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Born to Italian and Swiss-German parents and looking like both a strong-featured matinee idol and a stern Continental artiste, the single-named Adriano worked in many different areas of the arts, primarily theater and graphic design, before settling on music, a field in which he was largely self-taught. Around 1962, Adriano first heard the music of Ottorino Respighi on a radio quiz show and was captivated. Respighi's music eventually came to be one of his primary fields of interest. As a baritone, Adriano sang some of Respighi's songs; he also orchestrated four of the composer's song cycles and a suite for piano four hands, prepared a large Respighi exhibition for the 1979 Lucerne Festival, and befriended Respighi's widow, Elsa, who gave him access to manuscripts and correspondence. Starting in the 1990s, Adriano -- this time as a conductor -- recorded several obscure Respighi scores for the Marco Polo label. In the 1960s, Adriano informally studied with conductors Ernest Ansermet and Alberto Erede. But before taking up conducting, he focused more on composing for stage and film (and later, chamber and orchestral ensembles) and producing for his own label, Adriano Records. In the 1980s, he promoted a variety of little-known Italian music, not just Respighi's; among his theatrical productions during that period was Galuppi's Il filosofo di campagna for the 1988 Stuttgart Music Festival. Adriano himself appeared as an actor in a theatrical prologue he prepared for the opera. Starting in the mid-'80s, Adriano primarily supported himself as an Italian and French language coach, teacher, and stage assistant at the Zurich Opera House and its opera studio. He also became a frequent guest conductor with the Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra of Bratislava, with which he began recording for Marco Polo; he also made several recordings with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded not only Respighi, but French film scores by the likes of Honegger, Ibert, and Auric; as well as substantial concert works by such forgotten figures as George Templeton Strong, Silvio Lazzari, and Albert Fäsy; Adriano has edited the complete orchestral works of the latter composer.
10 July 1944
'90s, '00s, '10s