<< -- 2 -- Roderic Dunnett LUCIANO CHAILLY
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'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
Copyright © 20 April 2003
Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK