Benedetto Palmieri, born in Naples in 1863, was originally a pianist and taught singing at the Royal College of Music in London (1885-1890) and the Royal Irish Academy of Music (1900-1914).
He was also a composer of songs and chamber and orchestral music, although his foray into the genre of “Irish Symphony” in 1909 was not particularly well received1
Palmieri quickly established a reputation as a leading teacher of singing in Dublin, and Joyce sought him out for lessons in 1904, although later transferred to Vincent O’Brien as a “less expensive teacher”.
Palmieri appears to have been impressed with Joyce’s ability: following the 1904 Feis Ceoil performance, he offered the writer three years of free lessons in exchange for a share of Joyce’s concert fees for a decade. Joyce declined the offer2.
2. Matthew H. J. C. Hodgart and Ruth Bauerle , Joyce’s Grand Operoar: Opera in Finnegan’s Wake (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997), 47 Back