Oscar Napolitano

Real name: Napolitano, Oscar
Pianist and composer
(18 January 1910 - 29 June 1979)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Diana Napolitano

e was born in the city of Buenos Aires, in the neighborhood of Parque de los Patricios. His father Emilio had emigrated from Calabria (Italy) at age 15 and was an excellent dancer and music teacher; he played violin. His mother was Ángela Cabrit, a corset maker of French origin with a slender figure who won Emilio’s heart. Because they were minors he simply abducted her.

They married and had four boys and four girls. They were all trained in his music conservatory that he run on Caseros Avenue. Oscar learned music at a young age and soon later he played piano as background for silent movies in movie theaters.

He always recalled that he needed a cushion on his stool to reach the piano keyboard and, as he was sometimes concentrated on the thrillers he watched and stopped playing the audience began to complain and whistled.

His elder brother was named Emilio and was a brilliant violinist who reached the position of Art Director of the Teatro Colón. Two years his senior, he shared with Oscar the devotion to music from an early age. His brother Dante also joined the staff orchestra of the Teatro Colón as violinist.

The whole Napolitano family used to meet on week-ends to play, interchanging the different instruments. Husbands and wives, and also cousins reunited, especially Mafalda Napolitano, a concert piano player that was well-known abroad and Pedro Napolitano, who was lead violin of the staff orchestra of the Teatro Colón for years.

When Oscar was a teenager he played piano and his brother Emilio accompanied him on violin with a group of friends that had put together a jazz orchestra for the summer season in Mar del Plata. In the summer months they also played at the Hotel Edén of La Falda (Córdoba), playing classical music with piano and violin at dinner time for the high society that used to be there.

He graduated as piano teacher at the Conservatorio López Buchardo in 1924. On that day he wore long trousers for the first time. Thereafter he graduated as viola teacher at the Instituto Manuel de Falla, and was given the Senior Diploma by Maestro Bandini in 1936.

Oscar on piano and Emilio on violin played several sonatas as a duo on Radio Nacional and later at the Sociedad Wagneriana.

He was viola instructor at the Asociación del Profesorado Orquestal from 1928 directed by maestros Clemente Krauss, Ernest Anserment, Oscar Fried and others. He played in the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, since its inception by maestro Lamberto Balde in 1950.

He played under the conduction of maestros José Iturbi and Igor Stravinsky. He appeared on TV channels 7 and 9 and with the orchestra led by Lucio Milena.

He was pianist in the Francisco Lomuto Orchestra between 1930 and 1942. With it he toured our country and traveled abroad. There were many live performances at theaters but mainly on Radio El Mundo. A feature of the orchestra was that the players wore different garments according to the music they played.

Some of his numbers were recorded by the Lomuto’s orchestra for RCA-Victor. In 1938 the waltz “Cajita de música [b]”, with lyrics by Francisco García Jiménez, won the Municipal Contest and was premiered at the Teatro Avenida.

On December 27, 1939 he married Catalina Angela Fittipaldi and they entered the church accompanied by the music played by the Lomuto Orchestra. The wedding party was in Villa Devoto at the house owned by Don Vicente Fittipaldi, pioneer of the Buenos Aires buses and father of the bride. The Lomuto Orchestra played at the party.

He had two daughters Ketty and Diana and three grandchildren: Daniel, María Paula and María Eugenia, now married. He has four great grandchildren; Lucas, Carolina, Franco and Florencia.

Don Oscar Napolitano passed away in Buenos Aires. He had written over thirty pieces of tangos, waltzes, fox-trots and milongas: “Mi vieja guitarra”, “Angustia paria”, “Dolor de canillita” (milongas), “Porteño viejo” (tango), all with lyrics by Vicente Puccino; “Mar de fondo”, “Meditando [b]” (tangos), “Dame tu amor” (foxtrot), with lyrics by Daniel Álvarez; “Andá a verla” (tango), “Cajita de música [b]” (waltz) with lyrics by Francisco García Jiménez; “Idolatría” (waltz) lyrics by Nolo López; “Indiferencia [b]” (tango), lyrics by Manuel Meaños, same title as Rodolfo Biagi’s; “Evocación [c]” (waltz), “El resero [b]” (zamba song), lyrics by Enrique Díaz; “Tuyo es mi amor” (foxtrot) lyrics by Jorge Omar; “Amorcito sevillano” (pasodoble) lyrics by Julio Suárez; “Dos rosas para ti” (waltz), lyrics by Gustavo Durval Gogiose who also collaborated with the music.