Andrea Luchesi was born at Motta di Livenza, near
Treviso the eleventh child of Pietro Luchese and
Caterina Gottardi. The rather wealthy family descended
from groups of noble families who had moved from Lucca
to Venice in the 14th century (hence the name Luchese.
From 1764/65 Andrea began to use the name Luchesi,
which we can find written by his contemporaries also as
Lucchesi, Lughesi, Luckesi, Lucchezzy, etc.). He grew
up in his native town, receiving musical and general
education from his elder brother Matteo, a priest,
public tutor and organist.
By 1757 he moved to Venice. The protection of the
nobleman Jseppo Morosini enabled him to study with
eminent musicians: Gioacchino Cocchi, Padre Paolucci,
Giuseppe Saratelli, Domenico Gallo, Ferdinando Bertoni
and (the best-known of them) Baldassare Galuppi. His
career in Venice developed quickly: examiner of the
organists commission in 1761, then organist at San
Salvatore (1764), composer of works for "organ or
cembalo", instrumental, sacred and theatre music. He
composed for official celebrations, the last (1771)
being the solemn funeral of the Duke of Montealegre,
Spanish ambassador to Venice. As a famous virtuoso he
was invited to play organ in and outside Venice, e.g.
was in charge of inaugurating the new organ of the
basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua.
In the spring of 1765 his opera L'isola della fortuna
was performed at the Hoftheater in Vienna.
While on tour in Italy in 1771, Leopold and Wolfgang
Mozart met Andrea Luchesi and received one of his
concertos for cembalo (Wolfgang was still playing the
concerto in 1777, while Leopold and Nannerl used often
the concerto for teaching and practicing purposes).
At the end of 1771, Luchesi traveled to Bonn on a
three-year contract, invited by the Prince Elector
Archbishop of Cologne Maximilian Friedrich von
Königsegg-Rothenfels, who wished to raise the quality
level of his court chapel. After the death of the
previous Kapellmeister (Ludwig van Beethoven senior,
i.e. the grandfather of Beethoven), Andrea Luchesi was
nominated official court Kapellmeister in 1774.
He acquired the principality's citizenship and in 1775
married Anthonetta Josepha d'Anthoin, daughter of
Maximilian Friederich's senior counselor. With the
exception of a visit to Venice in 1783-84, he lived in
Bonn until his death in 1801, although his role as
Kapellmeister ended in 1794, when the French invasion
troops suppressed the court.
The young Beethoven was at the court chapel from 1781
to 1792 as assistant organist, cembalo and viola
player. Although Beethoven's musical and compositional
training was probably influenced by Luchesi's presence,
we have no evidence of any formal pupil/teacher
relationship between the two.When the court organist
Christian Gottlob Neefe temporarily replaced the
Kapellmeister as conductor and teacher during his
1783-84 absence, Luchesi assigned the organ service to
the very young Beethoven.
Pupils of Luchesi who achieved minor renown included
Antonin Reicha, Bernhard and Andreas Romberg, and
He had one daughter, who lived in Bonn till her death,
and four sons. According to Neefe the first two sons
(Maximilian Friederich, born 1775-12-11, and M. Jakob
Ferdinand, born 1777-12-18) were gifted musicians.
This is an arrangement of his Organ Sonata No. 1 in C
major (from Deux sonates pour orgue, Biblioteca del
Conservatorio di Musica di Parigi).
Although originally written for Organ, I created this
arrangement for String Trio (Violin, Viola & Cello).