The Italian composer, Nino Rota ((real name: Nino Rinaldi), was born into a family of musicians, and was first a student of Orefice and Pizzetti. Then, still a child, he moved to Rome where he completed his studies at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in 1929 with Alfredo Casella. In the meantime, he had become an 'enfant prodige', famous both as a composer and as an orchestra conductor. His first oratorio, L'infanzia di San Giovanni Battista, was performed in Milan and Paris as early as 1923 and his lyrical comedy, Il Principe Porcaro, was composed in 1926.
From 1930 to 1932 Nino Rota lived in the USA. He won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia where he attended classes in composition taught by Rosario Scalero and classes in orchestra taught by Fritz Reiner. He returned to Italy and earned a degree in literature from the University of Milan. In 1937, he began a teaching career that led to the directorship of the Bari Conservatory, a title he held from 1950 until his death in 1979.
After his 'childhood' compositions, Nino Rota wrote the following operas: Ariodante (Parma, 1942), Torquemada (1943), Il cappello di paglia di Firenze (Palermo, 1955), I due timidi (RAI 1950, London, 1953), La notte di un neurastenico (Premio Italia 1959; La Scala, 1960), Lo scoiattolo in gamba (Venezia, 1959), Aladino e la lampada magica (Naples, 1968), La visita meravigliosa (Palermo, 1970), Napoli milionaria (Spoleto Festival, 1977). He also wrote the following ballets: La rappresentazione di Adamo ed Eva (Perugia, 1957), La Strada (La Scala, 1965), Aci e Galatea (Rome, 1971), Le Molière Imaginaire (Paris and Brussels, 1976) and Amor di poeta (Brussels, 1978) for Maurice Bejart. In addition, there are countless works for orchestra that have been performed since before World War II and are still performed by orchestras in every part of the world. His oeuvre comprises 10 operas, 23 stage works and ballets, 3 symphonies, 3 piano concertos, 3 cello concertos, chamber music and choral works.
Nino Rota's work in film dates back to the early forties. His filmography includes the names of virtually all of the noted directors of his time. First among these is Federico Fellini. He wrote all of the movie scores for Fellini's films from The White Sheik in 1952 to The Orchestra Rehearsal in 1979. Other directors include Renato Castellani, Luchino Visconti, Franco Zeffirelli, Mario Monicelli, Francis Ford Coppola (Oscar for best original movie score), King Vidor, René Clément, Edward Dmytrik and Eduardo de Filippo. He also composed the music for many theatre productions by Visconti, Zefirelli and de Filippo.
In February of 1995, the Nino Rota Foundation was established at Fondazione Cini of Venice, Italy. Cini specializes in the works of 20th century Italian composers and includes the estate of