Teodorico Pedrini

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Portrait of Pedrinis

Teodorico Pedrini , his Chinese name was 德 理 格, pinyin Dé Lǐgé , WG Te Li-ko (born June 30, 1671 in Fermo , † December 10, 1746 in Beijing ) was an Italian missionary, harpsichordist and composer .


Teodorico Pedrini was inducted into the Lazarist Order in 1698 and sent to the court of Beijing by the Pope in 1703 because of his musical skills, as the Chinese Emperor had expressed the wish to have some European artists for his surroundings in the Forbidden City .

Pedrini was supposed to travel to Beijing with the Pope's legate and Jesuit inspector, Cardinal de Tournon . However, he missed the ship in the Canaries and reached Cape Horn with great delay. He stayed for some time in Chile, Peru and Mexico; from there he was only able to board a ship heading for the Philippines in 1707.

After further adventurous detours, Pedrini reached Beijing on February 5, 1711, eight years after his departure, where he was received by Emperor Kangxi on the same day .

Pedrini lived and worked in the vicinity of the emperors Kangxi, then Yongzheng and Qianlong until his death . One of his tasks was to provide the court with European music and to ensure the maintenance of the harpsichords . He designed and built an organ for the Jesuit church in Bei-Tang. At the emperor's request, he completed a music textbook written by his predecessor, the Portuguese Jesuit and mathematician Tomás Pereira (1645–1708), who had also worked in the forbidden city. He also accompanied the emperor on his travels through the country and taught seven imperial princes, including the later Emperor Yongzheng.

Pedrini is considered one of the most important personalities in building cultural relations between the Middle Kingdom and Europe in the 18th century. His reputation, which continues to have an effect up to now, is based on his and Pereira's treatises on Western music theory.

Works (selection)

Pedrini is the only composer of the 18th century who has survived European music composed in China.

  • Op. 3 "Dodici Sonata a Violino Solo col Basso del Nepridi"


  • Concert baroque à la Cité interdite (Baroque concert in the Forbidden City) with the “Ensemble XVIII-21 Le Baroque Nomade” under the direction of Jean-Christophe Frisch , audivis astrée.
  • Complete violin sonatas with Nancy Wilson (violin) and Joyce Lindorff (harpsichord), paladino music.


  • Martin Gimm : Pedrini, Th., In: Music in past and present; Person Teil, Vol. 13, Kassel 2005, Col. 234-238;
  • Martin Gimm: Teodorico Pedrini CM (1671–1745), an Italian court musician in the palace of Emperor Kangxi, in: Deutsche China Gesellschaft Mitteilungsblatt, 2007, no. 1, pp. 40–48, 6 figs.

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