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Here you can see my brother Mario leading the Orquestra Simfonica del Conservatori Superior de Musica de les Illes Balears, one of the best youth orchestras in Spain. This work is a favorite of mine and Verdi’s most performed ouverture, “La Forza del Destino.” Written in 1861, its premiere was delayed nearly a year as upon Verdi’s arrival in Russia in 1861, he found the prima-donna unsatisfactory and refused to proceed unless she could be replaced. It premiered at the ‘Imperial Theatre’ of St. Petersburg and it provoked a hostile demonstration (apparently from a nationalistic faction) at the third performance.

Giuseppe Verdi, son of a innkeeper, was born in Roncole in 1813, and died in Milan in 1901. His talents were first recognized by a local grocer (a music lover) who offered to pay for him to attend the Milan Conservatoire. Unfortunately, due to poor pianoforte skills, he was not accepted and started studying privately. He wrote 28 operas, including Il Trovatore, La traviata, Don Carlos, Aida, Ottelo, Falstaff, Rigoletto, Macbeth. Many of his arias are amongst the most popular and loved vocal songs of all time.