The current Auditorium RAI is located on the site of the Royal Hippodrome Vittorio Emanuele II, which was built in 1856 as a “permanent circus theatre “, and was property of the Crown. A few years later the building was adapted to hold dance and opera performances. Since 1872 it has been reserved almost exclusively for concerts.
Torino was the first Italian city to organise regular symphonic seasons with a permanent orchestra, the “Orchestra dei Concerti”, whose musicians included a young cellist named Arturo Toscanini. The Teatro Vittorio Emanuele was renovated and restored several times between 1901 and 1926. After the war it was purchased by Rai, the Italian radio and television company which hosted the city’s symphonic orchestra and chorus. The building was renovated by Aldo Morbelli and Carlo Mollino.
The room was equipped with the latest technological systems of recording and it was inaugurated on December 16th, 1952, with a concert conducted by Mario Rossi with music by Stravinsky, Mozart and Rossini. This was followed three days later by the execution of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler.
Since 1994, the Auditorium has hosted the RAI National Symphony Orchestra . In recent years, the complex work needed to improve the acoustics and the facilities of the Auditorium, have led orchestra to hold concerts in the Giovanni Agnelli Auditorium at Lingotto.
The reopening of the Auditorium saw the return of the Rai National Symphony Orchestra to its natural home and gave the city and the public a building that is in step with the times, the ideal venue for musical activities.
On October 4th, 2007, the fiftieth anniversary of his death. the Auditorium was named after Arturo Toscanini