The story of the Courir family begins in Šibenik, a small town on the Dalmatian coast in the 20th century. From there, after the end of the First World War led to the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, the family - headed by great-grandfather Luigi - moved to the Italian territory of Zara.
The young Ugo, born in 1901, set up a flourishing maritime agency in the Dalmatian town. He married Elsa Ghiglianovich in 1927 and the couple had three children: Duilio in 1928, Luigi in 1929 and Laura in 1931.
The outbreak of the Second World War soon made the prospect of continuing family life in Zara impossible and, in 1943, Ugo Courir was forced to migrate again with his family to Italian territory, abandoning their home and business in Zara and settling in Venice. They boarded the steamer Stamura, knowing that it would be a one-way trip. Before leaving, the children wrote “we’ll be back” on the terrace wall.
The first place they stayed was the Hotel Monaco, followed by Wally Toscanini's house in Rio Terà Catecumeni at no. 70, where they lived from November 1943 to the end of 1945.
Ugo set up a small company, Save, which transported timber from Cadore to Venice along the River Piave. Once the war was over, together with other Istrian-Dalmatian exiles he set up a shipping company called Libera Giuliana, using the resources made available by the American Marshall Plan: they bought one of the Liberty class ships that had played such an important role - during the war - in transporting resources from the United States to Great Britain, and launched a long-lasting mercantile activity.
Duilio, who harboured no feelings of nostalgia for the land of his childhood, left Venice and began studying law in Bologna in 1950, graduating with a thesis on the philosophy of law on Max Weber. In the same city he furthered and cultivated his great passion for music, which he began in Zara and continued in Venice under the guidance of Maestro Gino Tagliapietra. He frequented Bologna's lively artistic circles and began writing for “Il Resto del Carlino”, directed at the time by Giovanni Spadolini, whom he always held in the highest esteem. He approached journalism initially as an art critic, then, starting in the 1960s, as a music critic, soon establishing himself as one of the most promising intellectuals in the field of classical and contemporary music.
He was a critic and musicologist but above all a promoter of culture, a meticulous and tireless animator of circles and magazines, as in the case of “Lo spettatore musicale”, founded in 1966 together with Alberto Pironti and Mario Bortolotto.
In 1973, Duilio Courir was called to the “Corriere della Sera” to take over the post held for almost forty years by his friend and mentor, Franco Abbiati. In Milan, which also became the home of his family, made up of his wife Mary and their two children Edoardo and Elisabetta, Duilio was fully immersed in the cultural fervour of the musical environment of the time, forging intellectual and personal friendships with artists and men and women of culture such as Claudio Abbado, Maurizio Pollini, Pierre Boulez, Luca Ronconi, Paolo Grassi, Camilla Cederna, and Paolo and Lisa Borciani. He became a key point of reference for the Italian music scene, promoting initiatives such as the establishment of the National Association of Music Critics in 1986 and the creation of the magazine “Amadeus”, a spearhead of Italian and international music culture, in 1989, of which he remained editor in chief until 2007.
Testimony and photographs compiled in collaboration with the Courir Family.
Duilio was born in Zadar to Ugo Courir and Elsa Ghiglianovich.
The Courir family is forced to migrate again to Italian territory, abandoning their home and business in Zara and settling in Venice.
Duilio began studying law in Bologna in 1950. He frequented Bologna's lively artistic circles and began writing for “Il Resto del Carlino”.
He was a critic and musicologist: he found the “Lo spettatore musicale”.
Duilio Courir was called to the “Corriere della Sera” to take over the post held by his friend and mentor, Franco Abbiati.
He founded Amadeus, the magazine of which he remained editor until 2007.
He died in Zurich.