Manoah “Tranquillo” Leide-Tedesco

Tranquillo Manoah Leide-Tedesco (1894-1992) was born in Sinigaglia, Italy, but grew up in Naples. His father, Lazzaro Laide-Tedesco, originally from Reggio Emilia, became Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Greater Naples (1904-1941) and the Chief Rabbi of Naples.  Manoah Leide-Tedesco grew up in an artistic family of composers, singers and musicians. His brother, Enrico Leide (1887-1970) was a concert cellist and orchestra conductor, conducting the first Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1920 to 1930.[4]

Educated at the University of Naples, Leide-Tedesco did his post graduate studies in Czechoslovakia (1925–1931), receiving his Doctorate in Philology and Sociology. He attended the Prague Conservatory where he continued his musical studies under Ildebrando Pizzetti, Josef Suk and Karel Jirák.

From 1922-1935 Leide-Tedesco conducted many of the leading symphony orchestras of Central Europe including the Philharmonics of Prague, Vienna and Pressburg. During this time he was entrusted with some of the very first performances of the works of Maurice Ravel (L’enfant et les sortilèges and Alborada del Gracioso), Manuel de Falla (El sombrero de tres picosEl amor brujo), Richard Strauss (Piano Concerto Epilogue), Alessandro Longo (Matrona di Efesus), Schoenberg (Pierrot Lunaire), Stravinsky (Histoire du Soldat) and Ildebrando Pizzetti.

Leide-Tedesco conducted the New Chamber Symphony of New York City from 1932-1935. The first performances of his own compositions were broadcast during this time over the NBC chain from Rockefeller Center. He conducted orchestras for: NBC, CBS, Chicago Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica (Mexico City), Czech Philharmonic, BBC, RAI Rome, West Germany Radio Corp., Koln, Grant Park Chicago.

Leide-Tedesco first visited the United States in 1912 and became a U. S. citizen in 1932. Between 1935 and 1945, he served with the United States Government where he was Chairman of Cultural Programs for the Office of Education. He also held positions with the United States Department of State and the Institute of International Understanding. He lectured widely in the United States and Latin America and campaigned for fairer immigration laws and better integration of new immigrants.

Throughout his life, Leide-Tedesco traveled the world collecting books, paintings, music and friends. Personal friends who corresponded frequently, and visited with him and his wife, Regina, in the artist community of Colorado Springs (1955-1981), included painters Emmanuel Glicenstein Romano, Alois Lecoque, and Paschal Quackenbush; musicians and composers Ernst Toch, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (no relation), Rafael Kubelík, Karel Jirák, and operatic singer Rosa Raisa; as well as his good friend Albert B. Sabin, developer of the oral polio vaccine.

Birthday party honoring Maurice Ravel, New York City, March 8, 1928. From left: Oscar Fried, Eva Gauthier, Ravel at the piano; Manoah Leide-Tedesco, and George Gershwin.