“I really enjoy using a Steinway. I have always used it and always will.”
Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) was an Italian conductor. He was one of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and of the 20th century, renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, and his ear for orchestral detail and sonority. He was at various times the music director of La Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
At La Scala, which had what was then the most modern stage lighting system installed in 1901 and an orchestral pit installed in 1907, Toscanini pushed through reforms in the performance of opera. He insisted on dimming the house-lights during performances. His biographer Harvey Sachs wrote: "He believed that a performance could not be artistically successful unless unity of intention was first established among all the components: singers, orchestra, chorus, staging, sets, and costumes."
Toscanini conducted the world premieres of many popular orchestras, and was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987.