A Tribute to Carlo Maria Giulini - 1914-2005

During my period with the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, 1962-1964, the young women of Amsterdam called Carlo Maria Giulini the most beautiful man in the world; in many ways they were right. Maestro Giulini had a podium radiance and musical charisma that was, in fact, something of rare and extreme beauty. He was a man of beauty and he was a creator of beauty.

The symphony orchestra was his palette of sonic colors that he would mix and balance in his unique and beautiful way. Frequently, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he would stop in a rehearsal and ask, for example, that the 2nd trumpet play a little softer and the 2nd trombone play a little louder and suddenly we would hear the beautiful sound that we all began to associate with Giulini. Sometimes we mused that it was magic the way he would rehearse, so many times he would stop and say something to the strings in his low, resonate and beautiful voice; we couldn’t tell whether he was speaking Italian or English and certainly we couldn’t understand a word but when the passage was played again it sounded beautiful. And, of course, there was the magic of his performances, it was not only the mix of the sonic colors and balance that we came to know as “the Giulini sound” but it was the sonic monuments of his Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Verdi and Mahler that will be most remembered, another combination of the magic and beauty.

When preparing the brass the for Orchestra Giovanile d’Italia (“Italian Youth Orchestra”), 1995-2002, I was extremely fortunate to yet again work with Maestro Giulini, in Fiesole, during the many times he conducted them. Again it was that combination of magic and beauty; the young people in that orchestra were very lucky.

Maestro Giulini was a kind gentleman and a powerful giant.

Arrivederci Maestro Giulini

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