1882 – 1962
Who was Ulderico Marcelli?
Ulderico Marcelli, also known as Rico Marcelli, 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. 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. However, his renown as a skilled violin player grew.
Marcelli married a woman named Clementina; 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."
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." 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. Marcelli joined the Bohemian Club.
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