Music Director & Composer

SALVATORE DI VITTORIO

Born in Palermo, Italy, composer and conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio is heir to the Italian neo-classical orchestral tradition, “following in the footsteps of Ottorino Respighi” – Luigi Verdi, Philharmonic Academy of Bologna. He gained considerable attention with his completion of the first Violin Concerto (in A) and other works of Respighi by invitation of his great nieces Elsa and Gloria Pizzoli and archive curator Potito Pedarra.

Di Vittorio is founding Music Director of Chamber Orchestra of New York, which debuted in 2007 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. His Naxos recordings with the orchestra continue to air worldwide, receiving much critical praise. He has worked with numerous orchestras, including London Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, and Teatro Massimo Opera Palermo.

Di Vittorio is fascinated with the world of storytelling and best known for his lyrical symphonic poems, including program symphonies, which are often inspired by classical antiquity and show connections to the Italian Renaissance and Baroque. Under his baton, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia world premiered his Ode Corelliana in 2017, after the successful premiere of Venus and Adonis in 2016. “Di Vittorio’s Venus was an orchestral song, and often a beautiful one.” – Philadelphia Inquirer. “Venus…recalls Respighi, and is infused with Di Vittorio’s original imagination and ability to build musical architecture that ultimately fades, like Venus’s own loveliness. There is an appealing heft to this work [influenced by] Bach and Ravel.” – Broad Street Review. In 2015, San Diego Symphony world premiered his orchestral Fanfara del Mare “Su un Tema di Monteverdi”, commissioned for the centennial of Balboa Park at Copley Symphony Hall.

In 2012, Di Vittorio made his conducting debut with Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana at Teatro Politeama Garibaldi. Giornale di Sicilia praised the evening “From Pines of Rome to the Temples of Sicily”, depicting Di Vittorio’s third symphony as “a commemorative memorial with a dimension of insularity, which during great peaks reveals suggestions of an international musical palette.” La Repubblica acknowledged Di Vittorio’s neo-classical works and in particular his third symphony, as “his first composition to capture Respighi’s impressionism, together with [influences of] Berlioz and Richard Strauss.” Mayor Leoluca Orlando awarded Di Vittorio the Medal of Palermo, recognizing “the great importance of Di Vittorio’s work as a promoter of Palermo around the world” – Il Moderatore.

Di Vittorio began his musical studies at an early age with his father Giuseppe, who introduced the operas of Verdi and Puccini. He studied composition with Giampaolo Bracali (later, conducting) and Ludmila Ulehla at Manhattan School of Music, and philosophy at Columbia University. He is a protégé of such esteemed conductors as Piero Bellugi (of Florence). His compositions are published by Panastudio/Casa Ricordi (Universal Music), recorded on Naxos Records, and listed in David Daniels’ Orchestral Music. With La Villa d’Este a Tivoli in 2016, Di Vittorio reached a significant milestone when he became the first composer to dedicate a work to The Morgan Library & Museum, and the first Italian composer during his lifetime to be invited to donate an autograph manuscript to the museum’s world-renowned music archive – followed in 2019, by donations of manuscripts of his completions of Respighi’s Violin Concerto in A and Tre Liriche.

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  • Story Behind the Respighi Editions

    A few Italian conductors of chamber orchestras noticed early on the neoclassical influence of Ottorino Respighi on Salvatore Di Vittorio’s early works, pairing them together in their programs. Music critics also made the connection, with some articles praising Di Vittorio and then described him as “following in the footsteps of Respighi”. In March of 2006, Di Vittorio founded the Chamber Orchestra of New York “Ottorino Respighi” to honor this bond and his commitment to the Italian repertoire. These developments caught the attention of certain Respighi scholars and the news eventually reached Respighi’s great-nieces, Elsa Pizzoli Mazzacane and Gloria Pizzoli Mangini.

    Subsequently, Gloria Pizzoli hosted Di Vittorio in her home in Rome in January of 2008 along with Elsa Pizzoli at which time they spoke by phone with family archive curator/cataloger Potito Pedarra in Milan. They would invite Di Vittorio to complete several of the Bolognese composer’s unpublished early orchestral works. In the coming days, Di Vittorio would meet Potito Pedarra in Milan, and together they would visit Italian publisher Casa Ricordi to begin discussing the long-term project.

    Amongst the works planned included the first Violin Concerto (in A Major), which would be completed compositionally in the third movement, the Tre Liriche for mezzo-soprano and orchestra would be completed in orchestration, and the remainder of the works would be completed editorially (i.e., as critical editions). All of the works would be engraved and published in their first printed editions. Today, the works are published under Edizioni Panastudio (Palermo) and distributed by Casa Ricordi (Milan).

     

    During an interview for RAI Italia at Carnegie Hall in March of 2019, Di Vittorio was asked why he felt he had received such a great honor from the family and archive curator of one of Italy’s greatest orchestral composers. Di Vittorio responded “It was a tremendous honor for me as a composer to have earned their trust, and I had such great respect for them as they nurtured and escorted me to Respighi archives and a few related sites around Italy. They had caught that I shared Respighi’s love and unique interest in composing orchestral program music, with themes of antiquity. But, frankly, I learned later from Casa Ricordi that there were actually only a few living Italian neoclassical composers that would even have been considered at the time. Neoclassical composers are a rarity these days, including in Italy. I am forever grateful to Elsa, Gloria, and Potito for their dear friendship, vision and belief in the importance of my work as a composer.”

    Di Vittorio continues to publish first printed editions of Respighi’s early orchestral works, and champions the works in performances with orchestras – especially with the Chamber Orchestra of New York for ongoing recordings on Naxos Records.

     
     
     
     

    Visit: Works – Respighi Editions

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