June 11, 2013 — Coral Gables — Luciano Magnanini, woodwinds professor began his career at UM as a lecturer, in 1972. He studied music at the Conservatory Nicolo Paganini in Genoa and continued his musical training in Milan. After winning the audition to play principal bassoon for the Miami Philharmonic Orchestra (a.k.a. Florida Philharmonic) he came to Miami from his native Italy. He also performed as a member of the World Symphony Orchestra, made up of 140 musicians from 95 countries, representing Florida. Magnanini later became an assistant professor at the Frost School of Music and served as program director for woodwinds for 25 years. He has retired after 41 total years of teaching at the University of Miami.
“When I came to UM, there were only 250 students in the School of Music, and the University itself was smaller than it is today. After 40 years, I believe my legacy includes building UM’s reputation internationally along with all of my colleagues from across the university. I remember how it was here 40 years ago, and have great pride in the recognition UM continues to receive every day,” said Magnanini, also a recipient of the Phillip Frost Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship.
Although the World Symphony Orchestra, the Miami and Florida Philharmonic Orchestras no longer perform, Magnanini’s legacy and love of music plays on at the Frost School of Music. He fondly recalls the long-lasting power of musical performance and two of his fantastic students who created the Miami Bassoon Machine, during the time of the growing fame of the original band, the Miami Sound Machine of UM alumna Gloria Estefan. Two of his students, Matt Cornwell and Craig Engleman created arrangements for eight bassoons and recorded the music. They performed an outdoor concert at the swimming pool and former site of the University Center. At the start of the concert there were approximately 50 or 60 listeners and by the end the music drew in 500 people. Maganini relates later he gave his friend the conductor James Conlon a recording of a singer to review. After listening to the singer Conlon responded “the singer was not that great but the Miami Bassoon Machine was fantastic!”
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