Gamba, Piero (actually, Pierino)

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Gamba, Piero (actually, Pierino)

Gamba, Piero, (actually, Pierino) Italian conductor; b. Rome, Sept. 16, 1936. From a musical family (his father was a professional violinist), he was trained at home; his precocity was so remarkable that he was reportedly able to read an orch. score at the age of 8, and at 9 conducted a regular sym. concert in Rome. He also composed. Unlike the talent of so many child musicians, his gift did not evaporate with puberty; he became a professional artist. According to ecstatic press reports, he conducted in 40 countries and 300 cities, so that his name became familiar to uncounted multitudes (including a billion people in China). From 1970 to 1981 he served as music director of the Winnipeg Sym. Orch.; from 1982 to 1987 he was principal conductor of the Adelaide (Australia) Sym. Orch.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire