Notable South Australians/Signor Raphael Squarise
Signor Raphael Squarise
IS a native of Vicenza, Italy, where he was horn November 13, 1856. At the age of 13 he was placed in the School of Music in his native town, and commenced the study of the violin in the bow department. In 1870 he entered the Musical Academy of Turin, where he remained six years, during which time he obtained a Diploma as violin instructor, and assisted in the orchestra of the Royal Theatre in that town. In 1876 he returned to Vicenza, and studied harmony and composition for two years under the celebrated maestro Cannetti. In January, 1878, he was conductor of a band in Contarina, but had to resign the position in consequence of ill-health. From 1879 until August 1882 he conducted the orchestra and brass band at Arzignano, in Italy. Arrived in Melbourne, Victoria, in August 1883, and accepted engagement with the Williamson, Cramer, & Musgrave Opera Company, as leader of their orchestra. Was also leader of the orchestra of the Cagli and Paoli Opera Company at the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, until the Company was dissolved, when he came to Adelaide with the Heywood Minstrel Company, and remained with them until the end of that season. Finding inducements to follow his profession in this city, Signor Squarise established himself here as a teacher of the violin, and within six months of arrival brought together a strong combination of talented musical artists, now well known as the "Squarise Band." Of this he is still conductor, and on all sides he has gained encomiums from the Press and the public. He is also leader of the orchestra at the Academy of Music. His Excellency the Governor has recognised Signor Squarise's ability as a musical instructor by placing his daughter under his tuition, and several of the best families in Adelaide have accorded their patronage in a like manner. The S. A. Begister of Dec. 8, 1884, thus speaks of Signor Squarise's talent as a composer:—"The facility in composition of Signor Squarise, the violinist and band-conductor, is well-known in Adelaide, although his residence here has been but brief. Violin concertos, played by himself on a single string, caprices for the pianoforte, waltzes, dramatic compositions like 'The Battle of Sedan,' not to mention arrangements of operatic selections for his brass band, have proceeded from his pen in a manner which does credit alike to his industry and his musical taste. His last composition is an 'Ave Maria,' and was sung for the first time publicly at the morning service at the Roman Catholic Cathedral on Sunday. It was really a fine composition. The somewhat novel effect in a church of a harp obbligato was introduced, the harmony being filled in by the organ. The composition was so well worth hearing that it is to be hoped it will form an item on a concert programme at no distant date." Signor Squarise is at present engaged in composing an English Grand Opera, entitled "The Magic Dice," in conjunction with Mr. Rudolph Menz.