18 Facts About Nino Rota


Giovanni Rota Rinaldi, better known as Nino Rota, was an Italian composer, pianist, conductor and academic who is best known for his film scores, notably for the films of Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti.


Nino Rota composed the music for two of Franco Zeffirelli's Shakespeare films, and for the first two films of Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather trilogy, earning the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Godfather Part II.


Nino Rota composed the music for many theatre productions by Visconti, Zeffirelli and Eduardo De Filippo as well as maintaining a long teaching career at the Liceo Musicale in Bari, Italy, where he was the director for almost 30 years.


Nino Rota was born Giovanni Nino Rota Rinaldi on 3 December 1911, into a musical family in Milan, Italy.


Nino Rota studied at the Milan conservatory there under Giacomo Orefice and then undertook serious study of composition under Ildebrando Pizzetti and Alfredo Casella at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome, graduating in 1930.


Nino Rota won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia, where he was taught conducting by Fritz Reiner and had Rosario Scalero as an instructor in composition.


Nino Rota earned a degree in literature from the University of Milan, graduating in 1937, and began a teaching career that led to the directorship of the Liceo Musicale in Bari, a title he held from 1950 until 1978.


Nino Rota wrote the score for the film The Glass Mountain in 1949.


Nino Rota had a geometric imagination, a musical approach worthy of celestial spheres.


Nino Rota thus had no need to see images from my movies.


Nino Rota's world was inner, inside himself, and reality had no way to enter it.


The relationship between Fellini and Nino Rota was so strong that at Fellini's funeral Giulietta Masina, Fellini's wife, asked trumpeter Mauro Maur to play Nino Rota's Improvviso dell'Angelo in the Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Rome.


Nino Rota went on to win an Oscar for his score for The Godfather Part II.


Nino Rota wrote numerous concerti and other orchestral works as well as piano, chamber and choral music, much of which has been recorded and released on CD.


Director Mario Monicelli filmed a documentary Un amico magico: il maestro Nino Rota which featured interviews with Franco Zeffirelli and Riccardo Muti, and was followed by a German documentary Nino Rota - Un maestro della musica.


Nino Rota's 1955 opera Il cappello di paglia di Firenze is an adaptation of the play by Eugene Labiche and was presented by the Santa Fe Opera in 1977.


Nino Rota had one daughter, Nina Rota, from a relationship with pianist Magda Longari.


Nino Rota died in Rome on 10 April 1979, aged 67, from a coronary thrombosis.