Toscanini, Arturo

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1867-03-25
Death 1957-01-16
Italians
Italian, German, French, English

Biographical notes:

Conductor.

From the description of Arturo Toscanini souvenir card, 1952 summer. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 501180914

Italian conductor, considered one of the greatest of the early 20th century. Started his career in Italy and spent much of his later years in the United States.

From the description of Autograph letter signed, from Toscanini to Mme Emmy Destinn, n.d. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 754872455

Italian conductor.

From the description of Printed document signed, dated : New York, 12 March 1934, 1934 Mar. 12. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270873942

From the description of Photograph, signed and dated, of Bronislaw Huberman, Toscanini, and an unidentified orchestra : Tel Aviv, 26 December 1936, 1936 Dec. 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270677789

From the description of Autograph letter signed and telegram, dated : [Milan], 8 March and 3 April 1908, to Claude Debussy, 1908 Mar. 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270677776

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [London, n.d.], to an unidentified recipient, [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270677786

From the description of Printed card of Arturo and Carla Toscanini with unidentified handwriting, dated : [New York?, 1933?], to an unidentified recipient, 1933?. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270677782

From the description of Telegram and printed invitation, dated and undated : New York, February 1928, and [n.d.], to Harry Harkness Flagler, 1928 Feb. and n.d. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270677778

Arturo Toscanini was born in Parma, Italy, on March 25, 1867, and died in Riverdale, New York, on January 16, 1957. Many regard him as one of the world's greatest conductors. In addition, Toscanini's anti-Fascist stance during World War II distinguished him as a symbol of freedom and humanity. His extraordinarily long career began in 1886, when Italian orchestral conductors were still relatively few in number, and extended into the 1950s, by which time his radio and television broadcasts had transformed him into a cultural icon.

From the description of The Toscanini Legacy papers, 1686-1993 (bulk 1800-1970). (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 144652159

Arturo Toscanini was a renowned Italian conductor famous for his work with the NBC Symphony Orchestra from 1937 to 1954.

Born in Parma, Italy in 1867, Toscanini was educated at the Parma Conservatory. He first conducted in Rio de Janeiro in 1886; by 1898, he was chief conductor at La Scala, where he was to work until 1929. During this period, he also conducted at the Metropolitan Opera (1908-1915) and was a guest conductor for the New York Philharmonic (1926-1928).

In 1928, he accepted the conductorship of the newly formed Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York, where he stayed until his first retirement in 1936. In 1937, NBC persuaded him to return to conduct a series of concerts with the NBC Symphony ORchestra, an orchestra created especially for him. He led this orchestra until he was forced into a second retirement in 1954.

Toscanini's other important engagements included the BBC Symphony Orchestra (1935, 1937-1939), the Bayreuth Festival (1930, 1931), the Vienna Philharmonic (1933, and at the Salzburg Festival 1934-1937), and the Lucerne Festival (1938, 1939). He also worked with many famous performers, including Jussi Björling, Emanuel Feuermann, Jascha Heifetz, Vladimir Horowitz, Alexander Kipnis, Zinka Milanov, Jan Peerce, and William Primrose. He died in Riverdale, N.Y. on January 16, 1957.

From the description of The Toscanini Legacy collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1926-1968, 1940-1957 (bulk). (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122575894

Arturo Toscanini was born in Parma, Italy, on March 25, 1867, and died in Riverdale, New York, on January 16, 1957. Many regard him as the world's greatest conductor. In addition, Toscanini's anti-Fascist stance during World War II distinguished him as a symbol of freedom and humanity.

Toscanini received his musical training at the Parma Conservatory, and by thirteen he was playing cello in the local opera orchestra. A stint with a traveling opera company led to one of the most remarkable debuts in musical history: for a performance of Verdi's Aida in Rio de Janeiro the nineteen-year-old Toscanini was pulled out of the cello section to substitute for the absent conductor. Toscanini, who had never conducted professionally, led the entire performance from memory.

Returning to Italy, Toscanini honed his craft by conducting at second-rank theaters. He continued to play the cello and was in the orchestra at the first performance of Verdi's Otello. In 1895 Toscanini was appointed musical director of the Teatro Regio in Turin, and in 1896 he conducted his first symphonic concerts. The following summer he married Carla De Martini, and their son, Walter, was born in 1898. Daughters Wally and Wanda followed in 1899 and 1907, respectively.

