Cried one hoarse but happy observer – Arturo Toscanini – as he shuffled from his aisle-seat listening post in Studio 8H: “Now here is a conductor – a good conductor”. Last week after Guido had finished his first NBC Symphony concert, listeners agreed.

Arturo Toscanini had dug up many an obscure piece of Italian music, but this was the first time in many a year he had unearthed a new Italian conductor – one who “conducts like I do”, which means with precision, drama, warmth and love. He had not known about Guido when he arrived in Italy for a visit last spring. He had slipped quietly in on a rehearsal in Milan, where his friend Violinist Nathan Milstein was rehearsing the Brahms Violin Concerto with the La Scala orchestra, and had been so impressed with the work of its Conductor Cantelli that he came back for a second time, then for the concert. Toscanini decided that Guido had been born to conduct.

If not born to it, Guido certainly gota n early start. His bandmaster father let him conduct his band from a table top at the age of five. At 20, when he had graduated from Milan’s Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory, he conducted at the Teatro Coccia at Novara – a theater that the young Toscanini had inaugurated in 1889.

Durino the war Guido was drafted into the Italian army, was later packed off by the Germans to a labor camp in Frankfurt. When he got home, he weighed only 80 pounds. Now married and heavier, quick-humored Guido is delighted with his chance to work with the NBC Symphony, though still somewhat bashful about his performance. Said he last week: “With this orchestra, there is no impassable level. If I could only express myself in English, I think I could get more from them”.

(Time, 24 January 1949, p. 28, Music)

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