Stokowski’s concertmaster has died, aged 97

Stokowski’s concertmaster has died, aged 97


norman lebrecht

February 06, 2018

Renato Bonacini Ladetto founded the Bonacini Quartet in Genoa in 1945 before emigrating to the US in 1950.

He co-founded the New York String Sextet, was professor at Hartt School of Music for three decades and player in the New York Philharmonic and RCA Victor Symphony orchestras.

After playing as assistant concertmaster at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Leopold Stokowski chose him as soloist and concertmaster for his Capital Records recordings.

Later, Renato was music director of the Connecticut String Orchestra.

He died in Connecticut on January 31.



  • Robert W. Eshbach says:

    Thank you for posting this, Norman. Mr. Bonacini was an inspired and inspiring musician, man of great passion, and great kindness. He was a brilliant chamber music coach — a stalwart of the Castleman Quartet Program, where he influenced many of the best musicians of several generations. He was unimaginably passionate about music. Coaching string quartets, he would often become so moved that he would have to leave the room to compose himself. He was a man with a large, sympathetic heart, who was not afraid to make himself vulnerable. A man who lived his life deeply and well, and who gave unstintingly of himself to others. May his memory be blessed.

  • Robert H Wilkins says:

    Capitol Records….not Capital Records

  • margaret koscielny says:

    I was acquainted with Mr. Bonacini through my late sister, Anne Koscielny, pianist.
    He was a delightful person and a great musician.

    One light-hearted memory of him: in the mid 1960s, he came to my sister’s house to rehearse, and warmed up in the bathroom next to the kitchen, while we were cooking.
    So amusing, to hear great fiddling, coming from a bathroom!

    My brother-in-law, the pianist, Raymod Hanson, recently deceased, was a dear friend and colleague of Mr. Bonacini. They talked nearly every day on the phone after they both retired, but, in the last year, Bonacini seemed to have lost enthusiasm for life. Not making music any longer was hard for both gentlemen at their advanced age.