ON THIS DAY | Conductor Carlo Maria Giulini Died in 2005

Giulini, a legendary Italian conductor, is known especially for his interpretations of Mozart and Verdi operas

Photo credit: Nicola (CeDoMus)

Italian conductor Carlo Maria Giulini died on this day in 2005, at the age of 91.

During his 54-year conducting career, Giulini held prestigious conducting positions with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Opera House, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Giulini is well-regarded for his recordings of Mozart and Verdi operas, among other standard orchestral works. Late in his life, he became known for his expansive tempo choices.

Growing up, he studied viola and conducting at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, where he also played viola in the Accademia's orchestra. During World War II, Giulini opposed fascism and fought with the Italian army, when he reportedly spent nine months hiding at the home of his young wife's uncle.

In 1982, he told the New York Times Magazine: "When I hear the phrase, 'The orchestra is an instrument,' I get mad. It's a group of human beings who play instruments."