COMPOSER-LEGISLATORS IN FASCIST ITALY: DISTINGUISHING THE PERSONAL AND LEGISLATIVE VOICES OF ADRIANO LUALDI
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During Italy’s fascist period, the government appointed Adriano Lualdi to the Chamber of Deputies. The once prominent composer, author, and music critic represented the Fascist Union of Musicians in the chamber and had roles in the administration of government-subsidized festivals. Although little is written about the composer-legislator, what is available depicts him as opportunistic and self-serving. Previous scholarship claims that he used his position in the fascist bureaucracy to his own advantage by pushing his aesthetic philosophy through legislation. These claims are substantiated by Lualdi’s private communications and published works which detail his opinions on musical aesthetics. Comparing Lualdi’s political records to his publications shows that his personal opinions on aesthetics did not interfere with legislation to the degree that past scholarship suggests. I argue that previous scholarship conflates Lualdi’s legislative voice with his personal voice, offering a distorted, and therefore incomplete version of Adriano Lualdi as a historical figure.