Born: July 9th 1897 – Bologna, Italy
Died: April 18th 1936 – Rome Italy
A few facts about Ottorino Respighi
- In 1900, Respighi started his career as principal violist in the Russian Imperial Theatre Orchestra, Saint Petersburg. He later studied orchestration with composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1902 he also took composition lessons with Max Bruch in Berlin.
- He held the position of Composition professor at Rome’s Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia from 1917 until his death in 1936. As a musicologist he was devoted to early Italian music. Much of what he had unearthed was incorporated into his compositions including today’s piece – Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 3.
- He had a very uneasy relationship with Mussolini’s Fascist Party and on more than one occasion defended more outspoken critics such as conductor Arturo Toscanini.
- His wife, Elsa Respighi, (neé Olivieri-Sangiacomo) (1894-1996) was a former pupil. She was a singer, composer, and tireless champion of his work. After his death she completed Lucrezia, his final opera. In his centennial year she oversaw performances and recordings of many of his long-neglected works.