Piero Bellugi

Piero Bellugi (born July 14, 1924) is an Italian conductor from Florence.

He received a diploma in violin and viola from the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory in Florence, and also studied composition there with Luigi Dallapiccola. He also studied at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena and at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. Subsequently he studied conducting with Igor Markevitch, Rafael Kubelik, and Leonard Bernstein. With Bernstein he studied at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. On August 10, 1951 he conducted a performance of Maurice Ravel's Ma Mère l'Oye" ("Mother Goose") at Tanglewood's main shed.

In 1954-1956 he was conductor of the Tri-City Symphony Orchestra (now the Quad City Symphony Orchestra) in Davenport, Iowa. He was the conductor of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra 1955-1959 and the Oregon Symphony (then the Portland Symphony Orchestra) 1959-1961. He declined to conduct the next season with Portland due to having so many engagements elsewhere.

In 1960, he made his debut at La Scala, Milan with George Frideric Handel’s opera "Serse" in the original version. In 1961, he became guest conductor at La Scala. He became the permanent conductor of the RAI Orchestra in Turin (Orchestra di Torino della Radiotelevisione Italiana RAI) in 1967.

Piero Bellugi has taught master classes at several institutions including the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, the University of California, Berkeley, and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Since 1996 he has given classes at the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory in Florence. Chiara Benati was one of his students of conducting. He has guest conducted for numerous orchestras and opera companies including the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Festival Canada in Ottawa, Rome Opera, Paris Opera, Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the San Francisco Opera. He has also been a permanent conductor of the Italian Youth Orchestra (Orchestra Giovanile Italiana) and the Toscanini Orchestra of Parma.

He conducted the premier of Darius Milhaud’s Symphony No. 10 (in 1961) and Goffredo Petrassi’s Settimo Concerto (in 1965). According to the conductor’s web site [http://www.pierobellugi.com/] Piero Bellugi's "repertory spans from the music of Monteverdi, to that of avant-garde composers, and has presented many world premiéres (Berio, Bussotti, Milhaud, Messiaen, Nono, Penderecki etc.)”.Piero Bellugi was named as the artistic director of Palermo’s opera house (Europe’s second largest), the Teatro Massimo, in January 2004.

His son David Bellugi is a recorder virtuoso.

References

*“Conductor Piero Bellugi Named Artistic Director at Palermo's Opera House”, Andante. January 9, 2004.
*International Who’s Who in Classical Music (2004). New York: Europa.
*"Music World" New York Times, July 15, 1962, page 71.
*"Tanglewood on Parade with Eleanor Roosevelt" New York Times, August 19, 1951, page 17.


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