He forbade the singing of encores during opera performances, insisting that opera is theater, and that the progress of the opera should never be interrupted so that the singers could show off their skills and cater to the audience.(Audiences at that time often demanded encores of arias and duets).

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Arturo Toscanini was the most celebrated conductor of his time, considered by many to be the greatest conductor of the twentieth century.

He revolutionized musical interpretation by frequently insisting that his orchestras play the music exactly as written, a highly unusual practice in the nineteenth century, when Toscanini began his career.

He conducted the world premieres of such operas as Puccini's "La Boheme" and "Turandot", and Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci".

During his lifetime and for a short while afterwards,he was revered by critics (and still is by the older ones.) Today's younger critics, however, tend to look down on him, and call his fidelity to the printed score "lack of imagination" - a term which shows a total misunderstanding of Toscanini's achievements.

Toscanini was on the verge of retirement at age 70 when RCA chairman David Sarnoff asked him if he would like to conduct a radio orchestra especially created and trained just for him. Thus was born his incredible 17-year tenure with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, trained by Artur Rodzinski, which enabled him to be heard by millions at once, and extended his career into the age of LP records, television, hi-fi, and even two stereo recordings, the first of which was not released until 1986 (the second was not released in a stereo edition until January of 2007).

Toscanini, not wishing to return to Fascist Italy because of possible personal harassment from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, chose to take up permanent residence in the U. Toscanini didn't retire until 1954, when he was 87.