The triumphant concerts at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the proverbial severity with musicians, the declared aversion to Fascism and Nazism – a book, a video, and an exhibition celebrate Arturo Toscanini’s 150th birthday by retracing the unfolding of the music genius’ life in the two countries that have been his cradle and that confirmed his never fading worldwide celebrity.
Toscanini according to critic Emile Vuillermoz was “a wizard of the baton (…) so good that in the Middle Ages he would have been accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake” and he achieved great popularity both in America – where he conducted also on the radio and on TV – and in Italy – where he triumphantly returned to after the war to direct, in 1946, the opening concert of La Scala which was still wounded by the bombing. He was also mentioned by historian Harvey Sachs a great innovator: “he changed the way in which opera is read and reorganized La Scala.”
Antonio Pappano in “The Maestro: A Life in Pictures”, the book he co-authored with Marco Caprathe, points out that his way of making music “is still today an absolute benchmark”. The book is published by Rizzoli with the patronage of the Salini – Impregilo Group, which has also funded the video, the photographic exhibition – curated by Franco Pulcini, and historian Harvey Sachs – and the American tour of the celebration, which includes a concert conducted by Riccardo Chailly. The American tour will go to Washington – Library of Congress on March 27, and Union Station on March 28 – and finally to the Rizzoli Bookstore in New York on March 29.
Ilona Catani Scarlett