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Arturo Toscanini, one of the foremost orchestra conductors in the world, died yesterday at the age of 89. Death came at his home in Riverdale, the Bronx, at 8:40 a.m. He had been suffering from the after-effects of a stroke, which occurred on New Year's Day.
Toscanini had been in retirement since 1954, when he retired as conductor of the National Broadcasting Company Symphony Orchestra, a position which he had held for many years. Prior to that, he had conducted the Metropolitan Opera Company and the New York Philharmonic.
Walter H. Piston '24, Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Music, yesterday expressed his great admiration for Toscanini. Referring to his conducting genius, Piston attributed Toscanini's success partly to his drive for perfection, his personality, and his great knowledge of musical scores, which he always conducted from memory.
Nino Pirrotta, professor of Music, praised Toscanini for his high standards of perfection, citing the many instances in which he searched for the original manuscript of a composition in order to find the true interpretation as intended by the composer.
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