NINO ROTA (1911 - 1979)
Precocious as a composer, with an oratorio first performed when he was 12, Nino Rota studied at the Milan Conservatory, thereafter taking private lessons first with Pizzetti and then with Alfredo Casella. His career brought a long association with the Bari Conservatory, of which he was appointed director in 1950. A versatile composer, he contributed to a wide range of musical genres.
Rota wrote some 80 film scores, including collaborations with Fellini, Zeffirelli and Visconti, and the score for Coppola’s The Godfather. He provided the score for the 1949 English film The Glass Mountain, an improbable romance suited to the period. He was the preferred composer of Fellini, and with Zeffirelli he wrote the music for Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew. He collaborated with Visconti on Il gattopardo (‘The Leopard’), among other films.
Rota’s Sarabanda e toccata for harp, its neoclassical form suggested in its title, was written in 1945, three years before his Concerto for the same instrument. Other works include a Viola Sonata, a Sonata for flute and harp, a Sonata for organ and four brass, and a Nonet.