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ANTONIO DE ALMEIDA

Antonio de Almeida was born to a Portuguese mother and American father, who emigrated to Argentina when he was young. There he studied theory and composition with the composer Alberto Ginastera, and cello with Washington Castro. Subsequently he was a pupil of Paul Hindemith at Yale University. He worked for two seasons at Tanglewood with Serge Koussevitzky and then with George Szell and Leonard Bernstein, going on to play horn, bassoon, oboe, clarinet and cello in several student orchestras. In 1945 he founded the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Symphony Orchestra in Boston, and in 1947 the Chamber Orchestra of New Haven. Almeida then worked in Mexico before becoming head of the opera department at the University of Los Angeles in 1953. His conducting career soon developed in Europe: between 1957 and 1960 he directed the Symphony Orchestra of Radio Lisbon in Portugal; during the following decade he led the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra for the 1963–1964 season; and he went on to work at the Paris Opera between 1965 and 1967. Returning to the USA as principal guest conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra between 1969 and 1971, Almeida was subsequently also musical director of the Friends of French Opera, New York. From 1976 to 1978 he was music director of the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra in France.

Antonio de Almeida’s career was now international in scope, with many guest engagements with front-rank ensembles such as the Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras in the USA, and the Royal Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras in Europe, amongst many others. In 1992 he took up his last permanent post, as music director of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, a position that he held until his death in 1997. His repertoire was extremely catholic, although with a distinct bias towards French music. He prepared a thematic catalogue of the music of Offenbach and conducted the first complete reconstruction of the original score of Les Contes d’Hoffmann. He also edited a complete edition of the symphonies of Boccherini. For his services to French music he was made a member of the Légion d’honneur.

On record Almeida championed the unknown, making the first recording of Bizet’s opera Le Docteur Miracle. Towards the end of his life he conducted the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in many significant première recordings of music by Sauguet, Castillo, Tournemire and Malipiero, for the Marco Polo label. Other highlights of his recorded repertoire include a set of rarely performed symphonies by Haydn for the Haydn Foundation; fine accounts of the operas La Juive (Halévy), Mignon (Thomas), Le Calife de Bagdad (Boieldieu) and L’infideltà delusa (Haydn); music by Lalo, Schmitt, Chausson, Dukas and Duparc; and the complete operatic ballet music of Donizetti and Rossini. His performances were always assured, and in French music in particular possessed style and sensitivity.

Antonio de Almeida died in Pittsburgh in 1997 aged 69.

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Patmore (A–Z of Conductors, Naxos 8.558087–90).


Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
Role: Conductor 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BEST OF AMADIS (THE), Vol. 2 Amadis
7802
Orchestral
CASTILLO: Paal Kaba / Quiche Achi Marco Polo
8.223719
Orchestral
CHABRIER / GLINKA / MASSENET / RAVEL: Spanish Festival Amadis
7137
Orchestral
FAMOUS OVERTURES, Vol. 1 Amadis
7136
Orchestral, Opera, Orchestral
FAMOUS OVERTURES, Vol. 2 Amadis
7140
Orchestral, Opera, Orchestral
FAURE (THE BEST OF) Naxos
8.556679
Orchestral
FRANCK / RAVEL / RESPIGHI : Piano Concertos Naxos
8.554679
Orchestral
FRANCK: Symphony D Minor / SAINT-SAENS: Symphony No. 3 Naxos
8.571058
Orchestral
FRANCK: Symphony in D Minor / SAINT-SAENS: Symphony No. 3 Amadis
7141
Orchestral
French Music for Piano and Orchestra Naxos
8.550754
Orchestral
GLAZUNOV: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 Marco Polo
8.220444
Orchestral
GLAZUNOV: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 Marco Polo
8.220445
Orchestral
KARAMANOV: Symphony No. 3 / Piano Concerto No. 3 Marco Polo
8.223796
Concertos, Orchestral
MALIPIERO, G.F.: Symphonies, Vol. 1 (Almeida) - Nos. 3 and 4 / Sinfonia del mare Naxos
8.570878
Orchestral
MALIPIERO, G.F.: Symphonies, Vol. 2 (Almeida) - Nos. 1 and 2 / Sinfonie del silenzio e de la morte Naxos
8.570879
Orchestral
MALIPIERO, G.F.: Symphonies, Vol. 3 (Almeida) - Nos. 5, 6, 8, 11 Naxos
8.570880
Orchestral
MALIPIERO, G.F.: Symphonies, Vol. 4 (Almeida) - No. 7 / Sinfonia in un tempo / Sinfonia per Antigenida Naxos
8.570881
Orchestral
MALIPIERO, G.F.: Symphonies, Vol. 5 (Almeida) - Nos. 9 and 10 / Sinfonia dello zodiaco Naxos
8.570882
Orchestral
MALIPIERO: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 Marco Polo
8.223603
Orchestral
MALIPIERO: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 Marco Polo
8.223602
Orchestral
MALIPIERO: Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, 8 and 11 Marco Polo
8.223696
Orchestral
MALIPIERO: Symphonies Nos. 9 and 10 / Sinfonia dello Zodiaco Marco Polo
8.223697
Orchestral
MALIPIERO: Symphony No. 7 / Sinfonia in un tempo Marco Polo
8.223604
Orchestral
MARTINEZ-SOBRAL: Acuarelas Chapinas / CASTILLO: Guatemala I and II Marco Polo
8.223710
Orchestral
SAUGUET: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 Marco Polo
8.223472
Orchestral
SAUGUET: Symphony No. 1 Marco Polo
8.223463
Orchestral
SAUGUET: Symphony No. 2, Allegorique Marco Polo
8.223464-65
Orchestral
TANSMAN: Concerto for Orchestra / Etudes for Orchestra Marco Polo
8.223757
Orchestral
TOURNEMIRE: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 5 Marco Polo
8.223476
Orchestral
TOURNEMIRE: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 4 Marco Polo
8.223478
Orchestral
TOURNEMIRE: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 8 Marco Polo
8.223808
Orchestral
TOURNEMIRE: Symphony No. 7, 'Les Danses de la Vie' Marco Polo
8.223877-78
Orchestral





 
 
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