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NICOLAS FLAGELLO  

(1928 - 1994)

A composition pupil of Giannini and conducting pupil of Mitropoulos, the American composer, pianist and conductor Nicolas Flagello continued throughout his career to write music that showed the relatively conservative attitudes of his teacher, avoiding the extremes of contemporary experiment. His music has undergone posthumous re-evaluation, with changing musical fashions. His compositions include six operas among a quantity of other works in various genres.

Orchestral and Vocal Music

Flagello left two symphonies, eight concertos and a quantity of other instrumental and vocal compositions. His Symphony No. 1 takes Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 as its model, while lacking that work’s serenity. His Theme, Variations and Fugue is testimony to his study in Rome with Pizzetti, while an Intermezzo offers an excerpt from his children’s opera The Pied Piper of Hamelin. His Piano Concerto No. 1 was written as a graduation piece and his Concerto sinfonico, for saxophone quartet and orchestra, written in 1985, was his last completed work. Dante’s Farewell, written in 1962 but left in short score and unperformed in Flagello’s lifetime, sets a text by the Italian–American poet Joseph Tusiani with the imagined words of Dante’s wife on their final parting.

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