Greenwich was home to one of the world's most brilliant composers - Quinto Maganini. Mr. Manganini lived in town for more than 40 years. He was a composer, conductor, teacher, editor , and music patron.
His family immigrated from Genoa, Italy, to California during the Gold Rush of 1850. He was born on November 30, 1897, to Joseph F. and Mary Maganini in Fairfield CA. After attending the local elementary, middle and high schools, he attended The University of California, where he studied music. Maganini was a gifted flute and piccollo player. In 1916 at the age of 19, while playing in John Phillip Sousa's Band in San Francisco, he was "discovered" and accepted a position as flautist with the New York Symphony. From 1919 to 1928, he played with the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Symphonic Orchestra and the Russian Symphony Orchestra. He was sent to Europe from 1920 to 1929 to study music. Quinto spent 2 years at the prestigious Conservatoire Americain in Fontainebleau . He also studied in Italy, Germany and England.
In 1927, Quinto Maganini received a Pulitzer Prize in muisc for his opera titled "The Argonauts". It was about the California Gold Rush, which his ancestors experienced when they first arrived in this country. His work covered almost every musical field including ballet, orchestral work, choral work, symphonic band scores, solo and ensemble pieces. He even composed music for "Romeo and Juliet". In 1928 and 1929, he received two Guggenheim Fellowships, which allowed him to continue his studies.
Eventually, he became a guest conductor, appearing with leading orchestras in New York, Paris and San Francisco. He also conducted the New York Sinfonietta, and founded the Maganini Chamber Symphony Orchestra. Maganini made a nationwide tour with the latter group. In the summer of 1938, he was alternating with two conductors in leading the New York Philharmonic in a series at Silvermine. From 1940 to 1967, he was the conductor for the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra.
Maganini recruited young musicians from Greenwich to play in a Youth Symphony. He worked with such greats as Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Pearlman and Emanuel Ax. At Columbia University in New York, he taught harmony and counterpoint in the Teacher's College. He was also a commentator on music programs. To promote fellow composers, he played their works and published them in Edidion Musicus - a publication he founded.
One of his hobbies was the collection and restoration of paintings. Maganini acquired a remarkable collection of old masters. Over time he donated a number of them to museums and universities. He found some priceless Chinese murals in his 18th century Newport RI home, which he restored.
On a personal note, Quinto married Margaretta Mason Kingsbury on May 28, 1927. They had one child named Margaretta after the mother. According to his obituary in the Greenwich Time (3-11-1974), he had two grandchildren. He was also president of Kingsbury, Inc. a hydroelectric machine factory.
Quinto Maganini contributed a great deal to the field of music during his lifetime. He was not afraid to promote the work of his fellow musicians. His willingness to work with young people was admirable. This unselfishness shall remain his greatest legacy.