Ermanno Florio. Conductor, violinist, b Carapelle, Italy, 29 Mar 1954; B MUS (Toronto) 1977. Ermanno Florio moved to Canada with his family at 2. He then studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music 1966-73, and played violin in the National Youth Orchestra and the Canadian Chamber Orchestra. At the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, he majored in violin under Victor Martin. Immediately after graduating he took a summer conducting course at the Toho-Gakuen School in Tokyo, enrolled in the Conductors' Workshop organized by the Ontario Arts Council, and began studying conducting with Andrew Davis. In 1978 he studied with Davis' teacher, Franco Ferrara, in Siena, Italy, returning to Toronto on a one-year appointment as an apprentice conductor with the Toronto Symphony; he led the orchestra in a full concert at the Ontario Place Forum 3 Jul 1979.
Concert appearances and broadcast performances with Canadian orchestras, including the Calgary Philharmonic, Kingston Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, Orchestra London Canada, Symphony Nova Scotia, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, followed. Florio was conductor of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra 1983-94. He also served 1985-9 as music director of the National Ballet of Canada, touring with the company to New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and London and conducting several CBC TV productions, and was resident guest conductor 1989-90. Most of his subsequent engagements were outside Canada; eg, he conducted the American Ballet Theatre in New York 1998-2001, and guest conducted often in Italy, France and Japan. Florio became music director of the Houston Ballet in 1992, and also of the Dutch National Ballet in 2004. His recordings have won an Emmy award (2000) and a Cannes award (2004).