Giovanni Rota Rinaldi, better known as Nino Rota, was an Italian composer, pianist, conductor and academic who is best known for his film scores, notably for the films of Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti. He also composed the music for two of Franco Zeffirelli’s Shakespeare films, and for the first two films of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy, receiving the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Godfather Part II in 1974.
During his long career, Rota was an extraordinarily prolific composer, especially of music for the cinema. He wrote more than 150 scores for Italian and international productions from the 1930s until his death in 1979 – an average of 3 scores each year over a 46-year period; writing 13 in 1954 alone! Alongside this great body of film work, he composed ten operas, five ballets and dozens of other orchestral, choral and chamber works, the best known being his string concerto.