Toscanini was appointed musical director of the Teatro alla Scala in 1898. While there, he set standards that reinvigorated traditional operatic interpretations. In 1908 Toscanini transferred his talents to the Metropolitan Opera. After seven seasons in New York, he resigned and returned to Europe. With Italy's entry into World War I, he conducted patriotic benefit concerts and even led an army band on the battlefield. After the war Toscanini returned to La Scala, where he supervised a complete overhaul of the company. As a result, La Scala enjoyed a decade of unprecedented artistic success, including the orchestra's tours of North America. At this time Toscanini made his first phonograph recordings.

With the political situation in Europe worsening, in 1926 Toscanini accepted an invitation to conduct the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He continued to appear at La Scala through the 1929 season. Toscanini made his first appearance at the Bayreuth Festival in 1930, despite the protest of members of Richard Wagner's family who objected to a non-German on the podium. In 1931 Toscanini became embroiled in a political incident with worldwide repercussions: after refusing to play the Fascist hymn at a concert in Bologna, he was beaten by a group of thugs. He was subsequently warned to leave the city, and his passport was confiscated. The international outcry was phenomenal, and Toscanini's battle with Mussolini became a symbol of the struggle for democracy in Europe.

As World War II approached, Toscanini continued to assert his political beliefs. In 1933 he refused Hitler's invitation to perform at the Bayreuth Festival. The following summer he conducted at the Salzburg Festival, initiating a legendary series of concert and opera performances. Toscanini continued to perform in Salzburg until 1938, when the political situation in Austria compelled him to resign. He participated instead in the inaugural concerts of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra. In 1944 Toscanini appeared in a pro-democracy film entitled Hymn of the Nations.

Toscanini continued as principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic through April 1936. At that time, David Sarnoff, the president of RCA, proposed the formation of an elite radio orchestra expressly for Toscanini's use. The NBC Symphony broadcast its first concert under Toscanini's direction on Christmas night in 1937. The impact of the NBC Symphony's live and recorded performances on America's cultural life was immense, helping to initiate the music appreciation movement of the 1940s.

In 1946 Toscanini returned to Italy in triumph to open the renovated Teatro alla Scala, which had been demolished during the war. Besides his NBC duties, which included a tour of the United States in 1950, he continued to conduct in Europe. In 1954 Toscanini made his last concert appearance, conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra in an all-Wagner concert. He died three years later, two months shy of his ninetieth birthday.

From the guide to the The Toscanini Legacy papers, 1686-1993, 1800-1970, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Alan Shulman was a composer, cellist and arranger. Born in Baltimore on June 4, 1915, his early studies were with Bart Wirtz (cello) and Louis Cheslock (harmony) at the Peabody Conservatory.

In 1928 the family moved to New York, where Shulman played in the National Orchestral Association under Leon Barzin. He received a New York Philharmonic Scholarship, studying cello with Joseph Emonts and harmony with Winthrop Sargent. From 1932-1937, he attended the Juilliard School where he was a fellowship student, studying cello with Felix Salmond and composition with Bernard Wagenaar. While still a student, he composed music for the American Children's Theatre production of Hans Christian Anderson's The Chinese Nightingale (1934). He continued his studies of cello with Emanuel Feuermann, and of composition with Paul Hindemith.

Shulman was the cellist of the Kreiner String Quartet (1935-38). Later, he and his brother, violinist/conductor Sylvan Shulman, co-founded the Stuyvesant String Quartet. During the 1940s and 1950s this group was noted for its performances and recordings of contemporary quartets of Bloch, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Malipiero, Hindemith and Kreisler, among others. In 1941 they played the American premiere of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet at Carnegie Hall (on a bill which included Benny Goodman), and recorded it for Columbia Records.

Simultaneously with his Kreiner Quartet activities, Shulman was arranging and performing classical themes in a jazz style with an ensemble consisting of string quartet, bass, guitar and harp. The group, called the New Friends of Rhythm, recorded for RCA Victor and sold 20,000 records in 1939 and 1940. They recorded with Buster Bailey for Victor before World War II, and with Maxine Sullivan for International Records after the war.

Shulman was a charter member of the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini from 1937-1942, served in the U.S. Maritime Service from 1942-1945, and rejoined NBC from 1948-1954. While in the Maritime Service, he taught orchestration to Nelson Riddle, who went on to write celebrated arrangements for Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat "King" Cole. After NBC disbanded the Symphony in 1954, he helped form and manage the group's short-lived successor, the Symphony of the Air.

