Toscanini, Arturo

BORN 25 Mar 1867, Parma, Emilia-Romagna - DIED 16 Jan 1957, New York City, New York: The Bronx
GRAVE LOCATION Milano, Lombardia: Cimitero Monumentale, Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale (Reparto VII, edicola 184)

Arturo Toscanini came from a modest family of Jewish descent. He studied at the conservatory in Parma under Leandro Caranini and he studied composition with Giusto Dacco. When several conductors were unable to perform he conducted Verdi´s "Aida" without music or notes on 30 Jun 1886.

He was an early admirer of Richard Wagner and under his direction the first performance of "Götterdämmerung" by an Italian company took place. On 21 Jun 1897 he married Carla DeMartino. The marriage lasted until her death in 1951, but it was unhappy and Toscanini had numerous affairs.

From 1898 to 1893 he was manager of the Scala in Milan, where he brought many opera's to Italy for the first time, among them Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" (1898) and "Siegfried" (1899). He supported Enrico Caruso and Fyodor I. Shalyapin early in their careers. From 1906 to 1908 he worked again for the Scala, but his enemies there forced him to resign.

He was the leader of the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1908 to 1915. There he had a passionate affair with star singer Geraldine Farrar. During the First World War he conducted at the front and included German works, to the horror of the public.

In 1927 he gave his first radio concert and from 1928 to 1936 he was the musical director of the New York Philharmonic. In 1929 he conducted at the festspiele in Bayreuth for the first time. During the next years he became like an uncle to the Wagner children, but after the nazis became involved in the organisation of the festival he refused to return. Until 1937 he performed at the festival in Salzburg. In 1937 he broke off all relations with Furtwängler because he suspected him of sympathizing with the nazis.

NBC had created an orchestra especially for the maestro that he worked with for seventeen years. After the Second World War he returned to Italy. He gave his last performance on 4 Apr 1954.

Toscanini had a son by Rosina Storchio, the first Madam Butterfly. He probably had also affairs with Lotte Lehmann, Herva Nelli, Alma Gluck, Lucrezia Bori and Cesina Ferrani. His affair with Ada Mainardi, whom he had first met in 1917, started in 1933 but only came to light when a large number of his letters to her was auctioned in 1995.

Related persons
• supported Caruso, Enrico
• was a friend of Catalani, Alfredo
• cooperated with Destinn, Emmy
• employed Failoni, Sergio
• was the lover of Farrar, Geraldine
• was painted by Grosso, Giacomo
• cooperated with Hempel, Frieda
• cooperated with Müller, Maria
• has a connection with Príhoda, Vása
• cooperated with Reining, Maria
• cooperated with Wagner-Williams, Winnifred
• was sculpted by Wildt, Adolfo

4/11/1886Toscanini conducts Catalani's "Edmea" at the Teatro Carignano in Turin. It was the world premiere of a revised version and the first performance as a professional conductor in Italy by Toscanini. Like in the premiere of the original version the part of Edmea was performed by Virginia Ferni-Germano. [Catalani, Alfredo]
21/5/1892Premiere of Leoncavallo's opera "Pagliacci" at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan. The performance was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. [Leoncavallo, Ruggero]
1/2/1896Premiere of Puccini's opera "La Bohème" at the Teatro Regio in Turin. Toscanini was the conductor. Evan Gorga was Rodolfo, Cesira Ferrani was Mimi, Camilla Pasini was Musetta. [Puccini, Giacomo]
25/1/1915Premiere of Giordano's "Madame Sans-Gêne" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Arturo Toscanini was the conductor. Geraldine Farrar was Caterina Hubscher. Giovanni Martelli was sergaent Lefebvre. Andrés de Segurola was Fouché. Paul Althouse was Count Neipperg. Pasquale Amato was Napoléon. Andrés De Segurola was Fouché. Leonora Sparkes, Rita Fornia and Sophie Braslau were the laundresses. Minnie Egener was Princess Elisa. [Farrar, Geraldine][Fornia, Rita][Giordano, Umberto]
25/4/1926Premiere of Puccini's "Turandot" at La Scala in Milan. Puccini had died in 1924 and his opera was nearly finished at that time. He had wanted it to be completed by Riccardo Zandonai, but his son Tonio refused and Franco Alfano finished the opera. Toscanini conducted the premiere. Rosa Raisa sang the part of princess Turandot. Other parts were sang by Francesco Domini, Maria Zamboni, Carlo Walter, Miguel Fleta, Giacomo Rimini, Emilio Venturini, Giuseppe Nessi and Aristide Baracchi. [Puccini, Giacomo]


The house were Arturo Toscanini lived in Milan.
Picture by Androom (28 Jan 2007)


The mausoleum of Arturo Toscanini at the Cimitero Monumentale, Milan.
Picture by Androom (26 Jan 2007)


Bust of Arturo Toscanini by Adolfo Wildt at the Gallery of Modern Art, Rome.
Picture by Androom (01 Mar 2015)


The Museo Case Natale Arturo Toscanini in Parma.
Picture by Androom (11 Feb 2017)


Arturo Toscanini - Wikipedia
La bohème - Wikipedia
Madame Sans-Gêne (opera) - Wikipedia
Pagliacci - Wikipedia
Turandot - Wikipedia

Tournon-Branly, Marion

Published: 28 Dec 2008
Last update: 25 Apr 2022