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Bernardino Molinari (11 April 1880 – 25 December 1952) was an Italian conductor.

Molinari in Jerusalem, 1945
Cover of a concert program of The Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra (Tel Aviv, 15 Dec 1947). Conductor: Bernardino Molinari

Molinari studied under Renzi and Falchi at the Accademia (then "Liceo Musicale") of Santa Cecilia in his home town of Rome.

In 1912 he was appointed artistic director of the Augusteo Orchestra, Rome, later renamed l'Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, a position he held until the end of the Second World War. Since this was then, like now, the leading symphony orchestra position in Italy, it aroused the envy of several rivals.

After the liberation of Rome by the Allied Troops of June 4, 1944, Molinari was contested by the public, in particular during two concerts held on July 9 and 12, for his involvement with the Fascist regime. He had to suspend the performance and, since then, he was able to conduct in Rome the Orchestra of the Theatre of Opera only.[1]

In 1945 he arrived in Palestine (Land of Israel) and conducted the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, then became its musical advisor. The performance of the Korngold violin concerto with David Grunschlag as soloist was critically acclaimed

According to some, he arranged the Israeli National song Hatikva, an arrangement that received praise by Leonard Bernstein. His version serves most of Israeli performances of the piece.

Molinari guest-conducted at all the important musical centres in Europe and the Americas, always as a symphony leader. Unlike most Italian conductors, he seldom conducted opera.

Composer Robert Starer tells about a musical experience he had as Palestine Orchestra's young harpist in the 1940s:

"…I sat behind [my] harp, glanced at the most intricate harp part I had ever encountered, and looked with heavily beating heart at the conductor, Bernardino Molinari, a fine, experienced maestro. He must have sensed how I felt, for he gave me every single cue and somehow helped me to get through the first movement without any noticeable mishap…"[2]

Notable premieresEdit

Concert
Recording

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ MOLINARI, Bernardino Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Treccani, Volume 75 (2011).
  2. ^ Starer, Robert. Continuo – A Life in Music, Random House, New York, 1987, ISBN 0-394-55515-5