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Hugo Fiorato

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a well-placed colleague has just emailed to say that he just learned of the death of Hugo Fiorato.

no further information at this time.

during his tenure in the pit with NYCB's orchestra, the conductor presided over any number of ballet premiere performances.

[moderators: kindly move this to another thread if it seems more apt there.]

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I'm sorry to hear about Hugo Fiorato's death. He was second in command to Robert Irving during my days of watching the NYCB.

I just learned from this 8 year old thread that Fiorato was actually passed over in favour of Robert Irving when Leon Barzin retired and again when Andrea Quinn was hired (thanks, Farrell Fan). There is a lot of interesting information in that thread.

I remember Fiorato as a dapper-looking man who was precise in his conducting (my regular seat was right behind and one seat to the right of the conductor) and very good to watch. RIP. ♥


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I too remember his handsome, dignified presence in the orchestra pit and on the stage -- the dancers clearly loved him. In his long and productive life he influenced generations of music and ballet lovers. An aunt of mine, who was a pianist, and often came with me to the ballet, remembered him from the 1930's or early 40's when he taught at one of the neighborhood music schools in Manhattan.

Someone sent me this obit. Since I don't know where it comes from, I can't provide a link, but I hope it's OK to post:

Hugo Fiorato

Hugo Fiorato, Principal Conductor and Conductor Emeritus of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, of Southport, CT and Martha's Vineyard, died peacefully at age 98 in Boston. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by family.

Born 1914 in New York City, Hugo Fiorato was the son of accomplished sculptor Noe Fiorato and singer Anna Kress of New York City.

Maestro Fiorato actively performed with New York City Ballet for 56 seasons since NYCB's inception in 1947. He retired from his full-time position at New York City Ballet Orchestra at age 90, becoming Conductor Emeritus.

He was a close friend of the company's founder, choreographer George Balanchine. During the 1940s and 1950s, along with his duties at the New York City Ballet, Mr. Fiorato conducted the radio orchestras of the NBC Symphony. He also founded the nationally esteemed WQXR String Quartet, with which he performed for more than 20 years. Conducting ballets through five decades for different generations of dancers, Mr. Fiorato always kept in mind how Balanchine originally wanted the music played.

For 20 years, Mr. Fiorato was a summer resident of Martha's Vineyard, at a small house overlooking Lambert's Cove in West Tisbury. He was an avid fisherman and an accomplished water color artist, finding much relaxation and inspiration on the Island.

Maestro Fiorato was predeceased by his wife of 35 years, Joelyn Scott Fiorato, and his daughter, Jan Fiorato. He is survived by his son, James Fiorato of Block Island, his stepsons, Christopher Scott of Edgartown and Jonathan Scott of Boston, and his stepdaughter, Stephanie Hunt of Stowe, Vermont, their spouses and six grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to: Joelyn's Family Home, Victory Programs, 965 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA 02118.

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