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Toscanini, Arturo


Distinguished opera and symphony conductor; b. Parma, Italy, March 25, 1867; d. New York City, Jan. 16, 1957. Son of Claudio (a tailor) and Paola Toscanini, Arturo studied cello and graduated with honors from the Parma conservatory in 1885. In 1897 he married Carla dei Martini, and was the father of Walter and two daughters, Wally and Wanda (later the wife of the piano virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz). While a cellist in a Rio de Janeiro opera orchestra, he was unexpectedly called upon to conduct Verdi's Aïda. Subsequently he was musical director or chief conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala (Milan), the New York Philharmonic, the Salzburg and Bayreuth festivals, and the NBC Orchestra (which he had organized). Toscanini had a phenomenal memory, was a stern and temperamental disciplinarian, and achieved

performances of high perfection. He introduced works by puccini, respighi, Moussorgsky, Kodály, the American Samuel Barber, and others. He refused an honorary doctorate from Oxford but accepted the One World award for music (1947). His funeral Mass took place in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, in the presence of Cardinal Francis Spellman.

Bibliography: d. ewen, The Story of Arturo Toscanini (rev. ed. New York 1960). t. w. gervais, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. e. blom 9 v. (5th ed. London 1954) 8:517519. h. taubman, The New York Times 106 (Jan. 20, 1957) 2:7.1. n. broder, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) v.13 (in press). d. cairns, "Arturo Toscanini" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 19, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 8588. d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge 1996) 922923. n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth Edition (New York 1992) 1898. r. werba, "Toscanini in Österreich: Versuch einer politisch-humanitären Demonstration," Österreichische Musik Zeitschrift 53 (1998) 2635. f. zimmerman, "Arturo Toscanini," in International Dictionary of Opera 2 v., ed. c. s. larue (Detroit 1993) 13471351.

[h. e. meyers]

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