Articles, correspondence, photographs, drawings, programs, newspaper clippings, and musical scores and compositions related
to the pianist and conductor Mario Paci (1878-1946), who founded the Shanghai Symphony orchestra.
Mario Paci was born in Florence on 4 June 4, 1878. He studied piano at the Conservatorio di Musica S. Pietro a Majella in
Naples, under the tutelage of Giovanni Sgambati in Rome, and conducting and composition at the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe
Verdi in Milan. After winning the Franz Liszt Prize in 1895 he performed frequently on piano throughout Europe. In 1918 on
an Asian tour, he arrived in Shanghai, where he remained several months due to a severe illness. He eventually was approached
to form an orchestra to perform European works for the large community of Western businessmen and government officials living
in Shanghai at the time. He reorganized the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in 1919, augmented by players whom he recruited primarily
from Italy with the support of the Shanghai Municipal Council. The orchestra was the first major introduction of Western music
into the cultural life of China. The audiences and the orchestra were both composed entirely of Europeans, but Paci gradually
opened up membership in the orchestra, and eventually the audience, to native Chinese despite considerable opposition from
local authorities and officials.
3 Linear Feet
: 2 manuscript boxes, 3 flat boxes, 1 map folder
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