Toscanini

Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.

Toscanini was a famous Italian conductor.

Born Arturo Toscanini in 1867 in Parma, Italy, he studied at the conservatories of Parma and Milan, wanting to become a cellist (a cello player).

When Toscanini was 19, he was abruptly called upon to fill in for an absent conductor, and he conductor the opera ‘Aida’ from memory.

Since then, Toscanini was directed operas such as ‘La Boheme’, and ‘Pagliacci’.

Toscanini married Carla De Martini and had four children.

Toscanini was about to retire at the age of 70, when a special radio orchestra opportunity was presented to him, so Toscanini took it.

In 1954 Toscanini suffered a memory lapse while on air, and never performed over the radio again.

He died in 1957 from a stroke.

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