The violinist was 99 years old and joined the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala at the age of 17


Violinist Franco Fantini with Claudio Abbado in 1981 |

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The Italian violinist Franco Fantini died on 2 April 2024 at the age of 99. He is remembered as having a 40-year affiliation with the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, serving as violinist and concertmaster during his career. 

Fantini was born on 12 February 1925. Following his studies with Enrico Polo and Michelangelo Abbado at the Milan Conservatory, Fantini joined the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala in 1942 at the age of 17. Twelve years later in 1954, he became concertmaster of the orchestra, a post he held for four decades.

During his career, he experienced fundamental turning points in the history of the Theatre, from the reopening with Toscanini in 1946 to the foundation of the Filarmonica della Scala with Claudio Abbado in 1982, and worked with artists such as Victor de Sabata, Arturo Toscanini, Claudio Abbado, Herbert von Karajan, Carlo Maria Giulini, Gianandrea Gavazzeni and Riccardo Muti up to Riccardo Chailly.

He was a member of the Solisti di Milano directed by Angelo Ephrikian, of the Solisti della Scala with Abbado and of the Virtuosi di Roma with Angelo Stefanato. He was also first violin of the Quartetto della Scala for 15 years.

A volume of his memoirs collected by his daughter Silvana was published by De Ferrari Editore, entitled Una vita in Scala.

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