COMPOSERS AND PERFORMERS

DONİZETTİ PAŞA

(1788-1856) Born in the town of Bergamo in Lombardy, Giuseppe Donizetti was the older brother of Italian opera composer Gaetano Donizetti. After France's occupation of northern Italy, Donizetti, who had served in the band since the age of 20, fought with Napoleon in the Austrian and Spanish wars and received the Légion d'Honneur medal. In 1826, upon the success of Frenchman Manguel as the conductor of Turkey's first western-style band, he was called to Istanbul at the advice of the embassy of Sardinia in Istanbul. Rearranging the Mizika-i Hümâyûn, he enriched the band with instruments that he ordered from Italy. Within a few months, he brought the ensemble to a level where it could perform selected pieces from the Italian operas. Thinking of the band as an orchestra as well, he aimed to gain popularity for western music, first in the environs of the Palace, and then among the people. During his twenty-eight years of service, he became very close to Mahmud II and Abdülmecid, and in 1841, was promoted to the rank of colonel, and in 1855 to brigadier general. Donizetti Pasa died in Istanbul on February 12, 1856.