During the 1930s and 1940s Shulman was active as an arranger for Leo Reisman, Andre Kostalanetz, Arthur Fiedler and Wilfred Pelletier's Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air. Later, Shulman worked with opera singer Risë Stevens, producing "crossover" arrangements for her which she recorded from 1945-1947.

Shulman's first successful composition was Theme and Variations for Viola and Orchestra, which received its première over NBC in 1941 with Emanuel Vardi as soloist. The piece was recorded several times and is in the repertoire of most American viola soloists. Among his many successful compositions are the Suite on American Folk Songs (one movement of which, Cod Liver 'Ile, was recorded by Jascha Heifetz); Waltzes for Orchestra, premiered by the NBC Symphony with Milton Katims conducting; Threnody (For the Fallen Soldiers of Israel), premiered by the NBC String Quartet in February, 1950; Rendezvous, written for Benny Goodman and recorded by Artie Shaw and Richard Stoltzman; and the Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra, premiered by Leonard Rose with the New York Philharmonic under Dimitri Mitropoulos. His Suite Miniature for Octet of Celli was written in 1956 for the Fine Arts Cello Ensemble of Los Angeles.

In the 1950s, Shulman wrote popular songs with entertainer Steve Allen and arranged for Skitch Henderson, Raoul Poliakin and Felix Slatkin. During the 1960s and 1970s, Shulman was busy in recording and television studios, and composed teaching material and works for band including Three Faces of Glen Cove, Interstate 90, The Corn Shuckers and Mazatlan, and arranged for singer-songwriter Cris Williamson's debut recording on Ampex Records.

Shulman founded the Violoncello Society in 1956 and was President from 1967 to 1972. He was cellist of the Philharmonia Trio (1962-1969), the Vardi Trio, An Die Musik (1976-1977), and the Haydn Quartet (1972-1982). Shulman taught cello at Sarah Lawrence College, Juilliard, SUNY-Purchase, Johnson State College (Vermont) and the University of Maine. He was made a Chevalier du Violoncelle by the Eva Janzer Cello Center at Indiana University in 1997. Shulman died on July 10, 2002.

Sources: Margaret Campbell. "Shulman, Alan." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/52906 (accessed September 22, 2011).

"The Music of Alan Shulman." http://capital.net/com/ggjj/shulman/index.html (accessed September 22, 2011).

From the guide to the Alan Shulman papers, 1924-2005, 1933-1988, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Arturo Toscanini was a renowned Italian conductor famous for his work with the NBC Symphony Orchestra from 1937 to 1954. Born in Parma, Italy in 1867, Toscanini was educated at the Parma Conservatory. He first conducted in Rio de Janeiro in 1886; by 1898, he was chief conductor at La Scala, where he was to work until 1929. During this period, he also conducted at the Metropolitan Opera (1908-1915) and was a guest conductor for the New York Philharmonic (1926-1928).

In 1928, he accepted the conductorship of the newly formed Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York, where he stayed until his first retirement in 1936. In 1937, NBC persuaded him to return to conduct a series of concerts with the NBC Symphony ORchestra, an orchestra created especially for him. He led this orchestra until he was forced into a second retirement in 1954.

Toscanini's other important engagements included the BBC Symphony Orchestra (1935, 1937-1939), the Bayreuth Festival (1930, 1931), the Vienna Philharmonic (1933, and at the Salzburg Festival 1934-1937), and the Lucerne Festival (1938, 1939). He also worked with many famous performers, including Jussi Björling, Emanuel Feuermann, Jascha Heifetz, Vladimir Horowitz, Alexander Kipnis, Zinka Milanov, Jan Peerce, and William Primrose. He died in Riverdale, N.Y. on January 16, 1957.

From the guide to the The Toscanini Legacy collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1926-1968, 1940-1957, (The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.)

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Subjects:

  • Conductors (Music)--Correspondence
  • Music--20th century
  • Opera--Scores
  • Songs (medium voice) with piano
  • Conductors (Music)--20th century
  • Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
  • Orchestral music--Scores and parts
  • Anti-fascist movements
  • Conductors (Music)--Miscellanea
  • Patriotic music
  • Operas--Vocal scores with piano

Occupations:

  • Arrangers
  • Conductors (Music)
  • Conductor
  • Violoncellists
  • Composers

Places:

  • Italy (as recorded)
  • Italy (as recorded)