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Buckley, Emerson

conductor orch film sym

Buckley, Emerson, American conductor; b. N.Y., April 14, 1916; d. Miami, Nov. 17, 1989. He studied at Columbia Univ. (B.A., 1936), where he began his career as conductor of its Grand Opera (1936–38). He subsequently was conductor of the Palm Beach (Fla.) Sym. Orch. (1938–41), the N.Y. City Sym. Orch. (1941–42), the San Carlo Opera in N.Y. (1943–45), and WOR Radio in N.Y. (1945–54). In 1950 he became music director of the Miami Opera, and from 1973 to 1985 he was its artistic director and resident conductor; also served as music director of the Fort Lauderdale Sym. Orch. (later the Phil. Orch. of Florida) from 1963 to 1986. In 1963 he received the Alice M. Ditson Award for conducting. He was principally known as a favorite conductor on tour with Pavarotti. With his silver hair and goatee he cut a striking figure when he appeared in Pavarotti’s film Yes, Giorgio! (1982); the film was unsuccessful, but Buckley’s appearance produced an impression. He was also the conductor in a film documentary about Pavarotti, entitled A Distant Harmony .

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