Thursday, 09 October 2014 16:16

Composer of the Month Giuseppe Verdi

Happy birthday, Giuseppe Verdi!

Viva V.E.R.D.I  – “Viva Vittorio Emanuele Re D'Italia!” was the rallying cry of the Italian “Risorgimento,” (“Resurgence” or “Rising Again”) the 19th century movement for Italian unification that culminated in the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 and Victor Emanuele II as king of Italy. 

How does the great operatic genius Giuseppe Verdi, born on Oct. 19, 1813, fit in to this?  A number of Italian opera composers were slyly inserting plot elements into their works that resonated with the “Risorgimenti.”  But, it was Verdi who was their best ally.

It wasn’t much of a stretch for Italians, whose country had been taken over by Austria, to connect with the words of “Va Pensiero,” especially with lines such as “O my country, so lovely and so lost.”  

Spreading throughout Italy, the slogan “Viva VERDI” expressed the people’s love for their favorite composer, Giuseppe Verdi, but it also had the secret meaning of “Viva Victor Emanuele, King of Italy.”  Even today, the chorus “Va Pensiero” is considered the unofficial national anthem of Italy.


This month’s classical composer profile was written by Peter Hall, Classical 94.5 WNED program host.


Published in Programming Highlights

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Published in WBFO 88.7 FM

The honor was conferred at the 3rd Annual Buffalo Excellence in Media Awards (BEMA's), which honors Western New York Broadcasters. The awards recognize the outstanding achievements of individuals and radio and television companies in the region. WBFO News reporter Ashley Hirtzel was also recognized as one of the finalists for the Rising Star Award. Read complete details on

Published in Press Room

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