Arditi, Luigi, Italian conductor and composer; b. Crescentino, Piedmont, July 22, 1822; d. Hove, Sussex, May 1, 1903. He studied violin and composition at the Milan Cons., where his principal mentor was Vaccai and where his first opera, I briganti, was premiered in 1841. He began his career in Vercelli and Milan (1842–46), and then went to Havana, where he was active at the Teatro Imperial. His opera II Corsaro was premiered at Havana’s Teatro Tacon in 1847, followed by his Gulnara there on Feb. 4, 1848. He was a conductor in Canada (1853) and the U.S. (1854–56), where his opera Le spia was premiered in N.Y. on March 24, 1856. Thereafter Arditi concentrated on a conducting career. Following tours of Europe, he went to London and conducted at Her Majesty’s Theatre from 1858 to 1869. He also took the company on tours. In 1869–70 he conducted at Covent Garden. From 1870 he conducted in Vienna, and he also appeared in St. Petersburg in 1871 and 1873. After conducting the Covent Garden promenade concerts (1874–77), he was a conductor of Mapleson’s touring opera company in the U.S. from 1878 to 1894. He also continued to conduct opera in London. In addition to his operas, Arditi also composed some orch. pieces and songs, being best remembered for his popular vocal waltz II bacio. As a conductor he led the London premieres of works by several important composers, among them Verdi, Gounod, Wagner, Thomas, Boito, and Mascagni.
My Reminiscences (London, 1896).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
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