Rieti, Vittorio, 1898-1994

Alternative names
Birth 1898-01-28
Death 1994-02-19
French, English, Italian

Biographical notes:

Commissioned by the Louisville Philharmonic Society under a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Composed 1953. First performance Louisville, 16 October 1954, The Louisville Orchestra, Robert Whitney conductor. Dedicated to the Louisville Orchestra.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Introduzione e gioco delle ore / Vittorio Rieti. [1953] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 53472383

Originally composed as Chess Serenade, suite for two pianos, 1945. This transcription commissioned by The Royal Winnipeg Ballet of Canada. Transcribed for orchestra and retitled, 1956. First performance as a ballet, Winnipeg, 1956, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet of Canada. Revised after first performance.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Pasticcio (chess serenade) / Vittorio Rieti. [19--] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 53472425

Alternate titles: Sonnambula, Somnambule. From the ballet in one act with book by the composer and music based on themes from Vincenzo Bellini's operas La Sonnambula, I Puritani, and I Capuletti ed i Montecchi (one aria only). The plot of the ballet is not related to that of the opera La Sonnambula. Commissioned by Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Emmanuel Balaban conductor, choreography by George Balanchine. Retitled La Sonnàmbula for a performance at City Center, New York, 6 January 1960, New York City Ballet, choreography by George Balanchine.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of The night shadow : ballet suite on themes by V. Bellini / Vittorio Rieti. c1946. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 53472388

Vittorio Rieti (1898-1994) was a prolific American composer of Italian descent, who worked primarily in a neo-classical vein.

Rieti studied music with Giuseppe Frugatta in Milan (1912-1917). Following military service he resumed studies in Rome with Alfredo Casella and Ottorino Respighi. From the mid-1920s until 1940, Rieti primarily was based in Paris, where he was associated closely with Les Six and other notable contemporary composers, including Igor Stravinsky. He wrote ballet music for Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, including Barabau (an early collaboration with George Balanchine) and incidental music for productions staged by Louis Jouvet's theater company. In addition to his work for the theater, Rieti also was involved with the contemporary chamber music group La Sérénade. He immigrated to the United States in 1940, becoming a citizen in 1944. Rieti continued to compose ballet music, working again with Balanchine on Night Shadow (later called La Sonnambula) as well as orchestral music, remaining active until shortly before his death.

From the description of Vittorio Rieti scores, 1930-1994. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 84693683

Vittorio Rieti (b. Alexandria, Egypt, 28 Jan 1898; d. New York, 19 Feb 1994) was an American composer of Italian descent. He studied music with Giuseppe Frugatta in Milan (1912–1917) as well as economics at the University of Milan, where he obtained a doctorate in 1917. After brief war service in the Italian army, he settled in Rome with his family and took up his composition studies again with Casella; he also received some tutoring in orchestration from Ottorino Respighi. In 1921 he met Alban Berg, Alma Mahler and Franz Werfel in Vienna where he signed an exclusive, eight-year contract with Universal Edition. Arnold Schoenberg also showed great interest in his works, wishing to perform them in the concerts of the Society for Private Musical Performances. In the early 1920s he was associated with Renzo Massarani and Mario Labroca in a group that called itself I Tre, in imitation of Les Six. His first international success came at the ISCM Festival in Prague in 1924 with his Concerto for wind and orchestra, conducted by Casella, who continued to befriend his younger colleague. From 1925 to 1940 Rieti divided his time between Rome and Paris, where he formed close ties with Igor Stravinsky, Sergey Prokofiev, Paul Hindemith, Manuel de Falla, Kurt Weill and Les Six. He wrote ballet music for Sergey Pavlovich Diaghilev ( Barabau being particularly successful) and much incidental music for the Parisian theater of Louis Jouvet. He was also one of the founder-directors of the Paris group La Sérénade, dedicated to modern chamber music (1931–1938). In 1940 he moved to the USA (he became a citizen in 1944). There his ballet music was choreographed by Balanchine, his orchestral music conducted by, among others, Arturo Toscanini and Dimitri Mitropoulos. He continued to be productive until just before his death. As a teacher of composition, he was active at the Peabody Conservatory (1948–1949), the Chicago Musical College (1950–1953), Queens College (1955–1960) and the New York College of Music (1961–1964).

Rieti's musical style has been fairly consistent throughout his long career. After early experiments with atonality, he evolved an idiom akin to neo-classicism, which remained his characteristic trait.

Source: "Rieti, Vittorio." Retrieved from www.grovemusic.com on October 26, 2006.

From the guide to the Vittorio Rieti scores, 1930-1994, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)


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