Toscanini home study
Writing a biography of Arturo Toscanini is beyond the scope of this webpage. As recently as 2007, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his death, plenty has been written and spoken about him over a long period of time. He was the most famous student ever to graduate from the Royal School of Music of Carmine.
Born in Parma on 25 March 1867, he was offered to study at the conservatory under a full residency scholarship where he learned the cello under the guidance of maestro Leandro Carini and composition with Giusto Dacci, graduating cum laude in 1885 as well as the monetary prize for the most outstanding graduate awarded by the Barbacini donation. After beginning his career as a teacher of orchestra, he left for Brasil in 1886 and, at nineteen, made himself known as an orchestral conductor in Rio after directing the Aida from memory. Once back in Italy he began a slow yet unstoppable career that brought to light his exceptional memory,
his lucid vision of ensemble and detail and his ability to impose this vision to the orchestra and the singers. From 1898 he directed the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and from 1908 the Metropolitan in New York. After the First World War he reorganized the best of Milan's theatre and in 1928 he became the principle director
of the Philharmonic in New York. In 1931, after an act of fascist violence, life in Italy became intolerable for him, he then left the county to return after the war, directing the inaugural concert for the reopening of Teatro La Scala which was rebuilt in the aftermath of the war's destruction. On 16 January 1957 he died in Riverdale, NY, United States.
In 1976, on the occasion of the celebration of the 150° anniversary of the foundation of the Conservatory, the daughters of Toscanini, Wanda and Wally, donated to the school where their father began his career in music, the home study of the maestro located in the building of via Durini in Milan. Among the rich book collection, many volumes of which were glossed by Toscanini himself, of primary importance are the numerous works on Richard Wagner written in several languages that the maestro habitually read.
The furniture is comprised of a piano, bookcases, display windows, a writing desk, chairs, and a small sofa with armchairs.
The maestro was also a collector of fine sculptures and paintings. Among the former, it is worth mentioning:
- a bronze statue of Giacomo Puccini by the famous sculptor Paul Troubetzkoy;
- one of the most famous half-length portraits of Giuseppe Verdi by Vincenzo Gemito;
- a half-length portrait of Arturo Toscanini by Paul Troubetzkoy, exposed in 1927 at the XV edition of the City of Venice International Art Exhibition;
- a half-length bronze portrait of Otello covered by a mantle of gilded decorations, work of G. Wagner, winner of the First Prize of the City of Paris competition.
Among paintings a special mention must be made of:
- Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi in chalk, copy of the picture by Giovanni Boldini;
- Mountain Church, oil on canvas with baroque wood frame, donated from the painter Leonardo Bistolfi to the maestro in 1899;
- Forest at Night, oil on canvas with baroque wood frame by Leonardo Bistolfi (1899);
- The Beloved Shadow, oil on canvas, portrait of Toscanini's son deceased on 10 june 1906 while still a child, painted by Vittore Grubicy De Dragon and framed in gilded wood;
- Portrait of Arturo Toscanini, oil on canvas, by Vittore Grubicy De Dragon, framed in gilded wood;
- Landscape with Lake, oval oil painting by Vittore Grubicy De Dragon, framed in gilded wood;
- Landscape with lake, another oval oil painting by Vittore Grubicy De Dragon, framed in gilded wood.