Ulderico Marcelli

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Ulderico Marcelli, also known as Rico Marcelli (October 3, 1882 – August 17, 1962), was a 20th-century Italian composer who became known in the United States for writing operas and musical accompaniment for dramatic performances, and for his skill as an orchestra conductor. [1] Called "Rico" by his friends, Marcelli was born in Rome, then was raised in Chile and educated at the conservatory in Santiago, the capital. Marcelli went to Ecuador in 1900 to teach at the conservatory in Quito, but was disliked by his students, many of whom transferred to study with conservatory Director Domenico Brescia. [1] However, his renown as a skilled violin player grew. [2]

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

Composer person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition

A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Marcelli married a woman named Clementina (1879–1956); the couple had two daughters, Aida and Gloria Emma, the second born in 1906. On January 26, 1910, Marcelli and his family, accompanied by his sister Julia Marcelli, arrived in San Francisco. By 1913, Marcelli was a member of the French horn section at the San Francisco Symphony as well as concert master for "Demetrio's Venetian Orchestra of Soloists", a well-regarded "cafe orchestra." [1]

San Francisco Consolidated city-county in California, United States

San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.

French horn type of brass instrument

The French horn is a brass instrument made of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. The double horn in F/B is the horn most often used by players in professional orchestras and bands. A musician who plays a French horn is known as a horn player or hornist.

San Francisco Symphony symphonic orchestra

The San Francisco Symphony (SFS), founded in 1911, is an American orchestra based in San Francisco, California. Since 1980, the orchestra is resident at the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall in the City's Hayes Valley neighborhood. The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus (1972) are part of the organization. Since 1995, Michael Tilson Thomas has been the orchestra's music director. Tilson Thomas is scheduled to conclude his tenure as the orchestra's music director in 2020, when Esa-Pekka Salonen is scheduled to become the orchestra's next music director.

Marcelli's friend Brescia moved to San Francisco in 1914. In 1915 at the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, Marcelli conducted the Exposition Orchestra. At the close of 1918, he was conducting at the T&D Theater in Oakland, and had "every lover of good music in Alameda County worshipping at his shrine." [1] In 1919, Brescia described for Marcelli his work for the Bohemian Club as the composer for the summer musical theater at the Bohemian Grove. Brescia and Marcelli gave a concert called "Midsummer Music of Bohemia" at the Tivoli Theatre in San Francisco, with Brescia conducting selections from his Bohemian Club score, and Marcelli leading two movements from his Water Colors. [1] Marcelli joined the Bohemian Club.

Panama–Pacific International Exposition

The Panama–Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) was a world's fair held in San Francisco, California, U.S., from February 20 to December 4, 1915. Its stated purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase its recovery from the 1906 earthquake. The fair was constructed on a 636 acre(2.6 km2) site along the northern shore, between the Presidio and Fort Mason, now known as the Marina District.

Oakland, California City in California, United States

Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. A major West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city overall in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populated city in California, and the 45th largest city in the United States. With a population of 425,195 as of 2017, it serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay, the entirety of Northern California, and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. An act to incorporate the city was passed on May 4, 1852, and incorporation was later approved on March 25, 1854, which officially made Oakland a city. Oakland is a charter city.

Bohemian Club private gentlemens club in California

The Bohemian Club is a private club with two locations: a city clubhouse in the Union Square district of San Francisco, California, and the Bohemian Grove, a retreat north of the city in Sonoma County. Founded in 1872 from a regular meeting of journalists, artists and musicians, it soon began to accept businessmen and entrepreneurs as permanent members, as well as offering temporary membership to university presidents and military commanders who were serving in the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, the club has a diverse membership of many local and global leaders, ranging from artists and musicians to businessmen.

