Hugo Fiorato, Principal Conductor and Conductor Emeritus of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, of Southport, CT and Martha’s Vineyard, died peacefully at age 98 in Boston. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by family.
Born 1914 in New York City, Hugo Fiorato was the son of accomplished sculptor Noe Fiorato and singer Anna Kress of New York City.
Maestro Fiorato actively performed with New York City Ballet for 56 seasons since NYCB’s inception in 1947. He retired from his full-time position at New York City Ballet Orchestra at age 90, becoming Conductor Emeritus.
He was a close friend of the company’s founder, choreographer George Balanchine. During the 1940s and 1950s, along with his duties at the New York City Ballet, Mr. Fiorato conducted the radio orchestras of the NBC Symphony. He also founded the nationally esteemed WQXR String Quartet, with which he performed for more than 20 years. Conducting ballets through five decades for different generations of dancers, Mr. Fiorato always kept in mind how Balanchine originally wanted the music played.
For 20 years, Mr. Fiorato was a summer resident of Martha’s Vineyard, at a small house overlooking Lambert’s Cove in West Tisbury. He was an avid fisherman and an accomplished water color artist, finding much relaxation and inspiration on the Island.
Maestro Fiorato was predeceased by his wife of 35 years, Joelyn Scott Fiorato, and his daughter, Jan Fiorato. He is survived by his son, James Fiorato of Block Island, his stepsons, Christopher Scott of Edgartown and Jonathan Scott of Boston, and his stepdaughter, Stephanie Hunt of Stowe, Vermont, their spouses and six grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to: Joelyn’s Family Home, Victory Programs, 965 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA 02118.