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Home Guitar History 19th-Century List Pietro Pettoletti
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Pietro Pettoletti

(1795? - 1870?)

a guitarist of probable Italian descent in Germany, Sweden and Russia

P. PettolettiThe guitarist and composer Pietro (Piotr) Pettoletti (see him on left in a rare image, from the no.10-11 of Gitarist, 1904, p. 227) lived in the first half of the Nineteenth Century. He was probably of Italian origin (or perhaps Danish), but spent the greater part of his life living in foreign countries. At first he lived in Germany, then, by age twenty five, in Sweden, where he taught piano and guitar. Subsequently he moved to Russia, employed by a wealthy landowner to teach guitar to his children. Pettoletti stayed for a long time in St. Petersburg, where he established residence, achieving a reputation as concert performer and as teacher. He often performed in duo with his brother Joachim, a violinist and guitarist at the Orchestra of the Italian Opera of St. Petersburg.

There he met Andrei Osipovich Sychra, the most renowned guitarist in Russia at that time. He encouraged Pettoletti to study and improve the 7 string (Russian) guitar, and to compose for it.

Pettoletti had many students, who in turn continued his style of teaching. He died in Petersburg, at about 1870, when he was 75 years old. Pettoletti composed about 50 works calling for the guitar, above all Fantasies and Variations based on themes from operas by Italian composers. A few of his works demand some virtuosity. He published his works in Germany, Denmark and Russia during the first decade of the Nineteenth Century.


(Transl. M. Penny)

Catalogue of printed works of Pietro Pettoletti

Title opus no. Ensemble Editor Year
Sei Valzer 1 guitar Simrock, Bonn -
Divertimenti 6 guitar - Gjothstrom & Magn., Stockolm
Variazioni 7 guitar - Gjothstrom, Stockolm
Variazioni 8 guitar - Gjothstrom, Stockolm
Pot Pourri 9 2 guitars Magnusson, Stockolm -
Divertimento 11 2 guitars Lose, Copenhagen -
Fantasia 12 guitar Bernard, S.Petersburg -
Troika 14 guitar - Buttner, S. Petersburg
Fantasia 15 guitar Schott Mainz -
Fantasia 16 4 guitars - -
Divertimento 17 guitar Buttner -
Variazioni 18 guitar Buttner -
Variazioni 19 guitar Buttner -
Variazioni 21 guitar Buttner -
Fantasia 22 2 guitars Bernard, Peterburg -
Raccolta di pezzi 23 guitar Buttner -
Variazioni 23 guitar Lee, S.Petersburg -
Fantasia 24 2 guitars Bernard -
Studio 25 guitar Bernard, S.Petersburg -
Variazioni 26 guitar Schott, Mainz -
Duo 27 flute or violin and guitar Cranz, Ambourg -
Fantasia 28 guitar & piano Schott Magonza -
Improptu 29 guitar Buttner -
Duettino 30 guitar & piano Buttner, S.Petersburg -
Romanza 31 guitar Buttner -
Fantasia 32 guitar Schott -
Metodo 33 6-string guitar - -
Fantasia 35 guitar - -
Fantasia 70 guitar - -

Bibliographic Note

  • Valerian Rusanov, Piotr Pettoletti in Gitarist, n. 10-11 (1904) p. 225-230
  • Erling Møldrup, Guitaren, et eksotisk instrument i den danske musik (The guitar, an exotic instrument in Danish music), Ed. Kontrapunkt, 1997, pp. 73-81,125, 167.