top of page

Maria Teresa Agnesi


Clare Longendyke.jpg

Maria Teresa Agnesi (Italian pronunciation: [maˈriːa teˈrɛːza aɲˈɲɛːzi, -ɲeːz-]; October 17, 1720 – January 19, 1795) was an Italian composer. Though she was most famous for her compositions, she was also an accomplished harpsichordist and singer, and the majority of her surviving compositions were written for keyboard, the voice, or both.
Maria Teresa Agnesi Pinottini.

Maria Teresa was born in Milan to Pietro Agnesi, an overbearing man in the lesser nobility. He provided early education for both Maria Teresa and her more famous older sister, Maria Gaetana, a mathematics and language prodigy who lectured and debated all over Europe while her sister performed. Maria Teresa was married to Pier Antonio Pinottini on June 13, 1752, and they settled in a district populated by intellects and artists, but eventually suffered severe financial ruin. Pinottini died not too long afterwards.

Maria Teresa died in Milan in 1795.

Not much is known about Maria Teresa. Nothing is known of her education or teachers, and the dates of her compositions are largely unknown. Many of her compositions have been lost, although there are records of their existence. Her career was made possible by the Austrian Lombardy, which proved progressive and enlightened in women's rights. The movement was more prevalent in Vienna and Dresden rather than her hometown of Milan, and Maria Teresa found more success and more appreciative audiences in these cities than in her birthplace.

Maria Teresa had several famous performances, perhaps the most famous on July 16, 1739, when famous French traveler Charles de Brosses was very impressed by her music. He was not the only one; the Count Gerolamo Riccati wrote several letters praising her compositions and musical talent. Another very famous performance was her theatrical debut, the Cantata Pastorale Il Ristoro d'Arcadia, in Milan at the Teatro Regio Ducale in 1747 where she dedicated her piece to various rulers of the surrounding areas of Saxony and Austria.

Agnesi would enjoy the patronage of Maria Theresa, holy Roman Empress and sovereign of Lombardy, and Maria Antonia Walpurgis, a gifted composer and contemporary. The Roman Empress was said to have sung at Maria Teresa Agnesi's famous 1747 performance.

from Wikipedia



A Seat At The Piano welcomes you to pull up a bench and join our generous family of supporters! If ASAP has helped you, please consider donating to help us keep growing. Click here to donate.

bottom of page