Francesco Mander

Francesco Mander, (Rome, October 26, 1915 - Latisana, September 2, 2004) was an Italian conductor and composer.


Francesco Mander was the only son of Pietro Mander, a film producer and owner of Mander Film, and Lucia Mercadante. While from his father he inherited his love for literature, it was his mother who discovered her son's passion for music, while still at a very tender age. Not so amazing, the fact that is was his mother to discover this, since she descends in a direct line from Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870), in his time a famous opera composer, though today completely forgotten.

Only a little older, he accompanied his parents to concerts held in the most famous concert hall in Rome at the time, the Augusteo.

After the family moved to Milan Francesco Mander continued his piano study and also took up the cello. His teacher was Enzo Martinenghi, the solo cellist of the Teatro alla Scala orchestra, then under the baton of Arturo Toscanini.

Back in Rome he went to university (literature) and studied composition with Alfredo Casella and Cesare Dobici, obtaining his degree in composition at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome in only four years instead of the usual ten years required.

He studied conducting with Antonio Guarnieri in Siena, a city where not many years later he would teach himself, having amongst his pupils musicians like Zubin Mehta.


Mander conducted his first important concert at the Teatro della Fenice in Venice in 1942, after a period of apprenticeship at the same theatre. It is the beginning of a long career, which will bring him in front of many of the most important orchestras worldwide.

In 1948 he is appointed principle conductor of the Orquesta Sinfònica de Madrid, taking it on extended tours through Spain and Portugal, conducting concerts in all the most important cities.

By 1955 he is a well-known and appreciated guest in many countries: "Exceptional" is the comment of composer and critic Richard de Guide in La Nouvelle Gazette de Bruxelles, (March 3 1954, R. de Guide). The same adjective will be used by many others in cities such as London (Daily Telegragh, May 17 1962 Peter Stadlen:"A formidable conductor". Or The Times, May 17, 1962: Mr. Mander proved himself a master of his players....He achieved a remarcable dramatic response from the LPO... A first rate musician. All in all, his Beethoven "V" Symphony was an exceptional performance). And Paris (Avec Mander l'O.N. brille dès les premières notes. J.L. Le Monde, February 10 1973).

With the same enthusiasm he is acclaimed in Milan, Moscow, Budapest, Sydney, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Chicago, New York, Johannesburg. Buenos Aires, S. Petersburg, and others.

In 1957 he toured the United States and Canada for three months conducting the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentina of Florence. That same year he leads the USSR State Orchestra in Moscow.From 1969 till 1976 he was chief conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Johannesburg, in the mean time keeping up a busy concert schedule abroad.

Back in Europe, Mander, together with his wife, retires to Latisana in the Friuli region, in northern Italy. The region of his ancestors (the name Mander goes back to 1378 in the R.K. Church archives of a tiny village, Solimbergo, a little further north from Latisana). And from the Friuli he continious his career, albeit in a more relaxed way.

This is also the period in which he starts writing more seriously.In the sixties he had already collaborated with several magazines, writing articles such as ["The importance of music in Dante's Divina Commedia"] , published in Elsinore,April 1964, Elsinore Editrice.His literary production consists in three novels and numerous short stories. Two of them, titled "Due racconti" have been published by Editrice.i.l.a. Palma, (Palermo, Italy and Sao Paulo, Brazil) in the "Meridiana" series.


*"Tre Romanze op 1.n. 1 for piano" (1940)
*"Romanza op. 1. n. 2 for violin and piano" (1940)
*"Racconto Fiabesco op. 2 for orchestra" (1940)
*"L'ultimo Viaggio di Ulisse op. 3 for orchestra" (1942)
*"Preludio, Aria e Finale op. 4 for orchestra" (1943)
*"Largo op. 5 for orchestra" (1944)
*"Ouverture ("Diastaltica") op. 6 for orchestra" (1944)
*"String quartet in D op. 7" (1945)
*"Studio op. 8 n.1 for piano" (1946)
*"Berceuse op. 8 n. 2 for piano" (1946)
*"Three Waltzes op. 8 n. 3 for piano" (1946)
*"Cello concerto op. 9" (1947), published by Ricordi
*"Symphonic Variations on an Original Theme op. 10 for orchestra" (1948)
*"L'Usignolo, la Rosa e lo Scarabeo op. 11 for orchestra" (1949)
*"Symphony n. 1 in F mayor op. 12 (1951)", published by Ricordi
*"Tre Canti d'Amore op 13 for soprano and orchestra" (1952)
*"Fantasia op. 14 for orchestra" (1952)
*"Oratorio Europeo op. 15 for soloists, choir and orchestra" (1954)
*"Corale Profano op. 16, n. 1 for choir and orchestra" (1954)
*"Sera op. 16, n. 2 for piano" (1955)
*"Giovanna la Pazza op. 17.n.1 Ouverture for orchestra" (1955)
*"Study for grand organ op. 17, n. 2" (1957)


Francesco Mander has also composed and/or conducted various soundtracks for films produced by his father.
*La conquista dell'aria (1940). Music by Antonio Veretti, conducted by Francesco Mander.
*Piccolo alpino (1940). Music by Umberto Galassi and Armando Renzi, conducted by Francesco Mander.
*Pia de' Tolomei (1941). Music composed and conducted by Francesco Mander. (The text of the songs "Maggiolata", "Introduzione", "Morte di Pia" is by Francesco Mander).
*Penne nere (1952). Music by Francesco Mander, conducted by Franco Ferrara.


He has recorded for RCA and Fonit - Angelicum

Idéal Audience: video/dvd Tschaikovsky violin concerto. Soloist Ivry Gitlis

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