Riccardo Drigo

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Riccardo Drigo
Serenade by Riccardo Eugenio Drigo, sung by Mario Chamlee, 1924

Riccardo Drigo (born June 20, 1846 in Padua ; † October 1, 1930 ibid) was an Italian conductor and ballet composer.

He studied with Jorich and Bresciani in Padua and with Antonio Buzzolla at the Venice Conservatory . He taught piano and achieved some success as a composer and conductor in his hometown. In 1878 he went to Russia , where he lived for more than 40 years. In 1879 he was appointed conductor at the Italian Opera in Saint Petersburg . In 1886 he gave up this position in favor of the more important position of conductor and composer of the Imperial Ballet . He worked with most of Russia's leading dancers and choreographers ( Marius Petipa , Lev Iwanow ) and conducted the first performances of Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker . In 1899 he composed the music for the famous pas de deux from Act II of Le Corsaire , to a choreography by Marius Petipa (St. Petersburg, 1899). His own ballet works were also very popular. The ballet The Millions of the Harlequin , first performed in 1900, enjoyed international renown. During his voluntary exile, Drigo occasionally visited Italy. In 1920 he finally returned to Padua because he no longer liked Russia after the October Revolution .


  • Les Millions d'Arlequin
  • La Flûte magique
  • Le Réveil de Flore
  • Le talisman


  • Silvio Travaglia: Riccardo Drigo. L'uomo e l'artista. Guglielmo Zanibon, Padua 1929.

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