of the very first Italians to settle in Ottawa and one of
the first professional harpists to be known to the Capital,
Rocco Antonio Graziadei died on Sunday, 1935 after a long
illness. He passed away at his home on St. Andrew street,
where he had taken up residence when he first came to Ottawa
51 years ago. For many years he was one of the best known
professional musicians in the city.
at Laurenzana, Italy, on February 16th, 1859, he began his
musical career at the age of seven years when he went with
his father, also a musician, on tour of the principal cities
of Europe. This was in 1866, and in the 13 following years
he learned to play the harp, flute, cello and violin with
equal facility being an accomplished musician before he reached
the age of 20 years.
1870, Mr. Graziadei came to America, going first to New York
city. From this point he radiated out as a travelling
musician, covering nearly all of the larger cities in Canada
and the United States.
to "settle down" somewhere, in 1884 he took up permanent
residence in Ottawa. Four years previously he had returned
to his native Italy and has married the sweetheart of his
youth, and he wished to provide a permanent home for her.
was a family tradition in the Graziadei family for generations.
Besides his father, all his brothers and sisters could play
various instruments. Mr. Graziadei was best known as a harpist.
When he came to Ottawa at the age of 25 he brought with him
a harp which had be bought in Italy in 1880 and which was
still excellent condition at the time of his death. The Graziadei
orchestra has played at hundreds of functions in the Capital,
as well as in towns and villages as far as hundred miles from
the city. As he had been sailing for some time, Mr. Graziadei
for a number of years had not personally filled professional
wife, the former Carmella Nicolini, predeceased him 13 years
ago. Og the five sons, Dominic, a violinist, is in New York
city. The other four reside in Ottawa: Joseph, flutist: Silvio,
harpist: John, drummer, and Michael saxophonist. Two of the
five daughters live in New York city, Mrs. Anna Garramone
and Mrs. Mathilda Di Meo, while the other three daughters,
Mrs. Lionella De Grandmont, Mrs. Frank Longo and Miss Stella
Graziadei, live in Ottawa. He is also survived by 26 grandchildren
and three great-grandchildren.
was a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters, the Union
S. Joseph Society and the Italian Society of St. Anthony.
funeral will take place on Wednesday at 7:45am from 63 St.
Andrew street to the Basilica for requiem high mass at eight
o'clock. Burial will be in Notre Dame cemetery.