Italian Conductor Piero Gamba has Died, Aged 85 

(Picture courtesy: Decca Classics)


Born in 1936 in Rome, Piero Gamba was a baby prodigy on the piano and in conducting. He made his live performance debut on the age of eight conducting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 for a public live performance within the Rome Opera Home

Fascinated with the boy, the press on the time named him the “pocket Toscanini,” as Gamba started main orchestras in his native Italy and Europe. Since childhood, he would regularly conduct from reminiscence and will communicate a number of languages. 

As a baby, he additionally grew to become a part of a fictionalized Italian drama movie in 1946, titled La Grande Aurora, wherein he performed himself conducting an orchestra.

In a 70-year conducting profession, Gamba had the chance to work with a number of famend soloists and ensembles, akin to Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhak Perlman, Ruggiero Ricci, and the London Symphony Orchestra.

In 1962, Gamba received the Arnold Bax Memorial Medal and later was appointed as music director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) in 1971. He additionally served because the chief conductor of Australia’s Adelaide Symphony Orchestra between 1983 and 1986, and performed many different Australian orchestras throughout this era.



“He knew all of the Beethoven symphonies,” stated Doug Bairstow, WSO’s principal oboist from 1965 to 2009. “He had 500 items dedicated to reminiscence when he got here right here,” Bairstow recalled. “He knew the place the second violins had a web page flip that was inconceivable. He knew bar numbers and rehearsal letters. We’ve by no means had one other conductor like that.”

Gamba regularly introduced his musician pals to Winnipeg as visitors to carry out with WSO akin to pianists Vladimir Ashkenazy and Van Cliburn, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, opera stars Richard Tucker and Robert Merrill, and flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal. His recording collaborators included Luciano Pavarotti, Daniel Barenboim, Arthur Rubenstein amongst others.

In line with WSO, Gamba was their first music director to deliver musicians into the orchestra from exterior of North America and the primary to deliver WSO to Carnegie Corridor in 1979.

From 1994 to 1995, Gamba was the musical director and conductor of Uruguay’s SODRE Nationwide Symphonic Orchestra and once more in 2001 to 2004. Within the early 90s, he additionally taught at Adelaide College and later grew to become chief conductor of the six symphonies of the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC). 

In Gamba’s later years residing in New York Metropolis, he served as a global visitor and honorary conductor for numerous orchestras and taught orchestral conducting.

Decca Classics is saddened to study of the passing of Italian conductor Piero Gamba,” the document label posted on Fb. “[He] made many distinguished recordings for Decca, from Rossini Overtures to a whole Beethoven concerto cycle with pianist Julius Katchen, in addition to Luciano Pavarotti’s traditional ‘Mattinata’ album.”

Our condolences to Mr. Gamba’s household, pals, colleagues, and college students.


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