Biography

Pioneer

Agostini, Lucio

(1913-1996)

Lucio Agostini's family brought him from Italy to Canada when he was two, settling in Montreal. He was to become one of Canada’s most prolific music composers – joining the group of great writers, actors, directors and composers who gained fame in the era of live shows leading up to and during the golden age of radio and of radio drama.

When television came along, it became just another medium for his talents.

Lucio was a professional composer before he reached the age of 20: from 1932 to 1944 he wrote incidental music for Associated Screen News, a commercial film production company formed in Montreal in 1920 to provide news footage for a growing film audience. In 1934, he became a conductor for the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, precursor to the CBC.

Lucio moved to Toronto in 1943. There he composed and conducted for CBC radio, writing the music for dramas such as Andrew Allan’s Stage series and for variety programs, including Appointment With Agostini. CBC-TV arrived in 1952 and for more than 20 years he was conductor and arranger for the 1957 – 95 game interview show Front Page Challenge. He also conducted for the popular Juliette TV variety program in the 1950s and 60s. He was musical director and band leader for, or contributor to, many other shows including Reflections (1960 – 62) and A Show From Two Cities (1963 – 64).

Outside broadcasting, he composed musicals, film music for short and feature films, concertos, an opera, and a multitude of arrangements.

The National Library of Canada music archives contain manuscripts and copies of some 2,000 Lucio Agostini scores.

Written by Jerry Fairbridge - December, 2002

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