Roberto Haagen (1850-1916)
Of all of the people in the 1884 photograph of the band in Cremona, Roberto Haagen is one of the most important. Initially admitted to the band in mid 1865 as an allievo assoldato, he was promoted to Primo Pelittone in E-flat shortly afterward, at Ponchielli's request. After his father Johannes' death in 1876, Roberto tried to have the family name re-spelled as it might be pronounced in Italian - Aghen, though official documents continued to name him "Haagen," Cirillo Pozzali who is also in the picture named him "Aghen" as he gave his death date as January 6, 1916. By the end of the nineteenth century, Roberto had a busy sideline as a sales representative for various instrument manufacturers, a used instrument re-sale business, and a repair shop for brass instruments. In 1910 he writes a letter to the Oversight Committee asking to be relieved of marching in funerals with his tuba as he is sixty years old. This is his last appearance in the archived documents.