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.
Born into a musical dynasty, composer Giacomo Puccini lost his father at age 5. Some of his best opera pieces include Madama Butterfly and La Bohème. The suicide of his maid, who was wrongly accused by his wife of being in an affair with him, affected his later career adversely.
Gioachino Rossini was an Italian composer best remembered for composing 39 operas before retiring at the peak of his popularity when he was still in his 30s. Such is his influence on modern-day virtuosi that many of them have created piano fantasies or transcriptions based on Gioachino Rossini's melodies.
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.
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.
Hailed as one of the pillars of Italian music, Adriano Celentano is a celebrated singer-songwriter, whose numerous songs and albums have gained both commercial as well as critical success. Also credited with introducing rock n roll to Italy, he has been dubbed as the flexible one for his powerful dancing. A successful actor, he has appeared in around forty films.
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.
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.
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.
Composer Christoph Willibald Gluck left home when his father went against his passion for music and pushed him into forestry. He then reached Milan, where he learned Italian instrumental music and later fused Italian and French opera music. His best-known works include Orfeo ed Euridice and La rencontre imprévue.
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.
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was an Italian poet, art theorist, and editor. He is credited with founding the Futurist movement and is remembered for his work Manifesto of Futurism. In 1918, he founded a political party called Futurist Political Party as an extension of the social and futurist artistic movement. The party merged with the Italian Fasces of Combat in 1919.
Guido of Arezzo was an Italian pedagogue and music theorist of High medieval music. He is often credited with inventing the modern staff notation, which later gave rise to Western musical notation. Among his treatises, Micrologus, was one of the most widely circulated medieval treatise on music.
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.
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.
Alberto Sordi was an Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter, director, singer, composer, and voice actor. Widely regarded as an icon of Italian cinema, Sordi achieved greatness in a career that spanned 70 years! Over the course of his illustrious career, Alberto Sordi won several prestigious awards, including seven David di Donatello and a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement.
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.
Muzio Clementi was an Italian virtuoso pianist, composer, conductor, music publisher, editor, pedagogue, and piano manufacturer. He developed a technical legato style and then passed it on to a generation of musicians, including Johann Baptist Cramer, John Field, and Friedrich Kalkbrenner among others. Muzio Clementi also influenced world-renowned musicians like Frédéric Chopin and Ludwig van Beethoven.
Born to musician parents in Italy, Ferruccio Busoni was a child prodigy, having begun composing at the age of 7. He grew up to be a piano professor in Finland, and his work later took him to Moscow and the U.S. He is remembered for his opera and chamber pieces.
Salvatore Adamo is a Belgian-Italian musician, composer, and singer best known for his romantic ballads. He is counted among the world's most commercially successful musicians, having sold more than 20 million singles and 80 million albums. Salvatore Adamo, who performs in multiple languages like French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and English, is currently the highest selling Belgian musician.