and soon became known in London as a singing-master. Among his pupils may be mentioned Catherine Stephens (1807), afterwards countess of Essex, and Anna Maria Tree (1812), sister-in-law of Charles Kean.

In 1842 Lanza opened singing classes for the better explanation of his theories at 75 Newman Street; the fee was 15s. for twelve lessons. Later in the same year he announced a series of lectures, 'The National School for Singing in Classes, free to the public,' and on 5 Dec. 1842 he delivered 'A Lecture at the Westminster Literary and Scientific Institution illustrative of his new system of Teaching Singing in Classes.'

Lanza published in London in 1817 'one of the best works on the art of singing which has appeared in this country,' under the title 'The Elements of Singing familiarly exemplified.' His other works include 'The Elements of Singing in the Italian and English Styles' (London, 3 vols. 4to, 1809); 'Sunday Evening Recreations' (London, 1840); 'Guide to System of Singing in Classes' (London, 1842). He also composed a 'Stabat Mater,' which is preserved in the library of the Royal College of Music, solfeggi, and songs. He died in London on 12 March 1859.

[Georgian Era, iv. 528; Grove's Dict. of Music; Quarterly Musical Review, i. 351; Musical World; Dram. and Mus. Rev. 1842.]

R. H. L.