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<<  -- 2 --  Roderic Dunnett    LUCIANO CHAILLY

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Born in Ferrara on 19 January 1920 (three months before his inventive and equally eclectic Venetian contemporary, Bruno Maderna) Chailly spent his boyhood during the chequered years of Mussolini's Italy. He was a capable boy violinist, and composed from an early age, initially in his native Ferrara. He took a Literature degree at Bologna University and then moved to Milan, where he eventually settled in the Via Banca Maria. During the latter stages of the war he served with Italy's troops in the north.

Chailly in the 1940s serving in Italy's Alpine Troops
Chailly in the 1940s serving in Italy's Alpine Troops

Chailly's unquestioned contrapuntal mastery derived initially from his Milan studies with the eminent composer Carlo Righini, and from the Leipzig-trained Nikisch pupil and opera composer Renzo Bossi, a former assistant at La Scala. He also learned conducting from the great Antonino Votto, a Toscanini protégé who worked closely, as Chailly himself later did, with Maria Callas. It was a baptism of fire which stood him in good stead. Later he would chart his dealings with Callas and other great singers in several volumes of illuminating memoirs.

Luciano Chailly (left) with Maria Callas and President Sandro Pertini
Luciano Chailly (left) with Maria Callas and President Sandro Pertini

 

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Copyright © 20 April 2003 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK

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