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Arturo Toscanini

Arturo Toscanini (March 25, 1867 - January 16, 1957) was one of the greatest orchestral conductors of all time. He was born in Parma, Italy, and won a scholarship to the local music conservatory, where he studied cello. He joined the orchestra of an opera company, with which he toured to South America. While presenting Aida in Rio de Janeiro in 1886, the conductor was booed by the audience and forced to leave the rostrum. Toscanini successfully took up the baton at the suggestion of other players, and thus began his illustrious career as a conductor.

Toscanini became resident conductor at La Scala, Milan, in 1898, remaining there until 1908 and returning during the 1920s. He also had spells at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York[?] (1908-1915) and Bayreuth (1930-1931) as well as with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (1926-1936) and at the Salzburg Festival[?] (1934-1937). Being a strong opponent to italian and german fascism he left Europe for the United States, where in 1937 the NBC Symphony Orchestra was founded especially for him, with which he performed regularly until 1954 on national radio, thus becoming the first conducting superstar of modern mass media, continuing to perform in public until well into his eighties.

His recorded legacy is huge, containing many quite unique performances.

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