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Ottorino Respighi

(1879 - 1936)

Respighi was born in Bologna, Italy on July 9th, 1879.

He was taught piano and violin by his father, a local piano teacher.

Respighi continued studying violin and viola with Federico Sarti at the Liceo Musicale in Bologna.

In 1900, Respighi went to Russia as first violist in the orchestra of the Russian Imperial Theatre in St Petersburg during its season of Italian opera; while there he studied composition for five months with Rimsky-Korsakov.

He also had composition lessons with Max Bruch in 1902 in Berlin.

Until 1908 his principal activity was as first violin in the Mugellini Quintet, before turning his attention entirely to composition.

Respighi was a professional violinist (1903- 08) and taught composition (1913-25) at Rome's Santa Cecilia Academy.

An unusually versatile composer, he wrote in diverse forms and styles.

His love of medieval and Renaissance music inspired original scores and arrangements of delicacy and subtlety that contrast with the large-scale orchestral works at which he excelled.

Respighi composed eight operas but rejected Italian operatic stereotypes; he also wrote much piano and chamber music.

His most famous works are the tone poems, The Fountains of Rome (1917), The Pines of Rome (1924), and Roman Festivals (1929).

Also popular are his three sets of Ancient Airs and Dances (1917, 1924, 1932) and the suite The Birds (1927).

On April 18th, 1936, he died in his Roman villa named "I Pini".

A year after his burial, his remains were moved to his birthplace Bologna and reentered at the city's expense.

Orchestral Music

Sinfonia drammatica, Ballata delle Gnomidi, Feste romane, Fontane di Roma, Impressioni brasiliane, Metamorphoseon modi, Pini di Roma, Trittico botticelliano and Vetrate di chiesa for orchestra.

Orchestral arrangements including Antiche arie e danze per liuto (3 sets), Gli uccelli for small orchestra and ballet suite La boutique fantasque


Concerto gregoriano and Poema autunnale for violin and orchestra

Concerto in modo misolidio and Toccata for piano and orchestra

Adagio con variazioni for cello and orchestra

Chamber Music

Violin sonata and Quartetto dorico for string quartet

Keyboard Music

2 Tre preludi for organ

Vocal Music

La primavera for soloists, chorus and orchestra, Lauda per la Nativita del Signore for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, chorus, and wind and 2-piano ensemble, songs and other vocal and choral works.


- Belfagor,

- La bella addormente nel bosco,

- La campana sommersa,

- La fiamma, Lucrezia,

- Maria Egiziaca,

- Marie-Victoire,

- Re Enzo,

- Semirama.



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