Bernardino Molinari

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Bernardino Molinari (11 April 1880 – 25 December 1952) was an Italian conductor.

Molinari in Jerusalem, 1945
Cover of a concert program of The Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra (Tel Aviv, 15 Dec 1947). Conductor: Bernardino Molinari

Molinari studied under Renzi and Falchi at the Accademia (then "Liceo Musicale") of Santa Cecilia in his home town of Rome.

In 1912 he was appointed artistic director of the Augusteo Orchestra, Rome, later renamed l'Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, a position he held until the end of the Second World War. Since this was then, like now, the leading symphony orchestra position in Italy, it aroused the envy of several rivals.

After the liberation of Rome by the Allied Troops of June 4th 1944, Molinari was contested by the public, in particular during two concerts held on July 9th and 12th, for his involvement with the Fascist regime. He had to suspend the performance and, since then, he was able to conduct in Rome the Orchestra of the Theatre of Opera only. [1]

Molinari guest-conducted at all the important musical centres in Europe and the Americas, always as a symphony leader. Unlike most Italian conductors, he seldom conducted opera.

Composer Robert Starer tells about a musical experience he had as Palestine Orchestra's young harpist in the 40s:

"…I sat behind [my] harp, glanced at the most intricate harp part I had ever encountered, and looked with heavily beating heart at the conductor, Bernardino Molinari, a fine, experienced maestro. He must have sensed how I felt, for he gave me every single cue and somehow helped me to get through the first movement without any noticeable mishap…"[2]

Notable premieres[edit]




  1. ^ MOLINARI, Bernardino Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Treccani, Volume 75 (2011).
  2. ^ Starer, Robert. Continuo – A Life in Music, Random House, New York, 1987, ISBN 0-394-55515-5