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Meastro Poster
History & Politics, Italian American Issues, Literature, Music, Theater & Dance

Toscanini Against Fascism

A Conversation with the Minds Behind "Maestro"

January 30, 2019
6:30 pm

This event is part of Giorno della Memoria under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy and in collaboration with Centro Primo Levi. Additional information available at

On the occasion of the Off-Broadway run of Ensemble for the Romantic Century‘s theatrical concert Maestro, starring John Noble as Arturo Toscanini. Running January 3 – February 9 only at the Duke Theater on 42nd Street. Click here for further info and tickets.

A panel with:

Maestro author Eve Wolf, Executive Artistic Director of ERC
Maestro director Donald T. Sanders, Director of Theatrical Production of ERC
Author of Toscanini: Musician of Conscience Harvey Sachs

Moderated by Stefano Albertini (NYU)

With the extraordinary participation of
John Noble
reading selections from the show

Featuring musicians
Henry Wang (violin)
Matthew Cohen (viola)
Zhenni Li (piano)
Maximilian Morel (trumpet)
performing selections from the show’s musical program that includes works by
Aldo Finzi, Giuseppe Martucci, Ottorino Respighi, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and George Gershwin

Maestro brings to life the story of legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini and his brave opposition to Fascism. His refusal to perform in Italy and Germany, and his trips to Palestine to conduct an orchestra made up of Jewish refugees made headlines around the world. Drawing on his passionate letters to his lover, the young Italian pianist Ada Mainardi, along with music by his contemporaries, this moving theatrical experience shows us that even during one of the darkest chapters in human history, an artist’s voice can be heard.

Ensemble for the Romantic Century’s (ERC) unique productions merge dramatic and fully staged scripts with music, recapturing the past with a sense of immediacy that transports, illuminates, and captivates. The scripts, drawn from historical material create an intricate counterpoint to the musical program. The subject matters span across centuries, from Tolstoy to Toscanini, from Verne to Van Gogh, all brought to life through the fusion of drama and sound. We believe that one can understand Freud more deeply by listening to the erotic cabaret music of fin de siècle Vienna, that one can appreciate Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata more profoundly by listening to him speak of his tortured love life and his debilitating deafness. By illuminating the interplay between literature, biography and music, we transform the concert experience.