Throughout 2007 some of the world's leading orchestras and conductors will pay tribute to Arturo Toscanini to mark the 50th anniversary of his death. Most of the events will be held in countries that were in some way impacted by the maestro and his music.
Music director of Milan's Teatro alla Scala during the early 20th century, Toscanini conducted the world premieres of operas such as La Boheme, Turandot and Pagliacci. He moved to the United States in 1908 to lead the Metropolitan Opera before going to the Philharmonic and later to the NBC Symphony in 1937. He died in New York on January 16, 1957 at age 89.
Toscanini is also remembered for his opposition to fascism and Nazism. In 1936, he conducted the first concert of the Israel Philharmonic, an orchestra made up of Jews who had fled central Europe.
On January 16, the New York Philharmonic and Symphonica Toscanini, the Rome-based training orchestra, will play a joint concert at New York’s Lincoln Center. Both orchestras will be conducted by Lorin Maazel. Symphonica Toscanini continues its "Symphony of the Air" tour playing 14 concerts across the United States.
Also on January 16, Daniel Barenboim will direct a performance of Beethoven's Eroica Symphony in Milan by La Scala's Philharmonic. Barenboim will again lead the La Scala Philharmonic in a Toscanini tribute on November 9 in a performance of Verdi's Requiem in Milan.
The Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic will play concerts by Verdi and Richard Strauss in the conductor's native city of Parma on January 16. There will be additional concerts of the orchestra in February and March.
In August 2007 on Lake Maggiore, the island of San Giovanni will showcase Symphonica Toscanini and chorus for performances of Verdi's Aida and Requiem Mass.
The concluding phase of the "Symphony of the Air" tour will take the Symphonica Toscanini to Israel at the end of 2007. The commemorations will conclude with a concert by the Israel Philharmonic in Venice's La Fenice theatre.
Biographical exhibits across Italy and one at Avery Fisher Hall in New York feature artwork collected by the conductor.