Dibble skillfully reconstructs the life and career of Michele Esposito, a figure of seminal importance in the history of Irish music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Neapolitan by birth and education, Esposito moved to Dublin in 1882 and became an artistic leader in the organization of the chamber concerts for the Royal Dublin Society and the foundation of the Dublin Orchestral Society, the city’s first professional orchestra. He was also involved with the Literary Revival and the Feis Ceoil during the turbulent half-century he spent in Dublin. This important book introduces us to the life and work of a dedicated artist, teacher and organizer whose influence needs to be recognized and appreciated both by all who are interested either in music or in Irish cultural history.
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Jeremy Dibble is Professor of Music at the University of Durham. He is a noted authority on British and Irish music of the 19th and 20th centuries. His previous publications include monographs on Hubert Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford and John Stainer.
‘A published study of this kind has been sorely missed to date … (this book) is clearly more than a biography.Apart from bringing us close to the man and musician, the book also provides us with valuable information on the important RDS chamber-music series, that did so much to bring the vocal-minded Dublin audiences to appreciate instrumental chamber music, and on the Dublin Orchestral Society, the orchestra that Esposito founded, organized and conducted. The book was a joy to read, because it brings Esposito and his time convincingly to life and because it is an exciting account of a bygone period.’ — Axel Klein, Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, 6 (2010–11)