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  • 1 Department of Music, Harvard University, 3 Oxford Street, Cambridge, USA
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Although the period of Liszt’s residency in Rome is marked by pivotal events, many aspects concerning his networks, activities, and relevance in the city’s musical life still await musicological scrutiny. The present paper examines which of Liszt’s compositions could have been heard in Rome by a broader audience during the time the composer had his permanent residence there, and which pieces received attention from the Italian press. Although the performances of the Dante Symphony in 1866 and Christus in 1867 are to be understood as key events in the Roman perception of Liszt as a composer of symphonic music, performances in this genre remained a rarity throughout the 1860s. By then, it was primarily Liszt’s piano music which was heard both in private and more public settings, mainly popularized by Liszt’s student Giovanni Sgambati. Together with the violinist Ettore Pinelli, Sgambati was also key to staging Liszt’s symphonic music with full orchestra during the 1870s and 1880s. Focusing on these decades, this paper eventually elaborates the consolidation and canonization of Liszt’s music and the lasting implications of the Liszt–Sgambati–Pinelli circle on Rome’s concert repertoire after the Italian unifcation.