The famous Italian pianist and composer, Franco Mannino, pupil of Renzo Silvestri, has made his debut already at the age of 16. Due to his outstanding skills and personality, he has been renown throughout Italy and Europe. Following World War II, Mannino was the first invited Italian pianist to perform in the USA where he has gained considerable and enthusiastic success.
After abandoning the piano, Franco Mannino started a brilliant career as a conductor appreciated enthusiastically in Italy and worldwide. He was appointed as the Art Director and Conductor at the National Art Center (NAC) in Ottawa between 1982 and 1986. In view of his major contribution to music, the Canadian Government organised "The Mannino Festival" as a tribute to the Maestro prior to his leaving Canada.
Numerous recordings and discs of Franco Mannino gained worlwide recognition. "The Operatic Overtures" , recorded in 1984 with the NAC of Ottawa, was a bestseller in the USA and considered as "...One of the three killer records of the year... at times he can be one of the best conductors alive: (The Village Voice, New York, December 18, 1984). In 1988, two discs distributed by Melodya and the CBC were awarded the "Grand Prix du Disque" both in Canada as well as in the Soviet Union. In Russia, Mannino recorded with the Philarmonic Orchestra of Leningrad about 25 discs . Following the foundation of this orchestra, Evgenyi Mravinsky invited Mannino who specially composed his 4th symphony Op. 225 for this occasion. The Tass claimed in this regard that "Franco Mannino featured music at such a high quality never heard during the past 60 years ".
In addition, Franco Mannino was the first Italian Artist to perform in Peking and Shangai. Following featuring a concert in New York, Greg Sandow wrote that "... Mr Mannino has conducted one of the most impressive concerts by a visiting orchestra I'd heard in New York" (The Wall Street Journal, New York, July 10, 1984). In September 30, 1988 the Maestro conducted at the Teatro dell'Opera his premiere "Sinfonia degli Oceani", in its new version consisting of 4 movements. In 1999, Franco Mannino was appointed as the Artistic Director of the Solisti Aquilani, founded with the participation of the President of the Italian Republic, Mr. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
Franco Mannino composed 622 musical works, including opera, ballet, oratory symphonies, chamber music and music for the theatre. In addition there was his music for more than a hundred films by some of the best-known directors of his day, including Luchino Visconti with whom he collaborated many times, including such films as Death in Venice. His opera Vivi, libretto by Paola Masino and Bindo Missiroli, was the only one representedl worldwide by a live composer. His 1963 opera Il diavolo in giardino, from a libretto by Visconti (and collaborators) based on a Thomas Mann short story, was presented at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo in February. Other operas by the Maestro are: Mario e il Mago: libretto by Luchino Visconti, performed at La Scala (1956) as well as in France awarding the "Diaghilev Prize" as the world best musical work; Il Principe Felice; Le notti bianche, Da Colombo a Broadway. Mannino composed music for over 100 movies and has collaborated with John Huston, Leonide Moguy, Mario Soldati and many other.
Writing and publishing written books and essays were among additional exceptional skills of Franco Mannino. He has published among other books the Genii in 1996 with the preface of Elisabeth Mann Borgese,the Amuri, L'Azzurro al di la in del Tunnel, L'Arca di casa mia, Famiglie Suonate, I contrabbassi dipinti - Adagetti musicali (1996), La caccia nella musica (1994), Il diritto connesso degli artisti esecutori - Analogie con il diritto d'autore (1995).
Franco Mannino was awarded with numerous and most prestigious prizes such as: The "Colombus Prize" (1950) - USA, the international "Luigi Illica" prize (1964), the "Medalia d'oro" (1968), the "David di Donatello" (1976), the "Viotti d'oro" by the Societa del Quarteto from Vercelli (1979), the "Via Giulia" (1982), the "Numero uno" (1983), the "Saint Vincent" (1983), the "Lorenzo il Magnifico" (1983) by the Accademia Medicea di Firenze, the "Italia Superstar" (1986), the "Premio Nazionale Fabriano Artisti dello Spettacolo" (1987), the "Telamone" prize (1987) by the Centro Programmazione Azione Sociale di Agrigento, the "Italo Gemini per lo Spettacolo Italiano" (1987) byA.G.I.S., "Grand Prix du disque" (1988), Canada, the "Colonna Sonora" (1991), the "Portico di Onofrio" (1994), the "Cittàa di Terracina" (1994), The "Michelangelo Prize (1996), the "Pianeta Azzurro Fregene" (1996), the " Magna Prize" (1997), Greece, The Diego Fabbri Prize (1997), "Premio Carsulae" (1998), the "2000 - L'era dell'uomo", "la penna d'oro" (2002), the "Baiocco d'Oro" (2003).