American tenor, conductor and musicologist Herbert John Handt was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 26 May 1926 and studied at Juilliard and at Columbia University.
He worked for Toscanini, took an apprenticeship at New York Metropolitan Opera and first appeared as a singer at Vienna State Opera in 1949 and as a conductor in Rome in 1960.
Living in Lucca from the early 1960s, he founded the Associazione Musicale Lucchese (Lucca Music Association) in 1964 and was its artistic director until 2006. He re-discovered and organised performances of rare music from Lucca's rich musical heritage, including the Puccini family.
Following a brutal attack in the USA in 2008 he was left blind and was no longer able to perform, but remained interested in music.
Herbert Handt died in Lucca, Italy on 2 October 2023, aged ninety-seven.
A selection of articles about Herbert Handt
Classical music news - October 2023 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month