Hugo Fiorato, Founder of WQXR String Quartet, Dies at 97

Listen to the WQXR String Quartet Play Dvorak's 'American' Quartet (finale)

Monday, April 30, 2012 - 02:22 PM

The conductor and violinist Hugo Fiorato, a founding member of the WQXR String Quartet and a fixture with the New York City Ballet, died April 23 at the age of 97, The New York Times reports.

In 1947, Fiorato organized the WQXR String Quartet, an ensemble that performed regularly for WQXR broadcasts. While there was a station string quartet as early as 1940, this iteration of the group was the best known. Comprised of Fiorato and Harry Glickman on violin, violist Jack Braunstein and cellist Harvey Shapiro, it performed regularly for 16 years. By 1963, however, the station could no longer afford to underwrite the group and it disbanded.

The WQXR String Quartet recorded two commercial albums for Polymusic Records. The first included Mihaud's String Quartet and Turina's La Oración del Torero. The second album had César Franck's String Quartet. The New York Times music critic Harold C. Schoenberg wrote, "The ensemble of the WQXR Quartet is something to admire, as is the perfection of their intonation."

Hugo Fiorato was born on Aug. 28, 1914, in Manhattan. He began violin studies at age four, and later attended Juilliard, before studying with teachers in Italy. He was with the City Ballet for 56 years, starting as concertmaster in 1948 before working his way up the ranks to principal conductor, a post he held for his last 15 years with the company (ages 75 to 90). He retired in 2004.

In addition to his work at WQXR and City Ballet, Fiorato was also chief conductor and musical director of the Boston Ballet, the Houston Ballet and the National Ballet in Washington.

Listen to a 1961 performance of the finale of Dvorak's "American" Quartet, played by the WQXR String Quartet, above.

WQXR String Quartet (L-R): Harry Glickman, violinist; Jack Braunstein, violist; Harvey Shapiro, cellist; and Hugo Fiorato, violinist)

Tags:

More in:

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Comments [2]

richard wexler

i was a student of harry glickman and attended numerous
recitals of this outstanding group.
they made more then music.
they made believers of GOD'S presence.
they will not be forgotten......
richard wexler

Apr. 30 2012 05:29 PM
Sidney Goldman from Baldwin, NY 11510

I listened to WQXR's String Quartet for many years. I was very proud of WQXR for making such a fine group of string players perform for me and the other listeners of the station.

Maybe WQXR can offer us another group for us to carry on this tradition.

Thank you.

Apr. 30 2012 04:12 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.

Follow WQXR 

Sponsored

About WQXR Blog

Engage and interact with the WQXR hosts online.

Feeds