Ottorino Respighi

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Respighi, Ottorino

(ôttōrē`nō rāspē`gē), 1879–1936, Italian composer, studied with Rimsky-Korsakov and Max Bruch. He was director (1924–25) of the Conservatory of St. Cecilia, Rome, afterward teaching advanced composition there until his death. Among his romantic symphonic poems are The Fountains of Rome (1917), The Pines of Rome (1924), and Roman Festivals (1929), which evoke Italian scenes and show him a master of orchestration. He wrote other orchestral works, chamber music, piano pieces, and operas, including Belfagor (1923; a comic opera), The Sunken Bell (1927; based on Hauptmann's Die versunkene Glocke), The Flame (1934), and the posthumously produced Lucrezia (1937), which was finished by his wife, Elsa.


See biography by E. Respighi (tr. 1962).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Respighi, Ottorino


Born July (or June) 9, 1879, in Bologna; died Apr. 18, 1936, in Rome. Italian composer. Son of a musician.

Respighi graduated from the Liceo Musicale Bologna in 1899. He studied with L. Torchi and G. Martucci. From 1900 to 1903 he was a violist with the orchestra of the Italian Opera Company in St. Petersburg and Moscow. He studied with N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, whose picturesque orchestral style greatly influenced him. Respighi performed as a violinist, violist, pianist, and conductor. In 1913 he became a professor of composition at the Royal Conservatory of St. Cecilia in Rome. He served as director of the conservatory in 1924–25.

Respighi’s most popular compositions are his orchestral works, including the symphonic poems The Fountains of Rome (1916), The Pines of Rome (1924), and Roman Festivals (1928). He also wrote the operas Belfagor (1923), La campana sommersa (1927), and La fiamma (1934); ballets; symphonic, chamber instrumental, and vocal compositions; and many adaptations. Respighi’s work is characterized by impressionistic and neo-classical tendencies.


Krein, Iu. “Ottorino Respigi.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1960, no. 8.
Respighi, E. Ottorino Respighi. [Milan, 1954.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.