Alberto Fernando Riccardo Semprini (27 March 1908 – 19 January 1990) known by his stage name Alberto Semprini, or Semprini, was an English pianist, composer and conductor, famous for appearances on the BBC, mainly on radio.
Born in Bath, Somerset, England of Italian ancestry, Semprini showed early talent for both the piano and cello. He graduated from the Verdi Conservatory in Milan in 1928, having studied composition and conducting as well as honing his skills at the piano. His initial fame came from headlining a light music programme, Semprini Serenade, which he introduced with the words: "Old ones, new ones, loved ones, neglected ones". It first aired on BBC Radio in 1957 and continued for around 25 years. Although his 'house band' was the New Abbey Light Symphony Orchestra on his commercial records, on radio he was always accompanied by one of the BBC's own staff orchestras - initially the BBC Revue Orchestra.
He also wrote a number of original compositions on the lighter side of the musical repertoire, including Mediterranean Concerto, which he used as the theme tune for his radio show.
In popular culture
His surname was used as a fictitious profanity, with no reference to his music, in the chemist sketch from series 2 show 4 of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Monty Python was airing in the UK at the same time that his show was popular, and his surname was well known to BBC listeners.
- This is Your Life (UK): Alberto Semprini Episode Summary. TV.com (20 April 1979). Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
- Alberto Semprini. Oxforddnb.com. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
- "Semprini Serenade". Radio Days. Whirligig. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
- Chemist Sketch / Words Not to be Used Again. Monty Python. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.