Francesco Siciliani — Noted Composer and Impresario in Italian Opera
Maestro Alessandro Siciliani is a noted classical conductor who served as music director with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Ohio for many years. One of Alessandro Siciliani’s career-defining honors was him receiving the Amerigo Vespucci Award, reserved for Italian Conductors of International Stature. The first recipient of this coveted award was his late father, opera artistic director Francesco Siciliani.
A world-renowned impresario who passed away in 1996 at age 85, the elder Siciliani grew up immersed in music and read musical notes prior to reading words. A prodigy from an early age, he excelled as a conductor and composer, with some of his best-known compositions including Four Madrigals of Tasso and Fragments From the Canticle of Canticles.
Francesco Siciliani rose to fame after reviving the great opera houses of Italy in the wake of the Second World War. One of the institutions he successfully managed was the San Carlo in Naples and La Scala in Milan. He was instrumental in promoting artists such as Renata Tebaldi and Maria Callas. He also profoundly influenced his son, who attended rehearsals at La Scala on a daily basis from 1957 to 1966 and soaked in deep musical knowledge. Another major influence on both the young Alessandro and his father was his mother Ambra, a renowned pianist and musical luminary in her own right.