Carlo Maria Giulini
Born May 9, 1914, Barletta, Italy.
Died June 14, 2005, Brescia, Italy.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Principal Guest Conductor (1969-1972)
Carlo Maria Giulini enjoyed a particularly close association with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra dating from November 1955, when he made his American debut as a guest conductor of the Orchestra at the invitation of CSO Music Director Fritz Reiner.
Giulini returned during five subsequent seasons before assuming the position of principal guest conductor in 1969, a post created especially for him. It was in this capacity that he accompanied the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on its acclaimed 1971 European tour, in which he shared conducting duties with Music Director Sir Georg Solti. Giulini served as principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1969 to 1972.
At the time of his appointment to the CSO, Giulini was principal conductor of the Rome Opera and considered among the foremost operatic conductors of the world. He first conducted a staged opera, Verdi’s La Traviata, in 1951 at the Bergamo Festival; Renata Tebaldi was scheduled to sing but became ill and was replaced by a young unknown, Maria Callas.
The following year, Giulini made his debut at Milan’s La Scala and in 1954 became its principal conductor, succeeding Victor de Sabata. In 1958, Giulini made his debut at London’s Covent Garden, conducting Verdi’s Don Carlo, which was hailed as one of the greatest opera performances of all time.
Born in 1914 in Barletta, an ancient city on the Adriatic coast of Italy, Carlo Maria Giulini began his musical studies at the age of five on the violin. At 16 he entered the Academy of Santa Cecilia, in Rome, where he studied viola with Remy Principe and composition with Alessandro Bustini.
While still a student he began his professional career, winning a much coveted place in the viola section of the famous Augusteo Orchestra of Rome, and performing under the great conductors of that generation: Walter, Furtwängler, Klemperer and Strauss.
His career as a conductor was interrupted by World War II. Giulini conducted the first performance of the Augusteo to celebrate the liberation of Rome in 1944, and that autumn was appointed assistant conductor of the Rome Radio Orchestra. In 1946 he became its principal conductor, a post he held until 1950 when he founded and became head of the Orchestra of Radio Milan.
It was a 1951 broadcast of Haydn’s Il mondo della luna which brough Giulini and Arturo Toscanini together in a friendship and discipleship that lasted until Toscanini’s death in 1957.
Giulini was named music director of the Vienna Symphony in 1973. From 1978 to 1984, he served as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As a guest conductor, Giulini conducted many of the world’s greatest orchestras and in the United States he conducted orchestras including Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles.
Carlo Maria Giulini died on June 14, 2005, in Brescia, Italy.