Bologna, 7 Aug 1775 -Bologna, 26 Dec 1822

Italian organist, pianist and composer.
She belonged to a well-known Italian musical family in Bologna.
She began to perform in public at a very early age, arousing admiration everywhere.
She was particularly noted for her ability to improvise.
Because of her exceptional gifts the Sisters of St Bartholemew in Ancona requested her services as organist and choral director, posts she held from 1787 until 1790.
Returning to Bologna, she continued her musical studies, concentrating particularly on counterpoint.
She composed occasional music, vocal and instrumental, the latter mainly for the piano.
In 1793 she married Luigi Giorgi and presided over a salon. As a pianist she was admired for her technical and expressive abilities; she travelled in Austria and Germany, where she was heard by Haydn, Clementi and Leopold Kozeluch, who dedicated works to her.
When Napoleon passed through Bologna in 1807, military music composed by Brizzi was performed.
She was a dedicated teacher and a member of the Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna. Giordani (in his Elogio funebre for Brizzi) related that shortly before her death (following the birth of a child) she got up from her bed and improvised at the piano on a theme by Giovanni Paisiello, begging her sister Teresa (also a pianist) to preserve her last composition for posterity.

Bibliography:

C. Schmidl: Dizionario universale dei musicisti
P. Giordani: Elogio funebre di Maria Brizzi Giorgi nelle solenni esequie a lei fatte (Bologna, 1813)
S. Muzzi: Notizie di quattro donne eccellenti nella dottrina dell’armonia e della sociale convivenza (Bologna, 1864)
Grove Music Online: www.oxfordmusiconline.com

Author:

Stefano Barandoni