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 NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2013-09-01 23:50

This list is from the booklet for the 5-LP set A Toscanini Treasury of Historic Broadcasts, RCA LM-6711

Augustin Duques *
Harold Freeman
Alfred Gallodoro
Louis Green *
Georges Grisez *
Louis Klein
Robert McGinnis
John Peper
Wallace Shapiro
Alexander Williams

* = principal

I've also read that Gino Cioffi was a member, perhaps briefly. His first language was Italian, so maybe he and Toscanini understood too much of what the other said.

Alexander Williams told me that he became the principal after Duques left and that he played the nightingale solo in the famous recording of The Pines of Rome.

Some of the name are unfamiliar to me, e.g., Louis Green. Steve Hartman studied with Duques and has written some excellent postings about him. If anyone studied with one of the players on the list, perhaps they could post their memories.

Glenn: Please add this to my Historical Principals listing at Also, I'm of two minds about having it in the Keepers section, since that has to be explicitly included in a search started from this section.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2013-09-02 00:10

Also, please edit my url on that same page that Ken linked -

instead of mytempo which I sold

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2013-09-02 00:31

The orchestra continued after Toscanini. I don't know how long. We have to add Gennusa. Was he the principal? I'm pretty sure he was. I'm positive he didn't play under Toscanini.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

Post Edited (2013-09-02 00:33)

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2013-09-02 01:34

When Toscanini's health failed in 1954, he returned to Italy

NBC then disbanded the orchestra, which continued with most but not all of its members as the Symphony of the Air, led by guest conductors and then by Leopold Stokowski. It continued (rather fitfully, as I recall) until 1963

A slightly different list from the one I posted above is at

There's a short Genussa bio at, which says he was a member of the NBC Symphony, but another and better one at!ignatius-gennusa/cuvg seems more accurate and doesn't mention NBC. It also has Iggy's gorgeous Fingal's Cave solo.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2013-09-02 01:35

I don't remember Iggy Gennusa ever saying he played with the NBC orchesrta, at least not as a regular member. I'm pretty sure he would have mentioned it to me at one time or another. The orchesrta did go on with other conductors for some time. If I'm not mistaken, I may be, didn't that become the Symphony of the Air later or am I getting that mixed up with something else?


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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: Ed 
Date:   2013-09-02 02:03

I have read in various places that David Weber played there. I believe Toscanini hired him in 1938 and he played for a couple of years. There are a number of references to this including-

Post Edited (2013-09-02 11:06)

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2013-09-02 03:33

The Weber bio is perhaps a tiny bit embellished. He was an amazing player, but I've never seen an NBC Symphony roster that had his name on it.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: clarinetguy 2017
Date:   2013-09-02 06:13

Didn't Joe Allard play bass clarinet in the NBC Symphony?

Post Edited (2013-09-02 12:14)

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: ruben 
Date:   2013-09-02 09:25

Auguste Duques was apparently Toscanini's whipping boy; was regularly shouted at by the latter for matters of interpretation. Nevertheless, Toscanini had enough respect for him to get him reinstated when the management of the orchestra got rid of Duques in order to spare Toscanini a few fits of anger that could have been fatal to the old man. By all accounts, Duques was a charming man and a fine musician

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: Ed 
Date:   2013-09-02 11:27

I had also heard that Allard played bass. I don't know whether he and Weber were regular members on the roster, or perhaps only played on some engagements.

I have read and heard interviews with Weber where he talks about playing for Toscanini.

For example-

Perhaps someone knows of a definitive resource for this info?

Post Edited (2013-09-03 00:55)

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2013-09-02 13:05

Easy enough to check

Post Edited (2013-09-03 00:40)

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: Lelia Loban 2017
Date:   2013-09-02 13:49

> Auguste Duques was apparently Toscanini's whipping boy; was regularly shouted at by the latter for matters of interpretation. >

Everybody was Toscanini's whipping boy, according to my husband. Kevin studied violin with Mischa Mischakoff, who was Toscanini's concertmaster with the NBC for 17 years. According to him, Toscanini screamed uninhibitedly at everybody. Sometimes he screamed at individuals; sometimes he screamed at the whole orchestra. "Idioti vergognosi! Cretini!"

To hear the audio, click on the "Scorch Plug-In" box above the score.

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: sclarinet 
Date:   2013-09-03 00:20

You can see David Weber playing in NBC orchestra under Toscanini
in two video recordings of Brahms First symphony and Beethoven 9th.
He was not the type to embellish anything.

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: Steve Hartman 
Date:   2013-09-04 02:45

I don't have a thorough documentation of who played in the NBC Symphony under Toscanini. As far as I know, the only two principal clarinets were Augustin Duques (1937-49) and Alexander Williams (1949-54) Louis Green was the second clarinetist for most of the time. David Weber and Harold Freeman most definitely played with the orchestra during the time that Duques was the principal. Joe Allard's Wikipedia entry states that he played bass clarinet with the NBC Symphony from 1949 to 1954.

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: hartt 
Date:   2013-09-04 17:09


you may want to contact Guy Chadash. In past convos I've had with him (10+ yrs), he mentioned that Harold Freeman (a listed orchestra member) was his immigration sponsor to the US and mentor.
Also, Guy who was Harold's 'caregiver' in his last wks of life....bathing and shaving him (as related to me).

Additionally, Guy mentioned Harold's association with Buffet and the respect the workmen had for him as he was a frequent visitor to the plant. There are other small details but are irrelevant to your post.


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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: vin 
Date:   2013-09-05 05:58

Weber definitely played there, though I don't know for how long he played. In addition to the videos mentioned above, it's definitely him playing D clarinet on Till in the NBC Toscanini recording.

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 Re: NBC Symphony Clarinetists
Author: citimusic 
Date:   2019-01-28 04:08

Hi all, love this thread...was following up on some research about Toscanini NBC Symphony recordings of Shostakovich Symphony #7 - the 2nd movt has that long long bass clarinet solo - 1942 was the Western premiere of this work..after research I think the bass clarinetist is Al Gallodoro..any thoughts or outside confirmation appreciate...I’m a clarinetist, composer and I also work on film unit of SNL so I have occasion to be in Studio 8H sometimes...

Post Edited (2019-01-28 04:10)

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