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CARLO ALBERTO PIZZINI

Carlo Alberto Pizzini was born in Rome on 22 March 1905 and studied composition with Ottorino Respighi. He graduated from the Bologna Conservatory in 1929.

At the age of only nineteen Pizzini founded the ‘Concerts for the musical education of students’ in Rome, with support from the Ministry of Education. Between 1932 and 1937 he was a Music Inspector for the Italian Authors’ and Publishers’ Society (SIAE), which made him an honorary distinguished member in 1954. From 1938 to 1970 he had an executive position at Italian Radio and Television (RAI). The Accademia of Santa Cecilia, the famous musical society and concert organisation in Rome, elected Pizzini to its ranks in 1942, and he served as its Vice President from 1973 until his death. In 1967 Pizzini was elected to the Philharmonic Academy of Bologna, an honour he said was especially important to him because two centuries earlier the Bologna society had conferred the same distinction on Mozart.

Pizzini represented RAI and the Accademia of Santa Cecilia on the juries of prestigious international competitions and at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. As a conductor he gave concerts all over the world, usually featuring his own compositions. He wrote in almost every form, from chamber music through music for choir, orchestra and band to incidental music for theatre, television and films. Pizzini’s works have been performed by famous conductors such as Jean Martinon, Bernardo Molinari and (with the Berlin Philharmonic) Carl Schuricht; and by leading musical institutions in Italy – including the Augusteo in Rome, La Scala Milan, the Fenice theatre in Venice and Parma’s Teatro Regio – as well as those across the world: from Montreal to Tokyo via Carnegie Hall in New York, the Salzburg Mozarteum, and the Odeon of Herodes in Athens.

Among other honours, Pizzini was made a Cavaliere di Gran Croce in the Italian order of merit and a Chevalier of the French Légion d’honneur, and was awarded the Cross of Merit by the (then) German Federal Republic.

Carlo Alberto Pizzini died in Rome on 8 September 1981.


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