22 October 2019

Salvatore Di Vittorio – composer and conductor

Musician has promoted his native Palermo throughout the world


Salvatore Di Vittorio is the musical director and  conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of New York
Salvatore Di Vittorio is the musical director and
 conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of New York
Salvatore Di Vittorio, founding music director and conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, was born on this day in 1967 in Palermo in Sicily.

Also a composer, Di Vittorio has written music in the style of the early 20th century Italian composer, Ottorino Respighi, who, in turn, based his compositions on the music he admired from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Di Vittorio has been recognised by music critics as respectful of the ancient Italian musical tradition and also as an emerging, leading interpreter of the music of Ottorino Respighi.

He began studying music when he was a child with his father, Giuseppe, who introduced him to the operas of Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. He went on to study composition at the Manhattan School of Music and Philosophy at Columbia University.

He has since worked with orchestras all over the world and composed music for them to perform and has also taught music in New York.

In 2007, Di Vittorio was invited by Elsa and Gloria Pizzoli, Respighi’s great nieces, to edit and complete several of the composer’s early works, including his first Violin Concerto, composed in 1903.

Di Vittorio has been honoured by his home city of Palermo
Di Vittorio has been honoured by his
home city of Palermo
Di Vittorio premiered and then recorded his completed versions of Respighi’s music, along with his own Overtura Respighiana. The recordings were released in 2011.

He has also edited Respighi’s 1908 orchestration of Claudio Monteverdi’s Lamento di Arianna, from the 1608 opera, Arianna.

In November 2012, the critics acclaimed his neo-classical compositions after the world premiere of Di Vittorio’s Sinfoni No 3 Templi di Siciliana with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana at the Teatro Politeama Garibaldi in Palermo.

He completed Respighi’s orchestration of the 1913 Tre Linche - Three Art Songs - in time for the 100th anniversary of the compositions in 2013.

In 2019, Di Vittorio completed the first printed edition of Respighi’s second violin concerto, ‘all’Antica.

Di Vittorio has been awarded the Medal of Palermo from Mayor Leoluca Orlando, in recognition of his contribution to promoting the city of Palermo around the world.

Ottorino Respighi was the inspiration for Di Vittorio's music
Ottorino Respighi was the inspiration
for Di Vittorio's music
In 2016, Di Vittorio became the first Italian-born composer to be invited to donate an autograph manuscript of his work to the Morgan Library and Museum’s world-renowned music archive. He composed La Villa d’Este a Tivoli in 2015 for the Morgan on the occasion of its exhibition, City of the Soul: Rome and the Romantics.

In June 2019, Di Vittorio recorded a second album of his music, which included several world premiere recordings and his new, fourth symphony.

He has said he is fascinated by storytelling in music and is known for his lyrical, symphonic poems, which are often inspired by classical antiquity and show connections to the Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Di Vittorio lives with his family in both Palermo and New York.

Mount Etna, still an active volcano, is a dominant
presence in the east of the island of Sicily
Travel tip:

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, just off the toe of Italy’s boot. The ancient ruins, diverse architecture and wonderful cuisine enjoyed by visitors are all testament to the island’s colourful history. Watching over the island is Mount Etna, a volcano that is still active. The capital city, Palermo, where Salvatore di Vittorio was born, has a wealth of beautiful architecture, plenty of shops and markets and is home to the largest opera house in Italy, the Teatro Massimo.

The Teatro Politeama Garibaldi in Palermo staged the world premiere of Di Vittorio's Sinfoni No 3 Templi di Siciliana
The Teatro Politeama Garibaldi in Palermo staged the world
premiere of Di Vittorio's Sinfoni No 3 Templi di Siciliana
Travel Tip:

The Teatro Politeama Garibaldi, where Salvatore Di Vittorio conducted the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana playing his Sinfoni No 3 Templi di Siciliana on the occasion of its world premiere, is in Piazza Ruggero Settimo in the historic centre of Palermo. It is the second most important theatre in the city, after the Teatro Massimo. The theatre was inaugurated as the Teatro Municipale Politeama in 1874, but after the death of Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1882, it was decided to name the theatre after him. The theatre was finally completed in 1891 and opened by King Umberto I and Queen Margherita, who were treated to a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello, featuring the tenor Francesco Tamagno., who had sung Otello in the first performance of the opera in 1887.

Also on this day:

1885: The birth of tenor Giovanni Martinelli

1965: The birth of actress Valeria Golino

1968: Soave is awarded DOC status


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