Pietro Cimara (1887-1967) : his life, his work, and selected songs



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To describe Pietro Cimara solely as an Italian conductor is to diminish Cimara's numerous talents and accomplishments, yet, unfortunately, such is the reality in the alltoo-brief biographic entries about him in journals and encyclopedias. Cimara's life was one as servant to music, resulting in a career that would span the gamut of his talents from violinist to pianist to composer and, ultimately, to that of a gifted conductor. With the use of scant newspaper articles, periodical and journal entries, encyclopedia entries from both Italy and the United States dating from the 1940s to the present, obituaries, correspondence with publishing houses in Italy, internet research, immigration documentation, the Social Security Administration, archive files from the Metropolitan Opera, first editions of music scores obtained from libraries throughout the United States using Interlibrary Loan, subsequent reprints of music scores from Italian publishers, information from audio recordings, biographies of singers, forwards in music anthologies, and with the generous assistance of Dr. Andrew Dell'Antonio, Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Texas at Austin, the many accomplishments of Pietro Cimara are all pieced together into a biographical sketch that establishes his important place in music history. Still largely elusive, Cimara's private life may forever remain unknown because of the lack of written accounts and because of the absence of personal witnesses who could attest to his life story. As little is written about his life, this collection of facts must serve to form a picture of the composite Cimara: the son, the brother, the violinist, the student, the friend, the husband, the father, the accompanist, the conductor, and the composer--ultimately a man who would spend all the years of his working life making music both for and with the greatest legends in music today.