Mario Bernardi (left), and Bramwell Tovey (right) in 2005
20 August 1930|
Kirkland Lake, Ontario
|Died||2 June 2013
|Resting place||Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto|
|Awards||Order of Canada|
Bernardi was born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, and spent his first six years in Canada. After his family moved to Italy, Bernardi studied piano, organ, and composition with Bruno Pasut at the Manzato Conservatory at Treviso and took his examinations at Italy's Venice Conservatory.
In 1968 he became the founding conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, and also became the music director in 1971. He then led the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra from 1984 until 1992. From 1983 until 2006 he was the principal conductor of the CBC Radio Orchestra. He then retired from full-time work, although he continued to perform with numerous orchestras as an occasional guest conductor; he was named NACO's conductor laureate in 1997.
He died on 2 June 2013 in Toronto.
Bernardi worked until age 80, when he had a serious stroke and moved to a care home. He continued to play piano until he lost sufficient finger dexterity.
Bernardi was married, with one daughter and two grandsons.
- He has honorary degrees from the University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Windsor, University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Lakehead University and Laurentian University.
- 1972: He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.
- 1982: Received the Diplôme d'Honneur from the Canadian Conference of the Arts
- 1999: Bernardi received the National Arts Centre Award, a companion award of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
- 2001: He received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
- 2006: He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
- Mario Bernardi at The Canadian Encyclopedia.
- "NAC Orchestra founding conductor Mario Bernardi dies". CBC News, 3 June 2013.
- Office of the Governor General of Canada. Order of Canada citation. Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 24 May 2010
- "Mario Bernardi biography (1999)". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- "Mario Bernardi biography (2001)". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- "2006 New Fellow Citations" (PDF). Royal Society of Canada.
- Interview with Mario Bernardi by Bruce Duffie, June 15, 1995
|Co-Music Director, Sadler's Wells