Foa, Arrigo

Plot Location2B25
Given Name(s)Arrigo
Place of BirthVercelli, Italy
Date of Birth (Eng)1900
Date of Birth (Heb) 
Date of Death (Eng)May 23, 1981
Date of Death (Heb)19 Iyar 5741
Age at Death81
Hebrew Nameאריה
Spouse’s NameTina Foa (2B24)
Father’s Name 
Mother’s Name 
Other Surnames 
Marital StatusW
Maiden Name 
Title (e.g., Dr) 
Religious Status (כ/ל/י) 
Cause of Death 
Other Family DataThe Foas had no children.
DIED 23RD MAY 1981
AGE 81
Inscription (Heb)פה מצה מנוח ה״מ אריה פואה נלב״ע יום י״ט אייר התשמ״ה והיו ימיו פ״א שנה ת׳נ׳צ׳ב׳ה׳
Inscription (Other) 
HistoricalHe arrived in Shanghai in 1921. He was the concertmaster and assistant conductor of the Shanghai Municipal Orchestra for many years and, in 1937, he officially became the orchestra’s conductor, which lasted until 1952. From 1953 to 1969, he led the Sino-British Orchestra. In 1957, it was renamed the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Foas were married at Ohel Rachel Synagogue in Shanghai in 1924.
Michael Corp wrote on February 10, 2019:
“I was acquainted with Arrigo Foa in 1959/1960 through the Hongkong Philharmonic Orchestra. Arrigo and Dr. Solomon Bard were the driving force behind the orchestra, Arrigo as Conductor and Dr. Bard as Leader. Founded in 1957, the HK Phil was amateur until 1975 when it professionalised to become one of Asia’s leading orchestras. I was a very young National Service (conscript) officer in the Royal Engineers based at Tailam. I was also 2nd oboist in the orchestra for a year late 1959 to late 1960. I recall that Arrigo had a voice problem and spoke in what can only be described as a very loud whisper; the Orchestra had no difficulty hearing his instructions. During my last rehearsal with the orchestra in September 1960 we were playing through pieces for the concert in December, including the Overture to Nabucco by Verdi. Though amateur, the HK Phil had many very competent musicians in its ranks, but it was also very cosmopolitan. The result was that on a first play through we did not pick up on the rhythms and Italian subtleties of Verdi’s music. Halfway through, there was a breathy scream from the rostrum, the conductor’s baton flew over the heads of the orchestra to break against the back wall of St. John’s Hall, and Arrigo jumped from the rostrum and ran from the hall. Needless to say the orchestra fell into an embarrassed silence. Dr. Bard put down his violin and followed Arrigo out. A couple of minutes later he returned with a big grin on his face. We had deeply upset Arrigo with our lack of understanding of his beloved Italian music, he needed time to recover and the rehearsal was abandoned. I returned to the UK a couple of weeks later so never knew whether HK Phil conquered Nabucco.”

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