Mario Robbiani

Born: December 21st, 1930, Paradiso, Lugano (Switzerland)
Died: May 18th, 1993, Lugano (Switzerland)
Nationality: Swiss

As a youth, Mario Robbiani taught himself to play the accordion and later studied the piano and harmony, mostly by himself as well. From the early 1950s onwards, he worked as an arranger for the Orchestra Radiosa of Radio Monte Ceneri, which, at that time, was conducted by Fernando Paggi. Robbiani founded the Quintetto Vocale Radiosa, the vocal group which performed with the orchestra and which included, amongst others, Anita Traversi. In 1967, he took over Paggi’s baton and led the broadcaster’s orchestra until it was finally disbanded in 1985.

Mario Robbiani’s involvement in the Eurovision Song Contest spans almost thirty years. For the very first Eurovision Song Contest, held in Lugano (Switzerland) in ’56, he arranged both Swiss entries, amongst which Lys Assia’s winning ‘Refrain’. Four years later, he composed ‘Cielo e terra’ for his protégé Anita Traversi, who represented Switzerland in the 1960 contest in London. Between 1965 and 1984, he appeared in the contest as a conductor on four occasions: in 1965 for Yovanna and ‘Non, à jamais sans toi’, in 1968 for Gianni Mascolo and ‘Guardando il sole’, in 1976 for Peter, Sue & Marc and their ‘Djambo, djambo’, and finally in 1984 for Rainy Day and ‘Welche Farbe hat der Sonnenschein’.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Mario Robbiani will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1965: Non, à jamais sans toi
1968: Guardando il sole
1976: Djambo Djambo
1984: Welche Farbe hat der Sonnenschein