Toscanini's musical and anti-Fascist legacy remembered

Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini's legacies included abolishing encores at La Scala. So it was a playful touch when one of the maestro's musical heirs included a Verdi encore during a tribute at the Milan opera house marking the 150th anniversary of Toscanini's birth.

The Saturday night concert was part of a series of celebrations and commemorations planned across Italy to honor one of the 20th century's most enduring conductors, a man who defied Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, brought discipline and decorum to La Scala and popularized symphonic orchestral music in the United States.

Unlike composers whose works can be played and reinterpreted over time, the...