One in this educational public affairs series that traces the origins and development of the American musical theater and examines the careers and contributions of the creative artists who have made the musical a native American art form. In an informal workshop setting, New York City high school students meet the composers, lyricists, and performers who have shaped the American musical and question them about their work. In this edition, host Jim Morske examines the career of maestro Alfredo Antonini on the occasion of his twentieth anniversary with CBS. Antonini begins the program by recalling his early musical training in Milan, Italy, including the time he "tested" Arturo Toscanini while under his tutelage. Following his comments on meeting the famous Italian composers Boito and Puccini, Metropolitan Opera star Laurel Hurley sings the aria "O Mio Babbino Caro" from Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi." Antonini tells of his coming to America with no money, no friends, and no knowledge of the English language, and conducting radio in the early 1930s. Robert Weede, whom he worked with back then, is introduced, and Antonini conducts him once again in "De Provenza Il Mar" from Verdi's "La Traviata," and in "Mama Mama" from Frank Loesser's "The Most Happy Fella." Next, Hurley recalls her first project with Antonini, and performs "I'll See You Again" from those early radio days. Antonini then discusses conducting for movies and television, particularly concerning the restrictions due to timing, and displays one of his scores for the television series "The Twentieth Century," along with a special metronome for keeping time during certain sequences. He demonstrates the process of coordinating musical phrases with specific images by conducting the CBS Orchestra while a segment of "the Twentieth Century" is shown and a passage is read by Morske. Antonini concludes the program by conducting the orchestra in "Consolation."

Cataloging of this program was made possible by a grant from the GRAMMY Foundation.


  • DATE: February 19, 1961 Sunday 12:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:23
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:54153
  • GENRE: Music
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Biography
  • SERIES RUN: WCBS (New York, NY) - TV series, 1959-1965


  • Ned Cramer … Producer
  • Ethel Burns … Associate Producer
  • Neal Finn … Director
  • Alfredo Antonini … Conductor, Guest
  • CBS Orchestra, The … Music Group
  • Jim Morske … Host
  • Laurel Hurley … Singer
  • Robert Weede … Singer
  • Arturo Toscanini
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