(bc1768; d Moscow, 1819). British composer, flautist and singer of Italian descent, son of Pietro Grassi Florio. According to Pohl, Florio made his début in London as a flautist in 1782, and Burney lists him as a tenor singer in the Handel Commemoration concerts in 1784. He was engaged as a flautist for Mme Mara's concerts in 1788. His earliest composition appears to be a duet sung by Mrs Bland and Miss Hayley at the end of Act 2 of Twelfth Night, performed at the King's Theatre on 31 May 1792.
In the summer of 1794 Elisabeth Mara caused a scandal by leaving her husband and running off to Bath with young Florio. He accompanied her to Dublin in 1796, but despite Mara's great success, Florio, who unwisely described himself as ‘first singer at the Hanover Square Concert’, was hissed by the audiences. His first complete score, The Outlaws, with a libretto by Andrew Franklin, was performed at Drury Lane on 16 October 1798. His most significant work, The Egyptian Festival (London, 11 March 1800), written for Mara's first appearance at Drury Lane, was described in the Monthly Mirror as one of the ‘most magnificent spectacles the stage has for some time produced’.
In 1802 Florio and Mara left London for an extended tour of the Continent. He provided flute solos at her concerts, and she sang some of his songs in an attempt to win him a continental reputation as a composer, but with little success. They travelled first to Paris, to Berlin in 1803, and to Russia in 1807, where Florio remained, though he made some trips to London to participate in unsuccessful financial ventures. Some of his songs were published in London (c1795, 1800), including a duet originally sung by Mara and Incledon in Love in a Village. He also published three piano sonatas with obbligato flute accompaniment (London, after 1800).
C.Burney: An Account of the Musical Performances … in Commemoration of Handel (London, 1785/R)
C.F.Pohl: Mozart und Haydn in London (Vienna, 1867/R)
R.Kaulitz-Niedeck: Die Mara: das Leben einer berühmten Sängerin (Heilbronn, 1929)
Florio, Pietro Grassi
(b before 1740; d London, 20 June 1795). Italian flautist and composer. He was in the Dresden court orchestra in 1756. Leaving there about that time, he went probably to Paris and then to London, where, according to Pohl, he first appeared at a concert in 1760. Over the years he appeared in the Bach-Abel concerts and at several theatres (his flute obbligatos to Mrs Sheridan's performances of Handel's ‘Sweet Bird’ were long remembered); he was also flautist in the orchestra of the Italian opera at the King's Theatre. His last years were darkened by the scandalous liaison of his son, Charles H. Florio, with the celebrated opera singer Gertrud Elisabeth Mara. He published several sets of chamber music, all with flute.
6 Sonatas or Duets, 2 fl/vn, op.1 (London, 1763); 6 Sonatas, 2 fl, op.2 (London, c1765); 6 Trios, fl, vn, vc, op.3 (London, 1781); 8 Duos, 2 fl, op.4 (The Hague and Amsterdam, n.d.); 6 quatuors, fl, vn, va, vc, arr. from favourite Fr. airs (London, n.d.)
Captain Snug: ‘On the Miserable Death of Poor Florio, the Celebrated German Flute Player’, European Magazine, xxviii (1795), 275–6
C.F.Pohl: Mozart und Haydn in London (Vienna, 1867/R)
(b Thessaloniki, 4 Jan 1930). German musicologist of Greek birth. After studying law at the University of Thessaloniki (1947–51), he went to the Vienna Music Academy, where he studied composition with Alfred Uhl and conducting with Hans Swarowsky and Gottfried Kassowitz, graduating in both subjects in 1953. At the same time he studied musicology with Erich Schenk at Vienna University as well as art history (with C. Swoboda), philosophy and psychology. In 1955 he obtained the doctorate in Vienna with a dissertation on Campioni. He continued his musicological studies with Husmann at Hamburg University (1957–60), where in 1961 he completed his Habilitation in musicology with a work on the Byzantine kontakion. In 1967 he became supernumerary professor, in 1972 professor of musicology and in 1995 professor emeritus at the University of Hamburg. He received the honorary doctorate from the University of Athens in 1999.
He is the co-editor of the Hamburger Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft and in 1988 he founded and became president of the Gustav Mahler Vereinigung, Hamburg. In 1992 he was elected a member of the Erfurt Akademie der gemeinnützigen Wissenschaften and in 1999 was made an honorary member of the Richard Wagner-Verband.
Floros is one of the leading German musicologists and his research interests are varied. His three-volume Universale Neumenkunde (1970) overturned previous theories concerning the origin of Gregorian neumes. In his treatise Gustav Mahler (1977–85), and his writings on other composers of instrumental music in the 18th and 19th centuries, he examined the semantic meaning of the symphony alongside theories of the dominance of absolute music. He also carried out pioneering research on the music of the Second Viennese School, in particular Alban Berg; he discovered the hidden programme for Berg's Lyric Suite before the relevant sources were found. His view of ‘Musik als Autobiographie’ characterizes his books on Berg (1993) and Ligeti (1996) and connects musical aesthetics with everyday circumstances.
Carlo Antonio Campioni als Instrumentalkomponist (diss., U. of Vienna, 1955; extracts in Rivista di Livorno, i (1955), 134–50; iii (1959), 27–39)
‘Das Kontakion’, Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte, xxxiv (1960), 84–106
‘Fragen zum musikalischen und metrischen Aufbau der Kontakien’, Congrès d'études byzantines XII: Ohrid 1961, ii, 563–9
Das mittelbyzantinische Kontakienrepertoire: Untersuchungen und kritische Edition (Habilitationsschrift, U. of Hamburg, 1961)
‘Die Musik der Ostkirche’, Das Buch der heiligen Gesänge der Ostkirche, ed. E. Benz, C. Floros and H. Thurn (Hamburg, 1962), 143–74
‘Kompositionstechnische Probleme der atonalen Musik’, GfMKB: Kassel 1962, 257–60
‘Die Thematik in Johann Sebastian Bachs Orchestersuiten’, SMw, xxv (1962), 193–204
‘Das “Programm” in Mozarts Meisterouvertüren’, SMw, xxvi (1964), 140–86
‘Die Entzifferung der Kondakarien-Notation’, Musik des Ostens, iii (1965), 7–71; iv (1967), 12–44
Universale Neumenkunde (Kassel, 1970)
‘Das esoterische Programm der Lyrischen Suite von Alban Berg: eine semantische Analyse’, HJbMw, i (1975), 101–45
‘Über Zusammenhänge zwischen den Musikkulturen des Ostens und des Westens im Mittelalter’, Musica antiqua IV: Bydgoszcz 1975, 319–40
Gustav Mahler, i: Die geistige Welt Gustav Mahlers in systemischer Darstellung (Wiesbaden, 1977); ii: Mahler und die symphonik des 19. Jahrhunderts in neuer Deutung (Wiesbaden, 1977); iii: Die Symphonien (Wiesbaden, 1985; Eng. trans., 1993)