Ottorino Respighi

Jul 9, 1879 - Apr 18, 1936

Ottorino Respighi was an Italian composer, violinist, teacher, and musicologist who was one of the leading Italian composers of the early 20th century. His compositions range over operas, ballets, orchestral suites, choral songs, and chamber music, and include transcriptions of Italian compositions of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries as well as the works of Bach and Rachmaninoff. Among his best known and most performed works are his three Roman tone poems, which brought him international fame: Fountains of Rome, Pines of Rome, and Roman Festivals. All three demonstrate Respighi's noted use of rich orchestral colours, massive orchestral forces and programmatic themes.
Born and raised in Bologna, Respighi studied violin, viola, and composition at the Liceo Musicale di Bologna. He also worked in Saint Petersburg and studied briefly with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1913, Respighi moved to Rome, where he became professor of composition at the Liceo Musicale di Santa Cecilia. He left the school to dedicate his time fully to composing.
While composing his opera Lucrezia in early 1936, Respighi was diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis. He died four months later aged 56.
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