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Germani, Fernando

Germani, Fernando

Germani, Fernando, outstanding Italian organist and teacher; b. Rome, April 5, 1906; d. there, June 10, 1998. He was a student of Bajardi (piano), Dobici (theory), Respighi (composition), and Manari (organ) at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He was only 15 when he became organist of the Augusteo Orch. in Rome, and he soon began to appear as a virtuoso. In 1927 he made his first tour of the U.S., and from 1936 to 1938 he taught at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia. From 1932 to 1972 he taught at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and from 1935 to 1976 at the Rome Cons. In 1945 he played the entire Bach canon for organ, a feat he reprised several times in succeeding years. His subsequent tours took him all over the world. From 1948 to 1959 he held the position of 1st organist at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Germani was blessed with a brilliant technique, and his amazing memory allowed him to play the most difficult recitals without scores. While he was best known for his championship of the music of Bach, he also played works by Frescobaldi, Liszt, Franck, Reger, and other masters. He publ. an organ method (4 vols., 1942-52) and an ed. of Frescobaldi’s organ and harpsichord music (3 vols., 1964). He also composed some organ music, including a Toccata (1937), which he featured at many of his recitals.

Bibliography

G. Wagner, Anleitung zum Orgelspiel nach d. G.-Technik (Heidelberg, 1976).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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