Luigi Boccherini and the Court of Prussia

Parker, Mara

The question of Luigi Boccherini's whereabouts during the time he served as Compositor di Camera to Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Prussia (reigned 1786-97) remains unanswered. One theory contends that Boccherini lived in semi-seclusion in Spain during the years 1787-96, devoting
himself exclusively to composition. Others argue that Boccherini went to the Court of Prussia on the basis of a letter thought to be written by the composer while in Breslau. Did he stay in Spain or did he take up residence at Friedrich Wilhelm's court? Parker's examination of the autograph scores, originally part of the Prussian Royal Library and now housed at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin, reveals that Boccherini used Spanish paper exclusively and thus supports the theory that he remained in Spain.

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Columbia University
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January 29, 2015