Vittorio Giannini

Giannini, Vittorio

Vittorio Giannini was born in Philadelphia in 1903 and died in New York in 1966. Born into a family of professional musicians, he was deeply imbued with the values of a Eurocentric musical culture at an early age, he had completed four years of formal study in Milan by the time he was 14, and had already begun to compose. During the 1920s Giannini studied violin and composition at the Juilliard School. He first attracted attention during the 1930s, when his songs began to appear frequently on recital programs, and several of his operas were produced successfully in Europe, where he spent much of his time. His vocal music displayed the fluent lyrical warmth of Italianate late-Romanticism, although instrumental works revealed a mastery of contrapuntal technique and a concern with formal developmental processes. Settling in New York City in 1939, Giannini continued composing prolifically, producing dozens of works notable for their effortless melodic warmth, high- spirited exuberance, and impeccable craftsmanship, although increasingly his music was regarded as “old-fashioned” by the proponents of Modernism. Serving concurrently at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School, and the Curtis Institute, he became one of the country’s most active composition teachers, his name virtually synonymous with traditional Old World musical craftsmanship and discipline.

Albums Featuring this Artist