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Tullio Serafin (1878 - 1968)

When he was eleven years of age Serafin left Venice for Milan, where he studied the violin and viola at the Conservatory and played in the orchestra of La Scala. Having made his conducting debut in Ferrara at the age of twenty (under the pseudonym of Alfio Sulterni) with Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, he quickly gained further conducting experience in various other Italian cities and made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, during 1907. He was appointed principal conductor at La Scala in 1909, remaining in this position until 1914, as well as during 1917 and 1918. While at La Scala, where he was held in high esteem by Toscanini, Serafin conducted the first performance of Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re in 1913, as well as the Italian premières of operas by Dukas, Humperdinck, Rimsky-Korsakov, Richard Strauss and Weber, indicating the considerable range of his musical sympathies.



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