Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy) on May 29, 1853. He had eight siblings,
and his father was a tailor who also owned a haberdasher's.
Fanciulli started playing the cornet in the local town band when he
was nine. A talented musician from the very beginning, he
continued his studies at the Conservatory of Florence, where he
took a diploma as a professor of the cornet. At the age of twenty,
he was first cornetist at the Pergola Theatre in Florence, then
became leader of the PoliteamaOrchestra, the actual “Teatro
Comunale”, in 1875.
Fanciulli engaged himself as a private musical tutor to an
American family named Brown and moved to the United States. He
landed in New York on September 24th, 1876. At the same time, he
started working as a church organist at St. Peter’sChurch in
Brooklyn and was a singing and piano teacher. Some time later,
he met Patrick Gilmore, the most famous bandmaster of that time, and
started composing several works for Gilmore’s band. He composed
particularly descriptive music, which was not known in the US at
that time. In 1880, he conducted a non-professional
orchestra in New York, the Mozart Musical Union, and in the early
1890s, the Lillian Durell Opera Company in Boston.
Amanda Schile, an American painterand musician, in New York; they
were married in 1882. They had two sons, Romolo and Jerome, and one
daughter, Giulietta Priscilla.
became leader of the
in 1892 after John Philip Sousa’s resignation, and moved to
His brilliant career there came to an end five years later when he
returned to New York and was named leader of the
of the New York National Guard, with which he took part in the
Pan American Expositionin
Buffalo in 1901.
In January 1904, he left the 71st Regiment Band
and formed a civilian professional band, Fanciulli’s Concert
Band, with which he toured through the United States. The band was
broken up in 1905 because of the great financial burden of
the big tour.
Fanciulli continued to compose and conductuntil his death on
July 17th, 1915, in the German Hospital in New York, after an
illness of several months. He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx,
New York. His manuscripts are in the Americana Collection of the New
York PublicLibrary at