Biography of Nino Rota (1911-1979)

Italian composer born on December 3, 1911 in Milan and died on April 10, 1979 in Rome.

Born in a family of musicians, rattan soon showed his talent for composition. Their youth teachers were two composers of Fame, Giacomo Orefice and Ildebrando Pizzetti, who headed a training then perfected in the classrooms of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, in Rome, where was mentored since 1929 by the master Alfredo Casella.

His prodigious precocity as composer and conductor was demonstrated in 1923, when it premiered at the age of twelve his first oratorio, L'infanzia di San Giovanni Battista. His musical comedy Il Principe Porcaro, was composed in 1926. Four years later he traveled to the United States, country where he remained until 1932 studying at the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia, under the direction of the teachers Rosario Scalero and Fritz Reiner. On his return to Italy, he graduated in Italian literature from the University of Milan.

Passionate about teaching, Rota was devoted to teaching since 1937, and served as director of the Conservatoire of Bari from 1950 until 1979. At the same time, the composer's musical career was enriched with the following operas: Ariodante (1942), Torquemada (1943), Il cappello di paglia di Firenze (1955), I due timidi (1950), La notte di a neurasténico (1959), Lo scoiattolo in prawn (1959), Aladdin and the lamp magic (1968), La visita meravigliosa (1970) and Napoli (1977) milionària. Also wrote the score for the ballet the rappresentazione di Adamo ed Eva (1957), La Strada (1965), Aci e Galatea (1971), Le Molière imaginaire (1976) and Amor di poet (1978), the latter choreographed by Maurice Béjart.

His fascination with the cinema was reflected in the composition of numerous soundtracks, many of which offer a unique sense of speculation and integrate elements of classical, avant-garde and popular. The director Luchino Visconti had his talent at Rocco and his brothers (1960) and the Leopard (1963). But it was Federico Fellini filmmaker who best understood the creativity of Nino Rota; result of their collaboration were scores of such notables as La Strada (1954), nights of Cabiria (1957), La dolce vita (1960), eight and a half (1963), Juliet of the spirits (1965), Amarcord (1973) and Casanova (1976).

Rota achieved prestige in the U.S. industry thanks to the music from the Godfather (1972), by Francis Ford Coppola. Awarded with an Academy Oscar for the Godfather Part II (1974), the composer enjoyed international recognition that increased during their last years of life. After his death, have continued publishing new editions of his symphonic and cinematic repertoire.


Compositions for cinema

1933: Treno popolare. 1942: Married to credit. 1943: Zaza; Il birichino di papa; The donna della montagna; The freccia of the fianco. 1945: An American on vacation; You signor Travet miserie. 1946: Gli uomini sono nemici; Alberto Luna; Camera 34; My son Professor; Vivere in pace; Amanti senza amore; Roma Città libera. 1947: The white Pimpernel; Daniele cortis; The war; come persi Secret IL di don Giovanni; Il delitto di Giovanni Episcopo. 1948: Leak in France; L' L'eroe della strada; Arrivederci, Dad; Molti sogni per le strade; The Pirates of Capri; Vanita; Toto to the Giro d' Italy; Without mercy; Sotto il sole in Rome. 1949: The Bandit I am; Renunciation; Come scopersi L'america; And spring; It is forbidden to steal. 1950: Fra Diavolo; The angels of the district; Due moglie sono trope; E arrivato il cavaliere; At the last second; The glass mountain; Il monello della strada; Naples millionaire; Obsession; Vita da cani. 1951: Ana; The valley of the eagles; Era lui... Yes, Yes!; Napoleone; FILUMENA Marturano; Cucumber and violet; Le closeby avventure di Guerin Meschino; Toto e i re di Roma. 1952: Venetian bird; Ragazze da marito; Yolanda, the Corsair Nero figlia; Il ladro in paradiso; The white Sheik; Marito e moglio; Noi due soli; Panciulle di lusso; The Queen of Sheba; Something money can't buy. 1953: The useless; Anni übrig; The Apple of discord; Happened in Rome; The small world of Mr Feliciano; The hand of the stranger; The nave delle donne maledette; Public enemy number 1; The rescue; Scampolo 53; Alarm in the fleet; The success of the Via Padova; Gli uomini, che mascalzoni! 1954: La strada; The suspicion; The India star; Proibito; Bronze face; Mambo; The great hope; The two huerfanitas; Divisione folgore; Cento anni d'amore; Bella, non piangere! 1955: The prison of the trouble; Unforgettable friendship; The beautiful of Rome; Souls without conscience; A hero of our time; IO paccio / La vie of the story with you donne.1956: operation London calling North Pole; War and peace; Città di notte. 1957: The voice of the blood; The Italians are crazy; The nights of Cabiria; Doctor and the healer; The most beautiful moment; The white nights; Diga it Sul Pacifico. 1958: La legge è legge; A hectare of heaven; Fortunella. 1959: Full sun; The great war. 1960: La dolce vita; Rocco and his brothers; Under ten flags. 1961: ghosts of Rome; Il brigante. 1962: Boccaccio 70; His best enemy; The man who didn't want to be holy. 1963: The Leopard; Eight and a half; Il maestro di Vigevano. 1965: Juliet of the spirits; Oggi, domani, dopodomani. 1967: The taming of the Shrew; Shoot strong, stronger... do not understand it. 1968: Romeo and Juliet; Extraordinary stories. 1969: Satyricon. 1970: The clowns; Waterloo. 1972: The Godfather; Rome. 1973: Amarcord; Sunset sunrise; Film of love and anarchy. 1974: The Godfather Part II. 1976: Abdication; Casanova; Caro Michele. 1978: Death on the Nile; Orchestra rehearsal. 1979: Ernesto. 1979: Hurricane; Ten to survive. 1982: Labyrinth of passion (includes extracts music from La dolce vita and Rocco and his brothers). 1987: I soliti ignoti vent'anni dopo. 1990: The Godfather III. 1991: Scenes from a mall (includes musical fragments of Amarcord and Juliet of the spirits). 1992: trilogy of the Godfather 1901-1980 (re-Assembly of the three parts of the Godfather, distributed in video); The midnight special. 1996: Set it off (includes fragments of the Godfather). 1998: Le dernier combat (includes musical fragments from La Strada). 1999: Amico magico: il maestro broken child.

Compositions for television

1982: Il furto della Gioconda. 1984: la Piovra.


BAZELON, Irwin: Knowing the score. Notes on film music, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Press, 1975.

BURT, George: The art of film music, New York: Northeastern University Press, 1996.

COLON, Carlos: Rota-Fellini, Seville: Seville University, 1981.

CUETO, Roberto: One hundred soundtracks in the history of the cinema, Madrid: Nuer, 1996.

THOMAS, Tony: Music for the movies, New York: Silman-James Press, 1997.