Biography of Lucio Agostini

Agostini, Lucio, conductor, composer, arranger (b at Fano, Italy 30 Dec 1913; d at Markham, Ont 15 Feb 1996). Arriving with his family in 1915, Agostini studied woodwinds with his father as well as cello, harmony and composition in Montréal. By age 15 he was playing in his father's theatre orchestra and a year later in Chartier's Montreal Philharmonic. In 1929 and 1930 he conducted McGill's Red and White Revue. By the early 1930s he was conducting music for radio shows and composing film scores for Associated Screen News (1932-44) that consisted of some 150 shorts, including the "Canada at War" and "The World in Action" series. Relocating to Toronto in 1943, he was composer or conductor for numerous CBC programs originating there, such as The Tommy Ambrose Show and World of Music. He conducted the first opera commissioned by the CBC (Transit Through Fire: An Odyssey of 1942 by Healey WILLAN). These included the radio-drama series Stage (1944-55), Ford Theatre (1949-55), and on television The Juliette Show, and FRONT PAGE CHALLENGE, the latter for 20 years. He composed incidental music for four feature films in the 1970s and for the 1980 dramatization of Robertson DAVIES's novel Fifth Business. Among his popular concert works are a Flute Concerto (1960) and Trio Québécois (1977). He was renowned for his efficiency as a conductor and for his effective use of instrumental colour in incidental music. In 1983 Agostini was awarded ACTRA's John Drainie Award for distinguished contributions to Canadian broadcasting. An extensive Lucio Agostini Fonds consisting of some 2000 scores is at LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA. In 2005 a CD Alys Robi DIVA: Orchestre Lucio Agostini (Gala Records GAL-101) was released that documents to a degree the prowess of Agostini as a conductor, arranger, and composer.