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Victor De Sabata (1892 - 1967)

Victor de Sabata was born into a musical family: his father was a singing teacher and may have acted at some point as a chorusmaster for La Scala, Milan. Recognising Victor’s precocious musical talent, the family moved to Milan when he was eleven, and here he entered the Conservatory, studying violin, piano and composition and graduating in these subjects cum laude when he was eighteen. His music was swiftly taken up by conductors such as Tullio Serafin, at this time musical director at La Scala in succession to Toscanini, and Walter Damrosch, the conductor of the New York Symphony Orchestra. At the age of twenty-four, de Sabata was commissioned to compose an opera for La Scala: Il macigno was produced there in 1917. (de Sabata subsequently revised this work and it was re-presented at Turin under the title Driada in 1935.) Henceforth he was to pursue a twin career as a virtuoso conductor and for some time as a composer.



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