Although he was a composer and a violinist and pianist of virtuoso caliber, Victor de Sabata (born Vittorio) was best known as one of the world's leading conductors, particularly of Italian opera. His father was a chorus master who gave his son well-rounded musical training, including cello, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon. He went on to study at the Milan Conservatory, with counterpoint lessons from Michele Saladino and composition from Giacomo Orefice. He earned his diploma with a Suite for Orchestra. During the first few years of his career his concentrated on composition. His opera Il macigno (The Rock) was premiered at La Scala in 1917 and was frequently played during the next few years. Arturo Toscanini (who frequently performed de Sabata's tone poem Juventus of 1919) encouraged de Sabata to consider a conducting career. He began to ...
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