Florentine conductor Piero Bellugi was born on 14 July 1924. He studied composition (with Luigi Dallapiccola), violin and viola at the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory in Florence. He also studied at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena and at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. He learnt his conducting from Igor Markevitch, Rafael Kubelik and with Leonard Bernstein at the Berkshire Music Center (where he conducted Ravel's Mother Goose at the Tanglewood Music Shed in 1951).
His first conducting appointments were with the Tri-City Symphony Orchestra in Davenport, Iowa (1954-6), the Oakland Symphony Orchestra (1955-9), the Portland Symphony Orchestra (1959-61), La Scala Milan (from 1961) and the RAI Orchestra in Turin (from 1967). He also conducted at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Festival Canada in Ottawa, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Paris Opera, Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, Rome Opera, San Francisco Opera, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra and the Toscanini Orchestra di Parma.
He conducted many important first performances, including Darius Milhaud's Symphony No 10 (in 1961), Goffredo Petrassi's Settimo Concerto in 1965 and works by Berio, Bussotti, Messiaen, Nono and Penderecki.
In 2004 he became artistic director of the Teatro Massimo di Palermo.
Bellugi died in Florence on 10 June 2012.