Nino Rota was an Italian composer born on December 3, 1911, in Milan. He studied at the conservatory under Ildebrando Pizzetti and went on to compose his first oratorio and lyrical comedy at a young age. Encouraged by Arturo Toscanini, Rota moved to the United States where he furthered his musical education. Returning to Milan, he earned a degree in literature from the University of Milan and began a teaching career. Rota's most notable collaboration was with filmmaker Federico Fellini, composing scores for films such as "La strada" and "8½". He wrote scores for over 150 films and also composed concerti and other orchestral works.
Rota's music continues to be celebrated even after his death in 1979. His work was featured in Gus Van Sant's film "Paranoid Park" and his opera "The Italian Straw Hat" was presented by the Santa Fe Opera. In addition, his short opera "I due timidi" will be performed by the Santa Fe Opera as part of their pre-season program in May-June 2008.
With a prolific career spanning various genres, Nino Rota left behind a rich legacy of music that continues to captivate audiences worldwide.