Giulio Regondi in Ireland

Thomas Lawrence

While researching for a Ph.D on the guitar in Ireland I uncovered a wealth of literature pertaining to the renowned nineteenth-century guitarist and  concertinist,  Giulio Regondi. In fact, so extensive was his advertising in Ireland that it was possible to formulate a clear chronology of his performances here that included the repertoire he played, public reaction to him and indeed many other facts that have been hitherto undocumented in the literature: for example, that Giulio’s father was a guitarist and a buffo of considerable power (sharing equal billing with Giulio during 1834-1835), that Giulio performed on Wheatstone’s patent concertina as early as 1834 (the earliest reference to the concertina in the British Isles), that his alleged father (whose initial is revealed as A.) advertised himself in Belfast as Giulio’s teacher and that Giulio himself taught students in Dublin who achieved fame. In all, Giulio visited Ireland eight times, once as Master Regondi (1834-1835), accompanied by his alleged father Signor A. Regondi, and seven times as Signor Giulio Regondi (1842, 1845, 1850, 1852, 1854, 1859 and 1861).

During these occasions his guitar and concertina playing was enthusiastically greeted by audiences in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Clonmel, Wexford, Kilkenny, Belfast, Londonderry, Coleraine, Limavady and Strabane. This short article is concerned with Giulio’s 1834-1835 tour of Ireland, his relationship with the poet Mrs. Hemans, a small sample of his concerts in Waterford, Wexford, Belfast, Londonderry, Coleraine and Strabane (including subsequentnewspaper reviews) and finally a listing of all the guitar and concertina works that he performed during that period.However, we shall commence our discussion with an examination of Giulio Regondi’s life.

Giulio Regondi in Ireland

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