Frank Masella

Frank (Francesco) Masella. Clarinetist, b Ischitella, Italy, 26 Mar 1897, d Montreal 28 Jun 1979. He studied solfège in San Severo and clarinet with Giulio Romano in Montreal, where he settled in November 1909.

Masella, Frank

Frank (Francesco) Masella. Clarinetist, b Ischitella, Italy, 26 Mar 1897, d Montreal 28 Jun 1979. He studied solfège in San Severo and clarinet with Giulio Romano in Montreal, where he settled in November 1909. Later he was a member of various orchestras, performing at the Family Theatre in 1912, the Théâtre français in 1917 (Lakmé, Carmen, Mignon, and Faust), and the Passe-Temps Theatre in 1918. Between 1914 and 1919 he also played in Sohmer Park and at Dominion Square. He belonged in 1915 to the Concordia Concert Band and 1916-46 to the Canadian Grenadier Guards Band. On 4 Jun 1921 he married Giovanna Leonelli, whom he had met in Montreal; they had eight sons. He led the Banda Rossini 1927-9 and, like other Montreal conductors of the day, provided music for silent movies and for live performances at the Orpheum, Imperial, and Capitol theatres. He was principal clarinet of the Variétés lyriques orchestra for 13 years and of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra 1950-2 and a member of the Montreal Orchestra and the MSO. He also played with the Little Symphony of Montreal and gave recitals on the CBC.

See also Raffaele (his father) and Rafael, Pietro, Joseph, Rodolfo, Alfred, Paul, Mario, and Giulio (his sons).


Further Reading

  • Johnstone, Ken. 'How Papa Masella made his boys make music,' Maclean's, 1 Mar 1954