Queer Places:
Fondazione Magnani-Rocca, Via Fondazione Magnani Rocca, 4, 43029 Mamiano PR

La vita di Luigi Magnani - Fondazione Magnani RoccaLuigi Magnani (January 29, 1906 – November 15, 1984) was a music critic, musicologist and writer Italian. Il nipote di Beethoven (Beethoven’s grandson) is a fictionalized description of Ludwig van Beethoven's unique love for his nephew Karl van Beethoven, compiled by a scholar of music history, Luigi Magnani, based on the writings the great composer left behind. These letters and these instruction cards (written to obviate the communication difficulties of the elderly composer, now deaf) are little known documents, and reveal a man obsessively attached to (and even jealous of) the boy, who for his part is presented here as a reckless womanizer who has understood the situation, and takes advantage of it to lead the good life.

Luigi Magnani was born to Giuseppe, an agricultural entrepreneur and owner of a dairy industry, and Eugenia Rocca, of a noble family from Liguria. He had Adolfo Venturi as an extraordinary teacher and in 1927 he obtained the Naborre Campanini prize from the Royal Deputation of Homeland History for the memory of Gerolamo Toschi and the Roman Academy of Natural Philosophy. In 1929 he graduated in Modern Literature from the University of Rome (where, later, he taught) with a thesis in art history on the XVI century sculptor Antonio Begarelli. He obtained also a post-graduate diploma. During the 1930s he collaborated with the Italian Encyclopedia, compiling entries relating to the history of art. Magnani owes his musical education to Alfredo Casella. In 1941 the Magnani family moved to Mamiano, a hamlet of Traversetolo; in those years Luigi became friends with the famous Bolognese painter Giorgio Morandi, from whom he bought or were given numerous works. In 1962 Luigi Magnani became part of the Pontifical Academy of Fine Arts and Letters of the Virtuosi of the Pantheon in Rome. In 1964, he oversaw a series for Rai, the broadcasts in the fourth centenary of the death of Michelangelo. His studies on Beethoven and the Conversation Notebooks were decisive. In 1973 he won the Premio Campiello with the novel The grandson of Beethoven. In 1981 he was awarded the XIX/XX century literary criticism prize for the Edito section. In 1982 came My Morandi, a work that testifies to the friendship between the two characters and collects their correspondence.

Luigi Magnani - ritratto da Milton Gendel (1977)
by Milton Gendel (1977)

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