In 1920, Marcelli wrote the first of an eventual six Grove Plays for the Bohemian Club, the last in 1961. As well in 1920, Marcelli began conducting the house orchestra for silent film showings at the Tivoli Theatre, a position he kept until he was hired away by Sid Grauman in 1922. [1] Marcelli arranged the official musical accompaniment for the silent film Salomé in 1923. [3] Grauman used Marcelli in his various Los Angeles, California theaters until the advent of sound in the movies in the late 1920s removed a great number of musicians from their steady jobs. Marcelli worked in radio broadcasting as the first bandleader of the Fibber McGee and Molly show, during the years 1935–1936, [4] and he directed the Rico Marcelli Symphony Orchestra in a series of outdoor concerts at Grant Park Band Shell in Chicago in the late 1930s and 1940s, [1] with as many as 165,000 people showing up for a 1940 performance in which Marcelli's orchestra backed singer Paul Robeson. [5]

Silent film film with no synchronized recorded dialogue

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound. In silent films for entertainment, the plot may be conveyed by the use of title cards, written indications of the plot and key dialogue lines. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, the introduction of synchronized dialogue became practical only in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the advent of the Vitaphone system. During the silent-film era that existed from the mid-1890s to the late 1920s, a pianist, theater organist—or even, in large cities, a small orchestra—would often play music to accompany the films. Pianists and organists would play either from sheet music, or improvisation.

Sid Grauman American showman

Sidney Patrick Grauman was an American showman who created two of Hollywood's most recognizable and visited landmarks, the Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre.

<i>Salomé</i> (1923 film) 1923 film by Charles Bryant

Salomé is a 1923 silent film directed by Charles Bryant and starring Alla Nazimova. It is an adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play of the same name. The play itself is a loose retelling of the biblical story of King Herod and his execution of John the Baptist at the request of Herod's stepdaughter, Salomé, whom he lusts after.

On Christmas Day in 1937, Marcelli married a second time, to the soloist violin player of the Fibber McGee band, Audrey Call. [6] The couple had one son, Victor Ottavio Marcelli, who joined the Bohemian Club in his adulthood.

Audrey Call

Audrey Call (1905-2001) was an American violinist and composer, writing for and soloing with studio orchestras for NBC and CBS in New York, Chicago, and Hollywood. One of very few women composers writing in a jazz style for the violin, she performed on the "Fibber McGee and Molly", "Dennis Day", "Imogene Coca", and Ronald Colman's Halls of Ivy radio shows.

In his leisure, Marcelli painted in oils, mostly landscapes. Two were exhibited at the Bohemian Club in 1922: "Cabeza de Estudio" and "A Bit of Old California." [7]

Marcelli died in Sunland, Los Angeles, California on August 17, 1962, survived by his wife Audrey Call Marcelli. [1] She died on June 3, 2001 in Sonoma, California, [8] and left as a memorial the Audrey Call Marcelli Music Scholarship, awarded annually to one student at Santa Rosa Junior College. [9]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Music Library Association, Northern California Chapter. MLA NCC Newsletter, Vol. 16, no. 2 (Spring 2002). John L. Walker, Bringing the Masses to the Music: Ulderico Marcelli and the Silent Film in San Francisco. Retrieved on June 29, 2009.
  2. Cevallos, Nancy Yánez. Memorias de la lírica en Quito, Banco Central del Ecuador, 2005, pp. 83–84. Original from University of Texas. ISBN   9978-72-405-2
  3. Internet Movie Database. Full cast and crew for Salome (1923), Retrieved on June 29, 2009.
  4. Dunning, John. On The Air, Oxford University Press US, 1998, p. 246. ISBN   0-19-507678-8
  5. Paul Robeson Centennial Celebration. Paul Robeson's Chicago History: 1921-1958". Retrieved on June 29, 2009.
  6. AB Fable Bulletin: Violin Improvisation Studies Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on June 29, 2009.
  7. Askart.com Ulderico (Rico) Marcelli. Retrieved on June 29, 2009.
  8. Internet Movie Database. Audrey Call. Retrieved on July 8, 2009.
  9. Santa Rosa Junior College. 2007–2008 Catalog Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on July 8, 2009.
  10. Library of Congress. Catalog of Copyright Entries, pp. 1353, 1395. Retrieved on June 29, 2009.