Regarded as one of the world’s greatest film composers, Ennio Morricone was an Italian composer, orchestrator and conductor who scored music for over 500 films in his career spanning seven decades. Morricone covered a wide range of music styles and is best known for scores in the Dollar Trilogy and Once Upon a Time in the West.
Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, and teacher, Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers. He was extremely popular during his lifetime and composed many instrumental concertos and operas. He was also a Roman Catholic priest and worked at a home for abandoned children. Even though he died in 1741, his music continues to be popular.
Legendary Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi is best remembered for his masterpieces such as Requiem, Rigoletto, Falstaff, and Otello. He was also briefly associated with the Risorgimento movement meant to unify Italy and thus composed many choruses reflecting the spirit. He was inspired by composers such as Bellini and Donizetti.
Ludovico Einaudi is an Italian composer and pianist. Although he started his career as a classical musician, Einaudi began incorporating other genres like rock, folk, and pop later in his career. Apart from composing studio and live albums, Ludovico Einaudi also composes the scores for films and TV series. His work in the filn Acquario earned him the prestigious Grolla d'oro award.
Antonio Salieri was an Italian classical composer, conductor, and teacher considered a key figure in the development of late 18th-century opera. He was a protégé of eminent composer Christoph Willibald Gluck. For several years, he served as the director of the Italian opera by the Habsburg court. His works were performed widely across Europe during his lifetime.
Claudio Monteverdi was an Italian string player, composer, choirmaster, and priest. His pioneering work in the development of opera and his letters, which gives an insight into the life of Italian musicians from the era, makes him a significant historical figure. He is also considered an important transitional figure between the two important periods of music history, Renaissance and Baroque.
Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter and director Roberto Benigni is noted for his comedic-work, which includes writing, directing and starring in the Italian comedy-drama film Life Is Beautiful, which won him an Academy Award for Best International Feature Film and Best Actor, the first for a non-English speaking male performance. Other notable films of Benigni include The Little Devil and Johnny Stecchino.
10 Robert Miles
Italian DJ Roberto Concina, better known as Robert Miles, redefined dream-house music. Born into a military family in Switzerland, he mastered the piano and started DJ-ing as a teen. His chartbusting track Children was inspired by a set of photos taken by his father in war-torn Yugoslavia.
Eros Ramazzotti ruled the Italian and Spanish pop-rock scene in the 1980s. He soared to international fame with Tutte storie and earned collaborations with artists such as Ricky Martin and Tina Turner. He once revealed the only support he got from his family was a guitar his father bought him.
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an Italian composer who had a long-lasting influence on the evolution of secular music in Europe. He is also credited with the development of counterpoint. His life and career inspired a 2009 Italian/German music film titled Palestrina - Prince of Music.
Italian Baroque composer Domenico Scarlatti was no stranger to music, being the son of famous composer Alessandro Scarlatti. From being the official composer for the queen of Poland, to teaching music to the princess of Spain and creating 555 keyboard sonatas, the legendary harpsichordist had an illustrious life.
15 Miguel Bosé
Miguel Bosé is a Spanish pop new wave musician and actor who has been active in the entertainment industry for five decades. He studied acting, dancing, and singing and began his career as an actor. He eventually forayed into music as well. He is openly gay and is in a long-term relationship with sculptor Ignacio Palau.
17 Nino Rota
Italian opera composer Vincenzo Bellini was encouraged to study music by his organist father. Best known for his operas such as The Sleepwalker and Norma, Bellini was named the Swan of Catania. His letters to his friend Francesco Florimo reveal Bellini was known for his womanizing ways, too.
Italian composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli is regarded as a pioneer of the concerto grosso and the sonata. Named after his father who died 5 months before his birth, Corelli rose to be a major figure of Baroque music and became a favorite of priests and the royalty.
Italian-Spanish composer and cellist Luigi Boccherini of Classical era is noted for his influence in developing string quartet as a musical genre. Two of his best-known works include String Quintet in E major, Op. 11, No. 5 (G 275) that became famous for its minuet third movement; and Cello Concerto, No. 9 in B-flat Major, G. 482.
Gian Carlo Menotti was an Italian-American librettist, playwright, director, and composer. Menotti is best remembered for composing popular operas that enjoyed success on Broadway during the 1950s. For his contribution to arts, Menotti was presented with a Kennedy Center Honor in 1984. In 1997, he was honored by the American Choral Directors Association with the prestigious Brock Commission.
Italian violinist Giuseppe Tartini initially studied and also established himself as a skilled fencer. Arrested for marrying an acquaintance of the archbishop of Padua, he fled to a monastery in Assisi, where he got addicted to music, later inventing the difference tone and a theory of harmony.
31 Lucio Dalla
Giovanni Gabrieli was an Italian organist and composer. One of the most popular musicians of his generation, Gabrieli's works were popularized throughout Europe by his association with the prestigious Scuola Grande di San Rocco, where he was appointed as an organist.
Luciano Berio revolutionized the genre of electronic music and is remembered as one of the most prominent composers of avant-garde music. The Grammy Award-winning composer had also taught music at Juilliard and Harvard. Initially a pianist, he had deviated to composing after injuring his hand during World War II.
38 Dave Rodgers
42 Paolo Conte
Paolo Conte is an Italian singer, composer, pianist, and lawyer. Renowned for his grainy, resonant voice, Conte's compositions are reminiscent of Mediterranean and Italian sounds. Over the years, he has received honorary doctorates from several institutions, such as the University of Macerata. In 1999, Paolo Conte was honored with the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.