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.
Widely regarded as an opera singer with the most beautiful voice, Andrea Bocelli is an Italian record producer and singer-songwriter. He serves as an inspiration to many as he went on to become one of the most popular Italian singers of all time, despite losing his vision at age 12. He has sold more than 90 million records worldwide.
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.
Carla Bruni is an Italian-French fashion model and singer-songwriter. She gained international recognition after marrying the then president of France Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008. Also known for her political activities, philanthropy, and charity work, Bruni established the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Foundation in 2009; the foundation helps promote access to knowledge for all. She also supports organizations, such as PETA.
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.
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.
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.
Italian composer and record producer Giovanni Moroder, also known as the Father of Disco, produced Take My Breath Away, the Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning track by Berlin, which was part of the Top Gun soundtrack. His scores for Flashdance and Midnight Express, too, won Academy Awards.
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.
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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.
Laura Pausini is an Italian television personality and singer-songwriter. Having sold over 70 million records, Pausini is the fourth best-selling female singer in Latin music. In 2006, Pausini became the first female Italian musician to receive a Grammy Award. In 2021, her song Io sì (Seen) became the first Italian-language song to win the Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
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.
The Master of Horror, Dario Argento was born to Italian producer Salvatore Argento and was no stranger to films in his childhood. Initially a newspaper columnist, he later stepped into screenwriting. He later directed iconic films such as The Cat o' Nine Tails and contributed to the script of Dawn of the Dead.
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.
Once likened to pop icon Samantha Fox, Sabrina Salerno was a pop diva from the 1980s. She began her career winning a beauty contest and then became a known face on Italian TV, with shows such as Premiatissima. She later soared to fame with tracks such as Sexy Girl and Boys.
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.
Although best known as a popular rapper, singer and songwriter, Fedez is also an influential social media personality and an ardent activist, working especially for the rights of weaker section. Beginning his musical career in 2006, he now has six studio albums to his credit, four of which have peaked at No.1 position on the Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana charts.
Italian jazz-pianist, painter and film producer Romano Mussolini, youngest son of fascist dictator of Italy Benito Mussolini, developed interest in music during childhood. He played jazz under the assumed name Romano Full following the Second World War and formed a leading Italian jazz band, Romano Mussolini All Stars, which spawned albums like Jazz Allo Studio 7 and At the Santa Tecla.
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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.
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.
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.
Caterina Valente is an Italian-French guitarist, multilingual singer, actress, and dancer. Valente, who sings in 11 languages, has worked with artists around the world. She has worked with international stars like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Rich, and Chet Baker. One of her songs titled Bongo cha cha cha was used in the 2019 American film Spider-Man: Far From Home.
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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.