At the time of the American Revolution, Naples was the center of the musical world. For more than a century the Neapolitan School of Music dominated the entire musical scene of Europe. When Thomas Jefferson made a catalog of his personal music collection in 1783, it featured names like Piccinni, Hasse and Pergolesi, all important composers trained at the famous music conservatories of Naples.
Although the Neapolitan Masters laid the foundation of classical music and produced some of the most beautiful music ever written, only a fraction of their masterpieces are known and performed today. The principal goal of Neapolitan Music Society is to enlarge communities of study, research and a reevaluation of these musical works, forgotten or lost for over two centuries.
Prof. Robert Gjerdingen, Professor, Music Theory and Cognition, Northwestern University, put it this way: "Suppose in 50 years, someone is writing the history of rock-n-roll and they conclude: "The French rock scene was where it all began...they were the best and developed the whole genre." Obviously, that would be completely absurd, but it's the sort of distortion that has marginalized the Neapolitans. The Neapolitan Masters were the most famous classical musicians of the 17th and 18th centuries. They were hired and traded, Gjerdingen says, "like star baseball players between the competing royal courts in Europe."
Our mission is to reintroduce the Neapolitan Masters to a new audience through concerts, recordings, presentations and Master Classes. Our hope is to rewrite the history that has distorted the contributions and one-hundred-year history of the Neapolitan Masters.