Amilcare Ponchielli (US: /ˌpɒŋkiˈɛli, ˌpɔːŋ-/, Italian: [aˈmilkare poŋˈkjɛlli]; 31 August 1834 – 16 January 1886) was an Italian opera composer, best known for his opera La Gioconda. He was married to the soprano Teresina Brambilla. - Wikipedia
Il Convegno (The Conference) is the only piece that Ponchielli recycled into three different performance mediums. Composed for two clarinets and piano before 1857, it was published by the firm of F. Lucca. Fred Ormand, Professor Emeritus of Clarinet at the University of Michigan, prepared a wind band version of Il Convegno based on an earlier symphony orchestral version.
Ponchielli gained much experience as the bandmaster (capobanda) in Piacenza and Cremona, arranging and composing over 200 works for wind band. Notable among his original compositions are the first-ever concerto for euphonium (Concerto per Flicornobasso, 1872), fifteen variations on the Neapolitan song Carnevale di Venezia, and a series of festive and funeral marches that resound with the pride of the newly unified Italy. The ballet Le Due Gemelle (1873) confirmed Ponchielli’s success.
Ponchielli was very popular and influential in his time for introducing a larger orchestra and more complex orchestration. Today he is most famous for his Dance of the Hours, known to everyone from its use in Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940), Allan Sherman's novelty song Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh, and other popular works.
- Program Note by William V. Johnson for the San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra concert program, 16 November 2013